Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Leadership: Reawakening the Nation through our Schools

On Saturday, May 1, 2010, I was privileged to present a two-hour program titled Educators: Reawakening the Heart of the Nation through our Schools to 150 educators at a leadership conference weekend organized through a partnership of the Bergen County Education Association and Passaic County Education Association.

The presentation affirmed the essential role of educators in reawakening the nation as a response to contemporary concerns of corruption, violence and under the influence issues. It stressed the importance of creating a culture of character, achievement and security in our school communities.

Some highlights addressed additional issues including:

  • Online Social Networking
  • Bullying/Cyberbullying
  • Gangs/Guns/Drugs
  • Eleven Principles of Character Education
  • School Safety and Security Best Practices
  • Principles of Crisis Management
  • Sexting/Text Rage
  • Diversity
  • Anger Management Principles for Students
  • Altruism: Essential for the School Community
  • Rachel's Challenge
  • Patriotism: Critical to the School Culture
  • Issues of Shattered Families
  • Early Warning Signs and Timely Collaborative Response
  • Building Better Staff/Parent/Community Connections
  • Preventive Education Transformation through Character

As with all of my presentations for educators, my goal was to empower them to use all of the resources we discussed to serve the youth entrusted to their care. Perhaps my closing words of the program crystallize the importance of the role that educators have in transforming the nation:

"Michelangelo and Da Vinci created the statue of David and Mona Lisa, respectively. Through Picasso's Guernica, individuals can see the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war. Van Gogh's paintings have captivated and given millions serenity, comfort and inspiration.

"But above and beyond the mastery of all of the world's greatest artists, only a teacher can mold the heart of a child."

It was indeed an honor for me to address such dedicated individuals who serve our youth in school communities and I encourage them to realize how vital they are to the nation's schools, communities and families.

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