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I’m doing well, how are you doing, Connery?
Good. So the people who listen to the show, they know there’s really three parts, and our intros really the same here, it’s about the past, the present and the future, and we’re talking all before the episode here about your background, and it seems like you’ve made this transition in multiple different teaching environments where you’ve gone from being a public teacher, you get some virtual training that started your own company, and you really started to scale that up. So to start things off, give us the background, like where did you start at a school, and what kind of work did you do early in your career?
Well, I was never someone that really liked school at all, actually, I struggled a lot as a young person in school, and so I graduated with an English Degree and really know what I wanted to do, and then… Teaching kinda just fell into my lap. It was just, Let me try this… My mother was a teacher for 30 years, I always said I wouldn’t be one, but let me try and see how it goes in and live in the first two months of teaching. It clicked, I absolutely loved it. I just love being able to see someone’s light ball turn on when they understand the concept, and I love working with kids, and I saw the benefit that they… That would bring to them when they learned something and it was really cemented in their brain, and so I got really crazy about how people learn and I went to school, but back to school, first I got a degree in multiculturalism, of graduate degree, mostly because of really wanting to ensure, created diversity in my classroom and broader… Sure, ’cause I was a literature teacher that spoke to all my students and not just one group of students, and that was really important to me to create a healthy dialogue in the classroom because studies show when students are comfortable and feel safe, that’s when they really learned so that was always Michael, and then I went back and I got another master’s in educational leadership and really honed in on adult learning theory. And then eventually I decided to start teaching online and it just was really intriguing to me, and I felt like that is where the future is going to be, and so this was back in 2009, 2010. and so I started teaching online, and within that school, they asked me to create courses, which I really love doing, ’cause then it was all about, well, What engaging activity in game, what can we do to really make this engaging… ’cause as you know, a lot of online learning to be pretty boring, pretty much click through the module and stare at a screen, we wanted to do something different, which we did, that job went really well, and I still Moonlight and teacher at school online since 2014. I won the North Carolina Virtual teacher of the year was really launched my career, and I was able to go to a lot of speaking engagements all over the country, I competed nationally for the National Teacher here, I didn’t win, but I met so many people is able to give a lot of speeches about how to create engaging digital learning and training, and then I was getting asked by so many organizations to create virtual training for them, because that literally is where everyone was going, and so I started doing that as a freelancer, and it became so lucrative that I created the company reach you in 2016, and have a team, and we have a training development process that we’ve invented and copyrighted, and we really enjoyed the rides and stuff. Yeah, and so you bring up… I actually, a bunch of really interesting points. I myself have been to a few different… I’ve been in Canada and the US for both the educational systems, I have a doctor as well from the US and a Bachelors from Canada, so I’ve kind of got to experience multiple countries, multiple different levels of education, and I can say that one of the things that I notice is that education hasn’t adapted or changed as fast as the world has changed around it.
What are your thoughts on that? Do you feel like the education has been somewhat stale or stagnant compared to the rest of the world and technology and all the pieces that are moving extremely. So especially in the country, love the United States, and I think that sometimes when you’re such a large country and you have so many moving parts and so many decision makers and so many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, it’s really hard to make changes and to say, West of the best, and what’s not the best. And so, no, I don’t believe things have moved as fast as they should, and I believe that is a complex… There’s a lot of complex reason reasoning for that, do I think there’s amazing teachers and educators out there… Yes, but I think as a whole, we need to move forward. And it’s happening, but it’s a lot slower than the rest of the world, for sure.
Yeah, and it’s kind of interesting when we transition into the higher education where people are paying and taking that to go to post-secondary education, get it, go to college, university, whatever, get a degree, what are your thoughts around the rising cost of education versus what is being delivered. What are your thought there, should people do degrees at this point, should people be self-hot and go more of this one-on-one learning from the businesses they wanna work with, how should people approach altar… I don’t know, 15 to 15, 18-year-olds right now. And they’re thinking about what they’re gonna do in the next couple of years for school.Honestly think that it’s always… ’cause it’s a double-edge sword kind of question, because honestly, some of the, in my opinion, worst teaching is in higher, large have some good educators there, but we have a lot of educators that are just standing at the front of the classroom and lecturing to a crowd, and honestly, studies have shown that is the worst way to learn, only one or 2% of the population can learn that way, I certainly… Have a difficult time learning that way. So for me, if you’re gonna spend all this money and you’re gonna have probably a very hard time learning from your educators and for professors, is it worth it?
Now, the other side is, companies look at resumes, and if they see that you do not have a college education, bare minimum, your resume is gonna be some tossed or thrown to the bottom of the pile, so there is something to be said that you need to get the foot into the door. What I did is I decided, Okay, well, I didn’t have always had the grades to get into an Ivy League school, so I searched for good education systems that were affordable. I went to this Carolina University for my multicultural is a degree, and it was online and it was at a reasonable price, I also looked at app state, and they had a reasonable price as well for my educational leadership to 3.So I don’t regret going back to school twice was a bit more expensive than I wanted her to be.
Sure, and I wish that the Higher Learning wasn’t such a business model and was more to try to create adults that are contributing members to society, but we’re in the reality that we’re in, so I think at least getting some sort of a degree is important, just so that you are not prejudiced against in the culture that we’re in, a…
Yeah, you know, that’s a really good point, ’cause I think if you’re saying that, if I’m hearing this correctly, your opinion is really that you probably don’t actually need the education, but the prejudice or the system is set up in such a way that if you don’t have the degree. It’s gonna put you at a disadvantage. Is that kind of what I’m hearing?
Yes, and I have people on my team that don’t have a college degree, but their work is unbelievable, is over the top of me is at… And I met them through different avenues and was able to get to know them, but I’m not like every other boss out there, there’s a lot of people out there that are just gonna say, Yeah, you do great work, but you don’t have a college degree. I’m not like that. If you do great work, I don’t care if you don’t have a college degree. I can train anyone who’s willing to learn and has some basic skills to do what we need to do, especially if they have good values, for me, it’s all about, do you have good values to have integrity. Do you have the character? And do you have a good work on it?
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more, right? At the end of the day, it’s like, we have a team of 16 virtual assistants, we got people that we work with all over the world, and I have never even looked at a resume from any of them…
I don’t care, it’s like, Listen, these are the things I’m thinking that you’re gonna need to do every day.
Do you think you could do those things for me and does the money make sense, the money in versus the money out, right? If you’re doing these tasks, this is what I think it’s gonna be worth… Is that correct? Yes or No, and then we kinda just actually cute in agreement to have those people on the team, and at the end of the day, it’s like a degree, it’s like you’re gonna have a huge amount of debt in doing a degree program for what… And I think at the end of the day, school is designed for people who want a job, they wanna work for somebody else, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that because the world can’t operate without… Not everyone could be a boss, it’s just not the case, but I think you’re gonna see with everything with covid as we roll out over the next six to eight months here, my guess is that there’s gonna be a lot more self-employed people, and the reason there’s gonna be that is people are realizing like, What am I doing? I’m working 15 years for a Fortune 5000 company that doesn’t even know my name, you have a 401, maybe a little bit of investment, but I’m just selling my current… Every single thing, right?
And people are gonna realize that that is not the way to live at this point in time, you don’t have to go to an office every day or every day five days a week for 40 hours a week, and just go put in the time and then leave that’s not really enjoyable life, but people do it because it’s what the social norm has become, so one of the things that I’m interested in your perspective on is why they don’t teach specific things in school.
So right now, I’m reading a book called tax free, well, it’s written by one of Robert cisos cpas, and they’re talking about in the book, all the techniques of how to minimize your tax reliability, how to be a little bit more financially savvy, and it made me think it doesn’t matter what level of education you go through, they never teach any of that, how to file taxes, how to minimize your taxes, how to build a business, how to file in corporation… All these different pieces. Why don’t they teach that in school, and I can give you that answer easily.
So we’re given a State curriculum that we’re supposed to teach to those standards, and our students are going to be taking test as it’s quite every single year. In North Carolina, we call the OCS regs, depending on what grade level you’re at, and you have to teach the kids these specific standards, and if they don’t do well on those standards, on the test, which by the way, tests don’t really measure how much the child knows let’s just put it out there. But that is the system we’re in, if they don’t do well, you are evaluated based on that you are as a teacher, taken in and said, Okay, well, why do you have this percentage of students make the pop that of scale on one to four in North Carolina and other states too. It’s different, but it’s the same system. Why didn’t your students make before what… So find teachers are teaching to a standard, to a curriculum standard that may not be the best benefit to those students, a curriculum standard that is reviewed each year, but isn’t always the best fit for the students that are in your classroom.
So that’s one reason.
Another reason you’re a teacher, you make… Maybe when I was teaching, and again, this was like 10 years ago, but we were on a hiring trees, I think the most I took home the entire time I was teaching was 2400 year, meaning that with a college degree, I couldn’t even… Thank goodness at the time I was married ’cause I couldn’t even live on my own with a college degree, and at one point a master’s superheat so that you’re working for bucks and you have 35 students sometimes. At one point, I had 42 students in one class or…
Well, that’s not teaching, that’s crowd control that I’m throwing this up there, and here’s the thing, I was not to do my own Armenia, a good teacher, I was on… My kids love me, I establish good relationships with them, and I try to make my classroom engaging, that’s kind of a hard thing to do, and it’s not everyone’s skill set, and I still struggle with teaching 35 students that want to come from varying backgrounds and vary, so here you are, you have all these standards. You have to teach your 35 students a day. For hours a day. It’s a struggle.
It’s a real struggle.
In fact, what I under up doing because not only as financial things usually not talk in the classroom, and if you’re a good teacher, you figure out a way to get that in there. I had an amazing co-teacher who taught me everything I know and she found their way, even though he talked to the standards, to talk about how to balance a check book and what taxes and things that weren’t… She wasn’t supposed to talk about… But I mean that she was going above and beyond because that wasn’t the standard, and then for me, I taught through English and I tag on life skills like What is having a good character look like, what is having a good self-esteem look like? What does proactive mean? And what is reactive? And the reason I did that is because now, for a middle class family, in order to be a middle cost family to have two parents working full-time, so these kids are going home, their parents get home at six, parents don’t have time sometimes to teach them those kind of character values, not even talking about the kids that come from dysfunctional families, so I found myself teaching that in the classroom, just number one, to have good classroom management with the behavior, and number two, because I felt, Hey, they need to know how to be good contributing members of society.
So with all of that side, that is why it’s a struggle for those things to be taught in the classroom, it’s a multi-complex problem, but it starts with teachers are not paid enough, there’s too many students in one class or the teacher didn’t even reach… And in the curriculum needs to be re-evaluated based on the student in the classroom means not based on some overall state tatars, and those are all good points that you bring up to is that people are teaching… It’s almost an ethics question of morality question, it’s… We’ve created a system where you’re teaching, not what you believe important, but what people need for the test, and it’s crazy, it’s crazy to think about that because I went to Pacific School, which was a five-year degree on top of a four-year undergraduate ’cause it’s a doctorate. And the whole time, all five years was like, Why do you need to know this?
Oh, well, the board exam is gonna ask you this question, Listen, That is the stupidest answer to possibly here is that all the boards are gonna teach this, so you have to answer the question probably right.
At the end of the day, it’s like, Doesn’t anybody sit there and go, maybe we could do this a little bit differently, right? And instead of just teaching something because it’s gonna show up on another piece of paper in a test in six months or six weeks or whatever, that seems like a cyclical, bad logical reasoning kind of situation where it’s like, Well, we’re gonna teach the thing that we know is not important because it’s gonna be on a task that you’re never gonna need to take again in your life, and you’re never actually use that in your life, that’s like… What kind of logic is that?
So I guess my ask to you is, what do you think are some of the things that could be added in without disrupting the whole system, what other things do you think are valuable based on your experience that should be added into the school system, either through the K to 12 programs or in the post-secondary education? Well, I think that students should be evaluated before they even enter classroom for the first of the year, figure out what their interests are, where are the gaps in their learning and group based on where students need to be, not just group them based on whatever…
I think it’s important to do project-based and choice learning, you say, Hey guys, we have to learn this, but here’s five different ways that you can complete the learning.
A lot of teachers are doing that because studies show that when you give a child choice, they succeed better, but there’s other teachers that don’t do that, some teachers don’t even know to do that because honestly, you’re not really taught that in school, you’re taught that more… When you get on the job and you meet in a phenomenal…
I had phenomenal mentors. And the education system kind of, just take me on a tour. Windy don’t know what you’re doing. You’re following me. Thank goodness for that.
I do think that teachers need to really focused on what do your students need to learn, what are their learning styles, and where are they… You have to establish that knowledge base, you just can’t walk into a classroom and start lecturing, ’cause here’s the thing, kids do not learn from people they don’t like… People don’t really learn from people, they don’t like me, honestly, that’s what I bring, what I brought to my classroom and my online teaching is we also bring to all these organizations we work with to create internal training, we send a survey and analysis within the first phase to learn all we can about the internal staff to find out where they’re happy, where they’re sad with their weaknesses, what their strengths are, where they feel that they need to learn more, we talk about diversity and feelings there, and so when we meet with their higher-ups is not just about what their higher-ups think that they should be teaching, it’s about, Hey, let’s look at this data, this is where your team is happy, this is where your team feel those locks for, your team is not too happy, we need to… All this data, because in order for you to have a successful team that really contribute to your success, they need to feel like you’re there for them and that you value them in the end, human beings just wanna be valued and appreciated, and when they feel that they will go above and beyond.
So it’s always my intention, whether I’m teaching students or I’m teaching adults that they feel that and they feel that I’m really hearing them so that I can get them to reach their boss Financial. And with all of that said, talk a little bit about what you’re doing right now outside of that system, I can talk a little bit about the actual school system and like the standardized government kind of run school system, public school system. Talk a little bit about what you’re doing with your own company and then maybe drop some links or some profiles for people to find out based on what you’re looking for, customer-wise, how they can reach you.
Yeah, definitely. So right now, I’m just… I’m looking at a bunch of ten different industries based on the climate and culture that we’re in, I’m in taxis, a few big law enforcement, government agencies, obviously, there’s a need for reform based on what’s going on in the world today is in our country, and adding in some diversity training and things of that nature, and it’s just the beginning, it’s just the talks, but he’s going… It’s really exciting. We have a phase one brainstorm coming up with one of these law enforcement agencies, and we’re also in taxis, done civil rights activist groups. Obviously, we need a lot going on there with regard to more training and getting out education to everyone, and it’s really exciting because my team is all about making a difference and believing that education can change the world for the better, and so we try to focus on the industries that we feel have a need right now in those two industries are definitely one that we have been in a lot of great conversations with. I also am just kind of reaching out to e-commerce, it’s another big industry right now, they’re booming… I mean, think about it. Everybody’s home. So Eco-industry is just launching even higher ’cause everyone’s ordering everything online, so there’s a lot of need for hiring staff and more internal training there, and just a lot of other industries because everyone’s noted to learn how to manage their team and train their gene internally in a digital way.
We are not the first. Yes, training sometimes gets to the back burner and it isn’t until there’s a big upset or a big, Oh gosh, how did this person make this mistake when higher-ups are finally like, Well, we really need a… Efforts, we’ve been busy because of the climate we’re in, and it’s been really exciting to just kind of jump in, work with different HR directors and take a look at their training and just analyze and with them know how they can improve it to ensure that their workforce is the most productive and the most efficient and can drive the most sales, and then to wrap things up for the people who are interested in learning more about your business, your deliver goals, the kind of things that you’re doing, the services you’re offering, how can they reach you please reach out to me at info, I’m sorry, not reached, or Maria at reach you that media. You can also take a look at our website at ww-Rhodesian. I’m on LinkedIn, I have on Instagram. You can find it all there on the website, we blog every other week and talk about different training ideas, sometimes for different industries or just training overall. I always give prospective clients who inquire a free training guide on how to streamline your saving process for more success in the workplace, I love handing that over because even if you can’t hire us, at least you have something to work with and maybe help revamp your internal process, ’cause right now it’s tough times for everyone, Everyone’s since the pandemic has had a Patera, so we just wanna be there and provide services for quality training to help your team grow in the capacity that you want and say…
Awesome, well, thank you so much for coming on the prospecting show. educations become a topic that is more and more exciting for me, ’cause I’ve always been one of those people who thought, Hey, there’s a better way to do it, so it’s great to hear there’s other people who are sharing that vision and had been in the school system and scaled out of that system and into their own business, and for those of you who are interested in looking at Marian, some of the work that she’s doing, I think you should definitely check out the website, there’s a lot of opportunity there, especially with everyone going online, and yeah, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Thank you. can really appreciate the reach out. That was awesome.
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