Tuesday, June 8, 2021

How You Show Up Matters

 Some people are of the opinion and adage that how you show up matters. I am one of those people. 




















If you want to be taken seriously, I believe you should dress the part. 


In a world where working at home is the new thing, it can also be easy to dress more casually. Though many people are still meeting in person, there is something to be said for looking great and feeling great in your clothes. It gives the wearer confidence and others believe that you care about your appearance. 


What I have found in talking to many professionals is that when you dress with confidence,  you also do a few other things. You keep your weight in balance. You will know if your best clothes are getting tight sooner than if you wear your more comfortable clothes. 


You walk and speak with confidence. There is nothing like a well groomed, well dressed professional who makes their presence known just by being who they are. 


You have that power too. So put aside the flip flops, shorts, tshirts, stretchy yoga pants. I am not saying get rid of those as all of those have their time and place too but in the professional part of your life in 2021, get gussied up. 


Gals put on your dresses, blouses, dress pants, skirts, dress up shoes and jewelry. Gents, iron your trousers, shirts, pull on your socks and buff up your shoes. 


I always feel great about myself when I do my self-care routine, fix my hair, and then dress for the day. 

You never know who you’ll run into and you always want to make a great first impression. Other people aside, you want to feel amazing every single day. 


You are worth the energy of showing up as your most powerful self.


Best,


Manal

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Culturally Responsive Teaching

When I think about education today and the role the teacher or mentor plays, they have a lot to deal with to ensure everyone feels safe, heard, understood and respected.


In the classroom today, there are varying norms, beliefs and behaviors passed down from generations of family members and societies. 


For example, a student may answer in a certain way, not give eye contact or behave a certain way that may seem disrespectful but in their culture may be a way of showing respect and honor. 


What we want is for all our students to succeed. 


In the book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, Zaretta Hammond writes that “by third grade, many culturally and linguistically diverse students are one or more years behind in reading.” 


Leaders and educators must be willing to take a look at what is and how that is impacting the education of our students. This could be done in a variety of ways, perhaps a brainstorming session to look at the experiences that have formed stereotypes which have overtime turned to implicit bias. These may be conscious or unconscious to us now. 


Perhaps the unintentional, unconscious attitudes might be impacting how students are related to. In turn this affects everything else about the educational system we have now to include students, parents, educators, curriculum, parents, and how learning is planned and assessed. 


Here is a test online that can be taken to find out your implicit bias: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/


Are you operating from a place of critical care? Is your learning environment a place that marries high expectations with empathy and compassion?  Are your students, regardless of socioeconomic status or background, being held to high standards? Has your past interaction with a particular race of people impacted your ability to communicate with parents? Identify those places in your instructional planning where you might have allowed your implicit biases to prevent you from pushing your students to achieve at optimal levels. 


I believe as we look at our bias and answer hard questions, we can find the answers together that result in an educational system that works for all. 


Best, 



Manal