Exactly Where I Need to Be
It was close to fourteen years ago that I walked into my classroom at Oak Grove Elementary School in Albany, Oregon, anxiously awaiting the arrival of my first class of students. The school was abuzz with the usual “back to school” excitement, but the only thing that was buzzing in me was my stomach. Graduate school had prepared me for this moment in theory, but when that first bell rang, all I could think about was the 28 sets of eyeballs staring intently at me, waiting for my first words. Would I say the right thing? Do I need to set a tone of discipline right away? As these questions continued to compete for space in my mind, I was overcome with a deep sense of peace. I knew at that moment that I was exactly where I needed to be.
Fast forward to the Spring of 2009. I had spent 10 years as a classroom teacher and the sense of peace I felt on day one had been replaced with an unbridled desire to reach a broader audience of students in a more profound way. In the age of “No Child Left Behind” and the subsequent emphasis on high stakes testing, I felt compelled to provide my students with a completely different set of skills; social and emotional skills. I had always been fascinated by the field of human behavior and personal development, so I began teaching my students about concepts like paradigms and emotional bank accounts. One night at home while discussing my growing desire to share these social and emotional skills on a broader scope with my wife, she stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Let’s do it. Let’s start a leadership company aimed at providing students with these critical skills that you are so passionate about.” That night marked the beginning of a new chapter that continues to be written today.
Over the past four years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with students of all ages in a variety of settings. Whether it’s in a classroom full of middle school students sharing one of the KaleidoEye leadership principles, or a dining room table for a personal coaching session, one thing has remained constant and that is my passion for empowering individuals to create positive change in their own lives.
The purpose of this blog is to share my teachings with a global audience. Each of my posts will aim to engage, educate, and ultimately empower the reader to create the same positive change I hope to see in my students. I invite you to follow me on this journey of personal growth and I look forward to connecting with you along the way.
Chief Creative Officer – KaleidoEye