Teachers as Role Models: Seven Ways to make a Positive Impact

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They want to be just like you. Are you being a positive role model?
Seven Ways to Be a Powerful Role Model
Note: This article appears in an altered form on Dr. Robyn’s Powerful Parenting Blog as a service of the Powerful Words Character Program for member schools.

A role model is a person whose behavior is imitated by others. Of course, there are both good role models and bad role models. There’s even the counterintuitive anti-role model, discussed in today’s Boston Globe, who behaves so badly that s/he serves as a good example of what NOT to do.

We all hope that children have good, strong role models who possess the kind of qualities that make our students want to be (and become) better people. While there is some variation in every teacher’s definition of what it means to be a good person, the following 7 characteristics of a positive role model remain constant.

Positive role models;

(1) Model positive choice-making: Little eyes are watching and little ears are listening. When it comes to being a role model, you must be aware that the choices you make don’t only impact you but also the children who regard you as their superhero. Someday, they will be in the same predicament and think to themselves, “What did s/he do when s/he was in the same situation?” When you are a role model it’s not enough to tell your charges the best choices to make. You must put them into action yourself.

(2) Think out loud: When you have a tough choice to make, allow the children to see how you work through the problem, weight the pros and cons, and come to a decision. The process of making a good decision is a skill. A good role model will not only show a child which decision is best, but also how they to come to that conclusion. That way, the child will be able to follow that reasoning when they are in a similar situation.

(3) Apologize and admit mistakes: Nobody’s perfect. When you make a bad choice, let those who are watching and learning from you know that you made a mistake and how you plan to correct it. This will help them to understand that (a) everyone makes mistakes; (b) it’s not the end of the world; (c) you can make it right; and (d) you should take responsibility for it as soon as possible. By apologizing, admitting your mistake, and repairing the damage, you will be demonstrating an important yet often overlooked part of being a role model.

(4) Follow through: We all want children to stick with their commitments and follow through with their promises. However, as adults, we get busy, distracted, and sometimes, a bit lazy. To be a good role model, we must demonstrate stick-to-itiveness and self discipline. That means; (a) be on time; (b) finish what you started; (c) don’t quit; (d) keep your word; and (e) don’t back off when things get challenging. When role models follow through with their goals, it teaches children that it can be done and helps them adopt an “if s/he can do it, so can I” attitude.

(5) Show respect: You may be driven, successful, and smart but whether you choose to show respect or not speaks volumes about the type of attitude it takes to make it in life. We always tell children to “treat others the way we want to be treated” and yet, may not subscribe to that axiom ourselves. Do you step on others to get ahead? Do you take your spouse, friends, staff or colleagues for granted? Do you show gratitude or attitude when others help you? In this case, it’s often the little things you do that make the biggest difference in how children perceive how to succeed in business and relationships.

(6) Be well rounded: While we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin, it’s important to show children that we can be more than just one thing. Great role models aren’t just “teachers.” They’re people who show curiosities and have varied interests. They’re great learners and challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zones. You may be a teacher who’s also a student of martial arts or yoga, a great chef, a good sportsman, a father and a treasured friend. You may be a coach who’s a gifted dancer, a solid rock climber, a celebrated singer, a mother and a curious photographer. When children see that their role models can be many things, they will learn that they don’t need to pigeon-hole themselves in order to be successful.

(7) Demonstrate confidence in who you are: Whatever you choose to do with your life, be proud of the person you’ve become and continue to become. It may have been a long road and you may have experienced bumps along the way, but it’s the responsibility of a role model to commemorate the lessons learned, the strength we’ve amassed, and the character they’ve developed. We can always get better, however, in order for children to celebrate who they are, their role models need to show that confidence doesn’t start “5 pounds from now,” “2 more wins on top of this one,” or “1 more possession than I have today.” We must continue to strive while being happy with how far we’ve come at the same time.

While it may seem like a great deal of pressure to be a positive role model; nobody is expecting you to be superhuman. We certainly wouldn’t expect that behavior from the children who are looking to us for answers and guidance—nor would we want them to expect that kind of flawless behavior from themselves or others. You can only do your best. And, if you mess up today, you can always refer back to tip #3 and try again tomorrow. Good role models earn multiple chances from the children who believe in them and know they can do anything if they simply put their mind to it.

Here’s to a Powerful Week!

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Dr. Robyn is a STAR!!

Wow! I had the most amazing weekend ever! As many of you know, our very own Dr. Robyn Silverman took on the role of Rosie Alvarez in Bye, Bye, Birdie…and I gotta tell ya…she was AWESOME!

I had the pleasure of watching the show on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon and it seems that it just keeps getting better and better. Now, I know that my wife is a spectacular singer, however, her performances were showstopping!

Here’s a youtube clip of one of her numbers…please understand that the video and sound quality DOES NOT DO HER JUSTICE in any way shape or form!

Enjoy!

Jason M. Silverman
Powerful Words Character Development

Taking good risks: Teaching courage by example

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Teaching by example. We talk about it often. But how do we teach courage when adult life can often appear mundane or monotonous? Sometimes, we just have to do something out of the ordinary.

Just as our coach did with us, when I work with my coaching clients on envisioning their best year for 2008, I ask them to “name their year.” For confidentiality sake, I won’t divulge what my clients have come up with but I’ll let you know my own personal label for 2008; The Year of Taking Risks. Not stupid risks (well, I’ll certainly try not to make those) but risks that push me. In keeping with that theme, each week, I make sure that I do something to get me out of my comfort zone.

We’re all so busy. Who has time for risk-taking? But in order to evolve, it’s important to put yourself out there, don’t you think? Adulthood can get a little too comfortable and predictable—and that makes us get stale.

I know Jason told our Powerful Words Family that I earned the part of Rosie in my community theater’s rendition of “Bye Bye Birdie.” In fact, this weekend is opening weekend and last night was opening night. It’s thrilling and scary and fun all rolled up into each performance. Many of the responses we received were of surprise or shock– who knew? It seems so “out of character,” right? But I figure, sometimes out of character means strengthening character.

It was only a few short month’s ago that I finished playing the part of Joy, the wicked stepsister, in Cinderella. Performing in both plays was part of taking risks—not just because I tried out for the plays, but because of what I need to do with the characters to make them interesting.

Perhaps like many of you, I consider myself a pretty focused, happy, friendly, straight-laced person. As adults, we often find ourselves needing to be pretty serious during the typical day—and we loose the silliness in our life. Even working with kids doesn’t always save us from being, well, a bit mundane.

Landing the part of Joy in Cinderella meant I needed to be everything opposite of my norm; miserable, ridiculous, confrontational, over-the-top and yes, absolutely silly. When I first started rehearsals, I remember feeling uncomfortable. The director pushed me and I started taking risks. It was hard to get out of rehearsals without laughing a good belly laugh at the craziness of it all. I found the humor in Joy, and more importantly, it helped me to find the humor in myself.

Rosie has helped me uncover another side of myself that can sometimes be squashed in the day to day. Yes, she can be brazen and sassy, but I’m referring more to what it took for me to play the part. Courage. The role calls for a lot of singing—sometimes being left on stage for minutes at a time while the spotlight focuses just on one person; me. The opportunity reminded me about putting confidence and courage into action. We all talk about doing these things—but do we really challenge ourselves?

It seems to me, and I hope you agree, that our students have this same opportunity when they join your academies. Perhaps in their regular life they’re shy, or they’re perceived as “not the type” to show up at a school like yours. You know who I’m talking about, right? At first, they might seem timid or unsure of themselves. But over time, something clicks and they aren’t just going through the motions anymore. The activity gets into their blood, and the process brings out a side of them that they might not have even known existed. What a gift.

Let’s encourage our students, staff, and ourselves to take the kind of risks that allow them to uncover sides of themselves that they haven’t seen for a while—or maybe even a side that they never knew existed. This makes us better students and teachers and more dynamic, more interesting people.

Here’s to doing something out-of-character that builds character!

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Justice for Ashley: My Niece’s Teacher Died Too Soon

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The kids all called her “Miss Mac” and loved her greatly.

Hi everyone-

I wanted to share a personal story that was featured in the Washington Post today that has touched my life recently.

My six year old niece, Evie, and her classmates received some devastating news when one of their favorite teaching assistants, Ashley McIntosh, age 22, was killed in a traffic accident last month. Concerns have been launched about the fairness of the investigation because the accident happened when a police car collided with Ashley’s car. The family is suffering greatly since little information has been released as the police are doing their investigation.

Witnesses clearly saw the police car speeding without a siren, yet with lights, towards the intersection where Ashley was thrown from the car and killed. Here is the full article.

Now close to 800 people, including myself and my family, have signed a petition asking for a thorough and fair investigation by police. It can be signed publicly or anonymously but please, would you take a moment to sign it? They are not asking for any money– just a signature of support. The McIntosh family has already been through so much and the children and families who loved her deserve to know what “really” happened.

NOTE: Petitioners have been advised not to contribute money to the website. “Advise supporters NOT to contribute to the petition website. That is not associated with our effort.” Also, you can uncheck the box regarding getting any future emails regarding any other petitions– this is also not part of the effort.

Petition here.

Warm regards,

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Parents Choice Writing Award And Parenting Publication Awards

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I couldn’t wait to share the good news with all of you…

As many of you know, I am a proud columnist for Bay State Parent magazine, a highly praised monthly in New England. We just received notification that Bay State Parent was designated a “2008 Parents’ Choice Approved” award winner in a national magazine contest, sponsored by the Parents Choice Foundation last week.

The non-profit Parents’ Choice Foundation honors magazines that are entertaining, edifying, and that pass on accurate information to parents and/or children.

The judges wrote: “Regular features in this free Massachusetts regional parenting publication include Family Calendar of Events, Fun, Educational Activities, Family Health, and Adoption Insights. Articles are written for parents, by parents and professionals. Supported by family friendly advertisers.”

Contributors to the award-winning magazine entries were: Dr. Robyn Silverman, Alyson Aiello, Dr. Kerri Augusto, Amy Benoit, Robin Burke, Rose Cafasso,
Leslie Castillo, Michelle Xiarhos Curran, Antoinette Donovan, Lynn Jolicoeur,
Jennifer Lefferts, Kate M. Jackson, Jane Mackay, Sue Lovejoy, Jennifer Luccarelli, Sarah MacDonald, Marguerite Paolino, Elizabeth C. Regan, Donna Roberson, Susan Spencer, Tim Sullivan, & Donna White

Other 2008 winners that received the same designation include: “Sports
Illustrated for Kids, Sesame Street Magazine, and Highlights magazine”

Previous winners have included: Adoptive Families magazine, Family Fun and Ranger Rick magazines.

Judging: In the 2008 Parents’ Choice Magazine Awards numerous families and teachers
pour over many publications, page-by-page, carefully considering the content and appraising the appeal of the publications. Deliberations and final selections were conducted by an esteemed panel of judges. The magazine awards have been given out annually since 1995. The foundation, established in 1978, also reviews books, toys, music, television, software, videogames, Web sites, and magazines for children and/or families of all
achievements and backgrounds.

This news comes on the heals of Bay State’s recent 16 awards from Parenting Publications of America: From design to editorial awards, Bay State won 16 awards less than 1 month ago from Parenting Publications of America. Included in those awards, I was so proud and honored to be selected as the Silver Award winner for my series on Fitting In and Standing Out on Body Image and dealing with media pressures in America. The judges said, “Timely and informative, these columns contain the ideal mix of fact and narrative.” I was also proud to be part of the Bronze Awards given to Bay State Parent for Overall Excellence in Reporting and Overall General Excellence.

 

And finally, Bay State Parent was awarded Best Parenting Publication in North America: Suburban Newspaper of America named Bay State Best Parenting Publication for the third time. The judges wrote: “Good job in covering parenting issues that are current.” Writers who contributed to the issue included: Kerri Augusto, Amy Benoit, Robin Burke, Rosemary Cafasso, Lindsay Crone, Marta Kowalczyk, Jennifer Lefferts, Sue Lovejoy, Jane Mackay, Maria Marien, Marguerite Paolino, Dr. Robyn Silverman, & calendar editor Carrie Wattu.

*Remember, every time this kind of award-winning news gets out, the good name and great schools using Powerful Words comes along with it! Thank you for being part of our family.

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Cool Tool to Build Traffic and Google Rankings!

I am always on the hunt for marketing systems that will make my life easier and our business stronger. Over the years I’ve invested a nice chunk of change to test drive a host of different tools and today, I’d like to share one with you that absolutely LOVE!

About 6 months ago while at one of my Master Mind Meetings, one of my friends told me about a service called “SubmitYourArticle.com” He told me that he had been using it to help build traffic to his site as well as increase his online presence in Google. Like most other things I hear, I was pretty skeptical – most things, I’ve learned, are usually NOT what they claim to be. So…I did nothing…except file the information away in the back of my mind.

Now, fast-forward 5 months…Dr. Robyn and I are having a conversation about our plans for growth and one of the points on the agenda is to start using Article Marketing as a tool for Powerful Words as well as some of our other interests. For those of you who don’t yet know about article marketing – it’s pretty straight forward – there are a zillion different “article banks” on the internet that provide Free articles to anybody that want them (folks with websites, newsletters, ezines, etc.).

Now, you might be wondering why giving away articles would help grow a business or an internet presence…well – the beauty of all of the articles you provide is the little resource box at the end. You know…the one that says;

“Dr. Robyn Silverman is a child development specialist, success coach, and parenting expert. Known as “The Character Queen,” she’s the creator of the Powerful Words Character Toolkit, a character-building program for children’s activity centers and families. For more information, or to contact Dr. Robyn, please visit http://www.DrRobynSilverman.com or to take part in her Powerful Parenting Blog, visit http://www.DrRobynsBlog.com

This little box provides links back to your site which generates traffic…and hopefully interested prospects!!!

I started to research all of the different article banks on the internet and my mind started to swim – there are a gazillion of ’em. The time I’d spend submitting to all of them would prohibit me from doing anything else…so…I took a good look at submityourarticle.com and fell in love with it. I won’t bore ya with all of the details about how it works…if ya wanna learn about that – simply click on the link and check it out (I strongly urge anybody that wants more webtraffic, more google rankings, more clients, and more profit to do so IMMEDIATELY!), however, I will share some interesting statistics with you:

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We started using the service on March 1st 2008. So far, we’ve submitted 5 articles (you’re permitted to submit 8 per month). These are our results:

The 5 articles have been re-published 90 times. The 5 articles have been viewed (only on the one site we submitted them) 200 times. 64 people have subscribed to Dr. Robyn’s Free Article Feed!

If you want to see the results for yourself – simply go to google and enter “dr robyn silverman” and see how many pages pop up!

How would something like this help you? Well…imagine a parent searching for an activity for their child – they google something like “your town gymnastics” or “your town martial arts” or “your town dance”, etc. Now imagine that when they googled, they saw 10-15 pages of listings of different articles you’ve written…makes you an expert, doesn’t it? Odds are, they’ll click over to your school’s website…hopefully it’s a prospecting site that captures their information, and immediately and automatically starts the marketing process! (wow..this is a whole different post for another day)

In any case, we are firm believers that this service is helpful – make your own decision – I’m sure you’ll find it insightful!

best regards,

Jason M. Silverman

POWerful Words Character Development

Birthday Specials for Everyone!

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Happy Birthday…to Me!!! Yup, it’s that time again – I’m excited to say that I’m another year better, another year smarter, and another year closer to reaching all of my goals!

As many of you know, I always like to GIVE a birthday present on my birthday to others…with Gratitude month coming up shortly, it helps me to stay focused on how much we appreciate the amazing people we consider the Powerful Words Family.

So…this year, I’ve got a couple of goodies for you – feel free to take advantage of all of them or just one of ‘em!

1.) a FREE Hardcover Edition of The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hanson and Robert Allen.(value $23 + shipping) If you’d like me to send this to you, all I ask is that you send us an e-mail telling us what your favorite thing about POWerful Words is and exactly how it’s helped you to make your school more successful. If you’d feel more comfortable just recording it on the phone, here’s the number to dial – 1-800-609-9006 x9456

2.) 100 FREE Powerful Words “Thank You” Post Cards $59.97 value (perfect for Gratitude Month) with the purchase of any POWerful Words Banner:

Click Here to buy a Powerful Words – Your Academy Changes Lives Banner –

Click Here to buy a Teacher Appreciation Week Banner –

3.) Buy 500 Postcards, get 500 Postcards FREE!

Click Here if you live in the USA

Click Here if you don’t live in the USA

4.) Free Marketing Coaching Session (Value $500) with upgrade from Gold to Platinum Level Membership (to take advantage…contact me at 877-769-3799)

5.) Free Million Dollar Idea – check out this youtube video that one of our member schools did today…this video is like a mini-commercial floating around on the internet bringing traffic to their site and interested students to their doors – I can’t wait to see your video!

Alright folks – this offer is good until Monday, March 24, 2008 because I know most people won’t be checking their e-mails over this holiday weekend.

Dr. Robyn is whisking me away to a nice dinner and then a show at a comedy club – I’ve always felt that laughter is a gift in and of itself.

I hope this year is bringing you closer to all of your hopes and dreams!

Warm regards,

Jason

Jason M. Silverman

Executive Director/Marketing Director

POWerful Words Character Development