Why I teach? When you think about passion and purpose, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?

Passion is a uncontrollable emotion. It’s not something you can touch, teach, or keep under wraps, as it has a mind of its own. Passion is a strong emotion can’t be contained. Whereas, purpose is the reason you were created. Some people go through life everyday, looking for just that. Their passion and purpose.
What is your passion? What is your purpose? What would you get up and do every day without being paid for it….

I found my passion and purpose in a very unconventional way! I have been in education for over 20 years. I love to exuberate my knowledge and pour into all who surround me. From teaching, to coaching and speaking to all who will listen. My journey and experiences forced me to be true to myself and be vulnerable for others.
I have learned that my passion and purpose is much bigger than I am. My will to be a shy and quiet introvert with a calm and relaxed demeanor was brushed to the side with the greater good of the children who are silenced. Those that can’t speak up or won’t speak out to advocate their needs. I stand in the gap. I stand in the gap for the parents that will not show up to the school or answer the phone when you call. I am the voice of the kid that is unprepared, hard headed, misunderstood, and underrepresented. The ones with an IEP (individual Education Plan), ESOL (English Speakers of Languages), even the ones trying to get a GED (General Education Diploma), I stand in the gap.
What about the hard heads, the teenage parents, incarcerated, abused, neglected, depressed, suspended and even those who are expelled. Are these students any less important? Unworthy of your time and effort…
You see these kids do not have a voice, they are often unheard and because their parents are not doctors and lawyers, they don’t get a pass. Disproportionately they targeted and shuffled in a pipeline of mass destruction. I stand firm on my word to say “They need an education too, they need love and support and no matter how hard they push back, I want to encourage you that “you can be the difference to raising them up or breaking them down.
These students have absolutely no control over the cards of life in which they were dealt and today I want you to capture the message that one person could make a significant difference in the life of a child. It does not matter how sad their story is or how horrible the cards were in their life each child has the opportunity to change the game. They could decide rewrite their life story and all the chapters in between.
As educators and parents, we must believe that there is greatness on the inside of each child that we have the opportunity to interact with. No matter what mistakes they have or will make. Every child has the potential to be great. I believe in fostering hope, building positive relationships and instilling the power of a solid education in our youth. At a very young age, I longed for all three.
Just like the many kids we serve in inner city schools, I was once broken to the very core of my existence from my upbringing and neighborhood surroundings. I was born to a mother that was addicted to crack cocaine and men that were no good for her and to a father who spent most of my child hood in prison. When he returned to society he made no efforts to get to know me as his daughter.
I soon became a product of my environment and a vast make up of my upbringing. I was abused, neglected, and molested around the age of four years old, as a result, I was separated from my siblings and the only family I knew and placed in several foster care facilities. I learned firsthand what it feels like to be left alone, abandoned and to feel unloved or unwanted. While in school, when I needed to be focused, I was so worried about what was going on at home. I would cry out “Why does my mother not love me enough to stop doing drugs, Why does my dad not want a relationship with his little girl?” Many tears were left on my pillow and sometimes I even wondered if the world would be better off without me in it. School was my safe place, it was my outlet to be somewhat normal. It was my stability and this was my life all before kindergarten.

The crazy thing is I never had all the answers to my questions to satisfy the hurt that I felt from my cards of life. No one person had the right words to say. No matter what my circumstances was or how sad my story may be… nothing prepared me for the real world than enduring and overcoming my obstacles. I looked up to many of my teachers and most never knew exactly how much I needed and depended on them.
When I came unprepared, dirty, or overwhelmed. I didn’t need another putdown I needed to simply be built up. I didn’t need them to feel sorry for me or make excuses for my failures because of my circumstances. I didn’t need them to lower their bar of expectations for me, as many of them did. I needed tools to survive. I needed them to fill in the gaps. I needed a way out.

Overtime, I learned, to not allow life’s circumstances to define me and no matter how hard I was knocked down, I would somehow get back up and stay in the fight.
Many times, I allowed my past to define and restrain me… like brick walls blocking my path and impeding my success.

Statistics had me bound because it clarified the road that I would take. You see, I was embarrassed and ashamed of my story as society will tell you that you won’t be successful because you come from poverty, abuse or neglect but I want to ensure you today that you can help your students choose. I chose to draw a line in the sand and create a new image of myself.
I was eventually taken in from foster care services by my great grand-mother. Ms. Lillie Mae Code, born in 1918 with only a 6th grade education. She gave me a spiritual foundation and helped me to learn that there was something in me that was bigger than my current circumstances. I remember she would say Baby, go to school and get an education; it’s the one thing that no one can take from you.
I did not understand or appreciate it at the time, but this saying soon rang in my spirit many years later. Throughout, elementary and middle school I was often back in forth through the court system and from place to place.
My mother still battled with her addiction and was often in and out of jail and prison, aside from her I never really knew my father. My great grandmother died when I was 16 years old and I have been on my own ever since.
As a teen blaming became my agenda and making excuses to fail was my story. I went through a phase of self-destruction. Smoking, drinking, partying and a stream of poor choices led to incarcerations and ended with becoming a teenage parent. Spiraling out of control and facing consequences for my actions made me realize that I wanted a better life not just for me but for my daughter. The hardest thing I had to do is let my mother go. I had to stop carrying the load and taking ownership for her choices. I had to stop making excuses to fail and use my obstacles as a reason to succeed but I didn’t know where to begin. I had built up so many brick walls that I did not know how to trust, how to be loved or how to start over.
I was once told, “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.” My life had so many difficulties but my faith kept me hopeful. I would tell myself that, God would never put more on me than you can bear. These scriptures helped me to get through some tough times.
Throughout my journey, the village gave me a glimpse of what my life could be. I had mentoring and support from my teachers, administrators and community to stand in the gap for me when I parents could not.
My choices made my journey more difficult to succeed but I soon found my way like a flip of a switch I decided I wanted better out of life
I didn’t want a life of incarceration, drugs and barely getting by I soon became a lifelong learner I am always observing and growing I truly want to be all that I was created to be.
I didn’t want to die with my dreams buried on the inside of me I didn’t want to leave this earth with regrets I didn’t want to look back on my journey and say I could have been. I never grew up wanting to teach, but through my journey I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children just like me and that is why I teach. I teach because I realize that I can change the very trajectory of a child’s path. I have the unique opportunity to stand in the gap of whatever is missing from their lives and teach them to find the keys to unlock their hidden potential.

I learned how to overcome my obstacles with the help of the village using 7 strategies that I would like to share them with you.

1. I challenge you to help students to find their passion
When students find their passion and discover what they want to do in life it becomes a reason to get up each and every despite what hell is going on at home.

2. Help them to be intentional – determine what success means to them and make an intentional plan for success. Teach them to schedule time to study map out their path to success and manage their time. We all have 24 hours a day to change our lives.

3. Teach them how to be determined – they have the ability to finish strong and play their cards to best of their ability. Teach them that whatever comes their way, they have the ability to overcome their obstacles.

4. Help them to be selective – choose their friends and relationships wisely – those relationships can make or break you. You cannot hang with people that are headed the wrong way and still be a success.

5. Develop a growth mindset – be positive, don’t get so discouraged when life knocks you down. Control your attitude and how you react. Learn to make the best out of the worst situations. We must teach kids that they have the option to choose how bad they want success. They must invest time in themselves and know that pain is temporary and sacrifice is necessary to make it.

6. Work on Characterteach students to be who they are when nobody is watching. Be resilient and get back up.
MLK would say the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.

7. Teach students the power of their education – My great grandmother once told me – “baby go to school, get an education it’s the one thing that no one can take from you.” Teach your students to value and make a dedication to their Education. Take every opportunity that life has to offer them and most importantly demonstrate to your students how education pays.

If you remember nothing else I said, I beg of you to ponder on these thoughts. I want you to realize the power you have within. The power to educate, transform, uplift and change the trajectory of a child’s life. Realize the power of words as they can build up a broken child that needs to heal from their tragic past and most significantly, the power of your actions to raise your expectations and thereby transform the unmotivated, unloved and unwanted. The power that you hold can and will change the children entrusted in your care and many generations that follow. This is why I teach.

–Dr. Erica Pooler

http://www.ericapooler.com

BIO:

Dr. Erica Pooler is a wife and mother of 6, author, motivational speaker, and educational consultant, with expertise as a teacher of at risk youth, professor in leadership and integrative studies, director of school safety and student alternative placement and principal of the neediest students to include (teenage parents, incarcerated youth, students on probation, intensive probation and house arrest, students who are homeless and in some cases hopeless). She impacts drastic changes with her polished skill sets for the redirection of unmotivated and at risk youth.

Dr. Pooler is the poster child of second chances and beating the odds and uses her past to propel her future. She was born into this world with all odds against her but chose to stop making excuses and began a journey to success, a true testament to her best selling book entitled “The cards of life, when all hope is gone, trust then believe” and workbooks and journals widely used across the county. Dr. Pooler has worked diligent to be the change she wants to see, as a leading expert in her field she holds four degrees, Bachelor’s Degree in Varying exceptionalities, Master’s Degree in TESOL Teaching English to Speakers of other languages, Specialist Degree in Education Leadership, and a Doctorate Degree in Organization leadership and management.  
Dr. Pooler has published articles, Why I teach and school to prison pipeline, she is the author of five titles to include a children’s line of child safety advocacy and is a motivational speaker with recent appearances in Seminole County, Orange County, and Cobb County schools, KSU Space Conference, SOS Children’s Village, Safe Kids Coalition, Glorious Hands-Girls Mentoring and At-Risk Youth Conference

 

 

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via Why I teach? 7 Strategies to help you reach students labeled as “At Risk” — Dr. Erica Pooler

Quote  —  Posted: July 7, 2018 in growth mind set

Have you ever wanted something so bad that it keeps you up at night? If you do not fulfill your purpose in life, there will always be a internal battle within you. If God has placed passion in your heart and a purpose on your life, please don’t let anyone or anything stop you from reaching your goals and dreams. Most importantly, Don’t talk yourself out of it. Never Quit Dream Chasers.

What is your passion and purpose?

What are you doing to fulfil it?

Dream Desperation by Dr. Pooler
Film Producer Kia Pooler
Dreamers Mylan Pooler, Mekhi Pooler

There is an art and science to the balancing act of a successful hardworking mother of six. Balancing the boardroom, conquering the stages and cheering the loudest in the basketball stands. Its not easy, but somebody’s got to do it!

There is a an art and science to both. The home should also run like a business when it comes to schedules, routines, and making a commitment to have designated family quality time. Don’t forget the husband too, plus the cooking and cleaning.

How do you fit it all in? Dr. Pooler manages a successful Educational Consulting Firm, is a motivational speaker for At-Risk Youth and Author of “The Cards of Life” with four new book titles contracting for publishing this year.

How do you balance life, work, kids, husband, house duties, and have time for yourself?

Personally, I reward myself with meditation, yoga, a long walk or run, spa getaways after completing a big project. I give myself permission to listen to loud music and sing off key. Live in the moment and not stress out. It changes NOTHING! Commit to a family night once a week. Check the schedules and see which day works best to commit to a family game, movie, favorite meal or a night out. Plan and schedule time to check kids grades at least once a week, email teachers, and talk to your kids about what’s going on in their world.

At some point work has to turn off “find the balance of this”. Have a designated time that the phone is in a whole entirely different room. Silencing it doesn’t help when you see it buzzing and become distracted from text. I promise you the building will still stand if you don’t answer. If you are off of work and with the family –Be off from work and with the family.

Relationships– don’t forget the hubby or significant other. Make TIME for one another. Again NO phones, NO distractions. Catch a old movie, cuddle in the bed, listen to some throw back music, indulge in each others company.

Lets not forget about the job. It is how we eat. Right? Develop a schedule and keep to it. Do one or two things at a time well rather than four simultaneously haphazardly. Designate time for email check and reply as needed, Schedule a time for phone calls and return calls as needed. Prioritize what’s important from what’s really important. Try to remove yourself from the side bar conversations. I find while people keep talking to you thoughout the day distracting you from what has to be done. Your stuck staying afterwork playing catch up and they are long gone home. Stick to the point when conversing with others. Do the work, Do it right the first time and you won’t have to re-do it later.

Many say well Dr. Pooler, If I turn off my phone and avoid people during the day, how do I connect with staff and co-workers. Easy plan that too. Be strategic, schedule time to mingle, ask about the kids and family when the timing is appropriate. Remember birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. However, if the aforementioned in a part of practice all staff members can be on the same page. Let’s be effective, efficient, and make time for the bonding and fun stuff when if counts and matters. Schedule team building and time for staff hangouts AFTER the work is done and the GOALS are met.

Simply put its The BALANCING ACT of Art and Science, self-reflect on what you need to do to improve in parenting, relationships, personally and in the workplace. Develop a plan based on the reflection and stick to it! Share it and hold each other accountable for it.

Dr. Erica Pooler

http://www.ericapooler.com

Follow your passion, allow your faith to lead you.

Source: This quote describes my life right now….

Post by @erica_pooler.

Source: Dreams must be bigger than your Fears of Failure!

Dramatic nanny-cam video shows the unbelievable moment a toddler rescued his trapped twin brother after their bedroom dresser fell on top of him. The 2½-year-old boys, Brock and Bowdy Shoff of Utah…

Source: Twin uses super strength to save brother from fallen dresser

These parents were lucky. I have been getting this article all day and I cannot watch it. Unfortunately, my first born son Mikey was not that lucky. On March 25, 2002, my life changed forever; I received my worst card yet. On Monday, my typical family night, we were in the living room. Kia, Mikey, and I were watching a movie. Mikey was a pistol of a kid and far beyond his years in intelligence. He kept attempting to get off the sofa. I laid him across my chest and he continued to bounce and make excuses to get up. He finally said, “Mommy, I gotta go potty,” so I allowed him to get up. Within seconds, I heard the loudest crash. My heart stopped as I jumped from the sofa and screamed for Mikey. There was no answer. I looked into his bedroom and saw the most horrific sight I had ever seen. My son’s dresser and TV were shattered on the floor and Mikey’s helpless body was mangled beneath it. I had never experienced this kind of pain and helplessness in my entire life. Nothing in my past had prepared me for this new card that was dealt in my life. I lifted the dresser off my little angel and picked up his unconscious body. He did not cry or move. There was one small tear dripping from his right eye. I was screaming, crying, praying, and dialing 911 all at the same time. I began CPR and tried to protect Kia who was panicking in fear of not understanding what was happening. I called my husband who was on his way in town to get to ORMC and mother-in-law and prayed for God to save my child. I prayed so hard. “Please, God, do not take my baby boy away from me.” I gave him his own words of the many miracles that he had performed. I trusted and believed that God would do this for me certainly I deserved just this one request. This was just another storm, with all that I had been through; surely I had suffered enough in my life. God would make this work out for me. From the looks of things, I knew that even if Mikey survived, he would never be my same fun loving little boy. His skull appeared to be fractured, but the skin was not broken. I prayed and cried out to God like never before. It was as if I was outside of myself moving in slow motion and disbelief. Mikey was airlifted to the hospital. I called my friend to take me to the hospital because I was not allowed to drive in my condition. When I arrived, my husband was already there. All we could do was hold each other and pray. This was what an out-of-body experience was like. The chaplain approached my husband and me. She told us that we could go back to see him but wanted to pray with us first. She held our hands and prayed for our strength and God’s mercy and grace. As we went back, my child did not look like my child. He had all types of tubes and wires coming from him. He was swollen and still completely unconscious. I got to hold Mikey in my arms and rock him slowly back and forth. I could feel his spirit near me; the beeping from the heart monitor was loud and scary. Oh, how I felt for my child. I wept for him. I held his body close to my heart and selflessly prayed that God’s will would be done in his life. It was in that moment that his heart stopped and his spirit left his flesh. The solid beeping of the heart monitor machine flatlined. My Mikey was gone.

This is an excerpt from: Dr. Erica Pooler. “The Cards of Life” Trafford, 2012-08-07 ibooks.
This material is protected by copyright but I want people to hear my story and take action. I would long to hold my son just one more day.

To loose his precious life from something so senseless is a daily heartbreak for me. Please share Mikeys Story and take action to be sure your loved ones are safe.

I want to warn parents to bolt/anchor furniture to the walls and mount televisions. I was not aware that something like this could happen. I have fault for laws and regulations to be passed. I have developed a safety education curriculum for free to download
at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mikeys-Safety-Check-2849170

http://www.ericapooler.com

Sure we are all entitled to our emotional validation or a minor venting here and there but nobody want to be around someone who complains all the time. Think to yourself, what does complaining actually do?

We hear complaining all around us at home, work, customers, dissatisfaction and ranting about what has us upset but truly does that help? Does it resolve the problem? Generally No

Your bad day just transfers your negative energy to someone else. Stop COMPLAINING and instead think on what you can be grateful for. You spend all day at work complaining about the job, the boss, the pay. Rather than being grateful you have steady income. If you are dissatisfied with the way your life is Stop COMPLAINING and do something about it. Instead plan a exit strategy and leave a good mark, leave big shoes to fill. Talk to your boss if he/she is approachable. They are human just like you.

Make a list of all the things you complain about. Then make a list of the great things and people in your life. Hopefully one outweighs the other. If your complaints are valid make a plan of action to make life better, the situation better and be apart of the change not apart of the problem. Trust me people are tired of your negative energy. They don’t want to hear it and they are tired of you bitching and moaning about what you don’t like, what you would have done or what make you sick and tired. Make a change! Stop complaining about your situation.

For my biblical people if it was not meant for you to go through it God would not have allowed this to happen to you. So seek him! Determine what you are to gain from your situation, frustration or downfall. Then dust yourself off, make a plan of action and begin your journey to make it better.

STOP COMPLAINING!

http://www.ericapooler.comrecite-n8fwp8

Don’t allow your cards of life determine how you play your hand I am the author of “The Cards of life, when all hope is gone trust then believe” This came from the notion… T… Source: “Dr. Eri…

Source: “Dr. Erica Pooler, Speaks to parents and students about how to play the hands they have been dealt in life”

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How many times have you said, If I knew then what I know now? My, how I would have done things differently.

The issue is we don’t realize the power we have within ourselves, the power of our words and actions. Additionally, how are we passing on those life lessons to others, our mentees, our children or the many people who look up to us.

How powerful would we be to truly communicate and teach life skills, and life lessons to our children at a young age?

To teach them to lend and not borrow, to look at the bottom line.

Teaching them to know their value, to plan ahead, to find their voice. The power of a solid education. If only we knew the power that we held within, you write the chapters in your life story. What would you have done differently?