Following in the footsteps of three generations of outstanding educators, I took on the career of a high school teacher in my early twenties.  Being the new kid on the block, I was given two classes out of five that were "at risk" students.  High school students don't usually relish in the idea of math class and most "at risk" kids seem to see math as a total waste of their time.  The challenge was to bring my students up to a standard set by the state of California, so they could graduate.

I turned to my mother, who had a thirty year career as a public school educator, as my mentor.  She inspired me to do what I like to do most…play.  So I created a game for myself and my students, which looked a little like the high jump.  I would set the bar for the minimum standard and once my students got close, I would move the bar.  Over the course of a year, not only did they meet the standard set by the state of California and graduate, some of them even exceeded the standard and went on to college.  Lesson learned, never settle for the minimum standard....always be moving the expectation for what is acceptable to what is possible. Excellence is the only standard!

Today, I find myself in a sales, marketing and public relations career. So many of my peers have  accepted conformity and doing what worked yesterday until it does not work anymore as the acceptable standard.  I find myself playing the high jump game in my post at the nation’s leading Automotive Management and Sales Staff Recruiters and Sales Performance Training firm .  When a staff member is overwhelmed with a perceived impossible task, I help them break it down into step by step achievable goals.  When a goal is set and a minimum standard is met, we move the bar.  The momentum of this individual is always moving forward and our goal lines are always rising.  What the individual once thought was impossible is not only possible, it is our reality.  This challenge keeps the over achievers motivated and the underachievers on the hustle.

It is not the slowest run time or the shortest jump that meets the mark.  Striving further than you once thought you could is how you make your mark in this world.

 

Copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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Comment by Stephanie Young on August 25, 2011 at 11:21am
Thanks, Tony.  Cheers to a great week!!!
Comment by Tony Provost on August 25, 2011 at 11:00am
Stephanie- So true! Raising the bar, is so beneficial for all involved! Have a great week!
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 24, 2011 at 9:23am

Randolph, once again I can think my Mom for being the beginning of a long line of outstanding educators in my life.  All I do is continue to carry that torch. 

 

Marsh, my mother would love your words.  She retired last year after a 30 year career as a public school teacher.  I love it when she gets on her "If I was in charge of public education....." soap box.  Apparently, I listened to her and feel the same, excellence is the only standard.  My Mom was my first mentor when I was a teacher and continues to inspire me in corporate America.  That woman is a genius even when she is guilt tripping us kids....lol

 

BC, thank you!!!!  I am in good company here on DE and have got to bring my A game. 

Comment by Marsh Buice on August 23, 2011 at 4:34pm

I applaud you Stephanie; like the Freedom Writers, you gave your students something to shoot for. Conformity is the new standard; sadly we are raising a generation to do just enough. Glad to know there are many out there-such as yourself who believe excellence should be the new good enough. The impact you left on those students no doubt has resonated in their lives-you gave them something to look forward to...not just look at.

Comment by Randolph S. Lofgren on August 23, 2011 at 2:34pm
Stephanie, You are so right, Lean On Me is a very good movie. Just goes to show, you dream it, it can come true!
From reading your posts you have written Stephanie, it shows your education started at birth! Burn it up!!!
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 23, 2011 at 1:50pm
Joe, my junior high track coach use to say, "It is not the slowest run time or the shortest jump that gets the gold.  You have to strive further than you think you can if your want to make the mark."
Comment by Joe Clementi on August 23, 2011 at 1:43pm
Nice share Stephanie! I see that more now that my eldest daughter is in junior high.  Can't say so much about my daughter that is in middle school.  Only a select few actually practice raising the bar.  It's a shame some settle for "getting by" while others truly push for higher standards.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 23, 2011 at 11:08am
Randolph, Lean On Me is such a great movie.  I was just sharing today with a fellow DE member how much learned and not employ as a manager from my teachers, coaches and mentors.  I may be smart, but they make me look like a genius.  Thank you for the compliment.
Comment by Randolph S. Lofgren on August 23, 2011 at 10:48am
Stephanie - Lean On Me!
You are an inspiration to all.
Comment by Stephanie Young on August 23, 2011 at 9:21am
Thanks, Jim.

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