The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: E stands for EXAMINE YOUR MOTIVE

Do I know myself enough to know my real motive for choosing a career in the school system?

A lot of times our motives are revealed in the interest we purse. To test our motive as teachers, we must ask the critical question. What is this critical question? Do I exist to defend the Best Interest of the Child?

Please note that this is a question we must answer with all sincerity. I strongly believe that there are two kinds of mentalities we must define as we try to establish motive. The types of the mentality we possess determine our motives. I guess what I am trying to say is that your personality has serious impact on your motives.

In determining motives, there are two kinds of mentalities I have found among people. It is also common with teachers:

1.  The Rain-Beaten Chicken Mentality:

There are five characteristics of the rain-beaten chicken, which typifies the mentality I sharing with you.

  • It is Sickly: weak in mind.
  • It is Dirty: being dirty in the soul (mind, will and emotion).
  • It is Needy: this has to be with being in need of approval by all means. In most cases it is obvious to everybody that such people need help. They want to please everybody to their detriment. They cannot stand their mistakes.
  • It is Vulnerable: A needy person is vulnerable. It is difficult for a needy man or woman to have boundaries in his or relationships. For a person to erect boundaries in a relationship, he or she must be secure in himself or herself. A sage once said, ‘a man without rule over his spirit is like a city without wall.’  The vulnerable has no rule over his spirit. Being needed makes a man or woman accept every offer of friendship irrespective of the circumstances or tenets of the relationship. I call them the loopholes in the system. They are the ones, who will flout the principles of the school.
  • It suffers from Self-Victimization

When a man or woman is plagued with the Rain-Beaten Chicken Mentality, he becomes overwhelmed and he does everything for the wrong reasons. His wrong motive robs him or her of purposefulness, passion and sense of mission. He or her ability to make impact is neutralized.

2. The Game-Changer Mentality™. The man or woman with the game changer mentality believes he or she is around to solve a problem. He or she believes that his or presence is synonymous with solutions. He is a man or woman of influence. He or she is not afraid of challenges.

He or she sees challenges as an opportunity to be relevant. He or she believes that influence is determined by contribution. He or she steps in where others give up. He or she understands that he or she is created in the image of God and as a result he or she is unlimited in his or ability to create. He or she believes that everything that has been made is a challenge to him or her to do better and a proof that he can do better. He or she also knows that he or she is limitless in his options in any situation he or she finds himself or herself.

I always like to illustrate this with a football match where a team is down and all hopes of winning are almost lost. The coach reads the match and brings in a player very close to the end of the march. As he steps into the field, he moves round to encourage his fellow players. Within a short time the team that is 2 goals down scores a goal.  In another 5 minutes, another goal is in the net.  And in a short while after the equalizer, the team that was down scores another goal and wins the march.

In your opinion, who would you judge as the man of the march? The guys, who played for the full ninety minutes or the guy, who comes in few minutes to the end of game to cause a positive stir on the field? In my opinion, the man of the march, who is also the Game Changer is the man, who comes in toward the end of the march. It simply means, it is not how long you stay on a project but how well. Needless to say that how well you perform is determined by how well you renew, refresh and reinvent yourself.

A teacher with a game changer mentality will not only act in the best interest of the child and protect them from all forms of abuse; he or she unleashes on the pupils the spirit of change. He or she is not shocked by their mistakes and so-called stubbornness. He or she sees the challenges of his or her pupils as the reason for his or her existence. He or she understands that when a doctor, who is on duty at an emergency ward or Intensive Care Unit, will throw his hands in the air in helplessness and complain about the nature of the cases being brought to him, he has lost not only lost touch with his purpose, but has lost touch with reality.

The motive of the Game Changer is single and simply: it is to do all things in the best interest of the child, having freed himself or herself from the distractions of the rain-beaten chicken mentality.

There are four (4) categories of teachers under the The Rain-Beaten Chicken Mentality™ and The Game-Changer Mentality™

S/N Category Description Mentality
1.  The Initiator: Those who see what needs to be done and do it without being asked.
  • They are proactive and creative
  • Very rare worker. We call them Star or Eagle worker.
  • Highly productive and well rewarded. Never looking for work.
  • Always being offered more responsibility, even when isn’t seeking it.
  • They understand the dignity in labour and are committed to exercising themselves thereof.
  • They owe themselves performance and not the organisation.  That is they are intrinsically motivated by their values.
2. The Eager: Those who ask what they should do
  • They are proactive in the sense that they ask what to do.
  • They are not necessarily creative.
  • Always goes the extra mile.
  • This kind is rare and never out of work
GCM (2)
3. The Led-by-the-Nose: Those who MUST be told what to do
  • They lack initiative
  • Basically lazy but does deliberately avoid work.
  • Does a good job when told but don’t seek out new or more work.
  • Never gets far in job market and usually gripes about the way he gets passed up when promotions are made.
4. The Unreliable: Those who MUST be found in order to be told what to do.
  • Lazy and avoid work. Often absent from job or worksite.
  • Manager is always looking for him and has to question or inspect everything he does for quality.
  • Gets minimum wage and never holds a job for long.

Meet our Models:

Steve Mariotti,

Considered one of today’s leading experts in education for at-risk youth, Steve Mariotti changed career paths back in 1982 when he decided to move from the corporate sector and become a special education teacher in the New York City school system. Mr. Mariotti’s first assignment was in the East New York section of Brooklyn, and his last was in the Fort Apache section of the South Bronx.

Mariotti took the decision after he was attacked and robbed by college students in his area. He felt he could help change the orientation of the children from poverty and crime to that of enterprise. In the pursuit of his dream to cause a change in the educational system in Brooklyn, he decided leave his corporate concern and became a teacher.

While teaching in this hard-hitting environment for six and a half years, Mr. Mariotti gained insight into how to successfully motivate his tough students – teaching them how to run a business. His perceptions and learnings inspired him to create a program to bring entrepreneurial education to low-income youth.

In 1987, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE, formerly The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship), a non-profit organization, was formed.

Now, more than twenty years later, NFTE’s mission is to provide entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. The program has a proven track record of success. It is frequently used as a model for other programs to teach business knowledge and the resulting business formation. NFTE has reached more than 230,000 young people since its founding, and has programs in 22 states and 13 countries.

Ron Clark

Ron Clarke has been called “America’s Educator.”He is an American teacher who has worked with disadvantaged students in rural North Carolina and Harlem, New York City. He got into the school to teach his class at a point when a teacher stormed out of the school on the claim that the pupils were difficult and stubborn.  He employed tenacity, sacrifice, creativity and above all love to cause a revolution in the lives of his pupils. He rewarded his pupils’ innate gifts.

In 2000, he was named Disney’s American Teacher of the Year. He is a New York Times bestselling author whose book, The Essential 55, has sold over 1 million copies and has been published in 25 different countries. He has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, and Oprah, and Ms. Winfrey even named him as her first “Phenomenal Man.” His classes have been honoured at the White House on three separate occasions. Ron’s teaching experiences in New York City are the subject of the uplifting film, The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry, better known as Chandler from Friends.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

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