When the Only Real Choice Is Private: My Unlikely Attraction to School Vouchers | by Marilyn Rhames

I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Marilyn Rhames at an educational event in DC this past week. Marilyn has taught in district and charter schools in Chicago since 2004 & now serves as an alumni support manager at a K-8 charter school, helping graduates persist through high school and on to college and careers. Rhames authors a popular self-titled blog for Education Post. A 2016 Surge Institute fellow, Rhames is dedicated to promoting more diverse education leadership to improve the education of students of color. She was also a Teach Plus teaching policy fellow in Chicago from 2010 to 2012.  In 2011, Rhames founded the Christian nonprofit Teachers Who Pray, which to date has more than 70 school chapters nationwide.

 

 

 

This particular blog is a dynamic piece that speaks to the realities of parent choice & public education as it relates to school vouchers! I appreciate Marilyn sharing her experience as it sheds light on the realities that parents are facing in the cornucopia of issues surrounding public education. Check out her blog here & leave a comment on this unique perspective: http://educationpost.org/when-the-only-real-choice-is-private-my-unlikely-attraction-to-school-vouchers/.

 

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“Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation” featuring Dr. Mary Hemphill

“Education is about not forgetting that you are seriously affecting the trajectory of a child’s life.” – Dr. Mary Hemphill

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It is with great pleasure that I share my newly released podcast “Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation” with Motivational Millennials, Ivy LaClair & Blake Brandes! This was such a powerful project, & it was amazing to connect & share on such a positive platform. I hope you enjoy, moldmakers!

Click here to listen to the podcast – (Ep. 5) Leadership in Education Influencing Every Generation with Dr. Mary Hemphill

Moldmaker Summer 2016 Reading List

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Moldmakers, feeding your mind & soul with purposeful information is just as important as feeding your body with healthy food. This summer I am committed to reading these four titles to gain more insight, more direction, & more wisdom for this year’s journey.

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinson

Jesus Entrepreneur by Laurie Beth Jones

If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities by Mark Batterson

Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

Stay tuned for updates & reflections throughout the summer. I’m excited about these new reads!

The Journey Continues Scholar Vlog – March/April/May 2016

The past three months have been hectic, amazing, & challenging. I have had the opportunity to spend time with family & friends,  celebrate special moments with loved ones, & embrace new opportunities that challenge me personally & professionally. Thank you for joining me on this scholarly journey!

New Leaders on the Block: Why Teacher Leadership and Shared Vision are Vital to North Carolina Schools

This week is off to an AMAZING start with the publication of my white paper entitled “The New Leaders on the Block: Why Teacher Leadership & Shared Vision are Vital to NC Schools” by Education NC! Teacher leadership is the key to transformation in our schools, & I am proud to share a few ways to help school & district leaders cultivate teacher leadership & shared vision in NC Schools! ‪#‎proudprincipal‬ ‪#‎publicedu‬ ‪#‎EDNC‬ ‪#‎education‬ ‪#‎motivation‬‪#‎moldmaker‬ ‪#‎scholarvlogger‬

New Leaders on the Block: Why Teacher Leadership & Shared Vision are Vital to NC Schools

#BeingFearless Challenge |Motivation

Moldmakers, the #BeingFearless challenge is on for the month of April, & I am challenging you to be fearless in your thoughts, actions, & your words. Let’s stop being fearful & allowing fear to consume our thoughts, & let’s start being fearless today!

A Month of Celebration! (Scholar Vlog – February 2016)

This was truly a month of celebration from having the opportunity to witness my amazing mentee, Jessica celebrate her many accomplishments through the Tomorrow Fund to keynoting the Black History Month program at a local church. Thank you for joining me on this scholarly journey!

A Month of Celebrations! Scholar Vlog – February 2016

One Year of Moldmaking

Be inspired. Educate yourself. Motivate others. – The Scholar Vlogger

e529017a442705313c2df659fc2bcb49One year ago, I posted my first video on YouTube & thus began my journey as the Scholar Vlogger. I purposed myself to lead a social media project that cultivated moldmakers through inspiration, education, & motivation. I called out to individuals from all walks of life in healthcare, public education, non-profit, & the private sector to fervently seek their passions & fulfill their purpose. Throughout this endeavor, I have learned a lot about myself, people, & the overall human condition. People are in desperate need of belonging to something greater than themselves. No matter the impact of the cause, people want to belong – to a group of friends, loved ones, online communities, their colleagues, & the list goes on & on. I have found, however, that defining oneself as a “moldmaker” oftentimes can you leave you outside of this belonging. Being a moldmaker, forces you to shatter society’s definition of “normal” & step into undefined, undiscovered, & uneven territory – alone.

 

“It’s easy to stand with the crowd. It takes courage to stand alone.” The beauty of moldmaking is that while you may start out alone, but you end up with a community of like-minded, grateful individuals who are willing to stand beside you for a greater cause. When I started my YouTube channel, I spent hours watching famous YouTubers with ten thousand, one hundred thousand & even a million subscribers! I observed their intros, their lighting, the way they edited their videos, & even took time to read the comments from their faithful fans. From natural hair gurus to makeup artists & DIYers to yoga enthusiasts, all of these individuals had one thing in common – they were making videos about the thing they were most passionate & knowledgeable about. That is when it hit me. Although my videos about inspiration, education, & motivation were all things that I was deeply passionate about, I was not making videos about the one thing I am the most knowledgeable about – being a school leader!

It does take courage to stand alone, but public education needs a revolution, a makeover, a rebranding of sorts. I am a moldmaker in the field of education, & this year I am rededicating myself to be a champion for public education. Society’s perception of the current education system is skewed & unrealistic. If more people were knowledgeable about the needs of our students, our teachers, & our school leaders then authentic change could begin. Also the perception of public educators needs a major facelift. We are not all jean-jumper-wearing, white-Ked-rocking, apples-for-button-covers individuals with little to no personalities as the media would have most to believe. We are a cornucopia of talented, passionate, unique, stylish, & innovative people who pledge to educate our youth. It is time to begin a rebranding campaign for education & for moldmakers.

This year, I pledge to bring more moldmakers to the forefront; to connect more people with their passion & purpose; to fervently seek my own intellectual, spiritual, & emotional pursuits; & to not only start the revolution in public education, but be the revolution as well. Here’s to another year of shattering molds & making our own!

The Scholar Vlogger

 

Moldmaker with an Eye for Fashion – Shannon Moody: Lawyer, Blogger, Fashion Diva

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The moldmaker featured this week is not only by best friend from our college days at Meredith in North Carolina, but she is a lawyer who is redefining the legal & fashion game in the Big Apple. I am so proud of this intelligent & beautiful woman, & I am proud to call her my bestie. Check out this amazing blog post from Nineteenth Amendment that featured Shannon in their latest edition!

http://blog.nineteenthamendment.com/nineteenth-seventh-shannon-moody-a-lawyer-with-an-eye-for-fashion/

Moldmaker on the Path to the Principalship – Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth

In honor of the Principals & PhDs series, it was my pleasure to interview Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth. She is currently pursuing her Masters in School Administration & is truly a moldmaker in her own right. Be sure to check out her blog at: http://blog.artisticexpressionsbyelisabeth.com/ & follow her on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtisticExpressionsE.

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Scholar Vlogger: What is the one thing that inspires/motivates you?

Elisabeth: In the Akan culture, the mythical Sankofa bird flies forward while its head is turned backwards to retrieve the egg from its back. This symbolizes the importance of looking into our past to truly understand our present and our future. In my culture, there is a rich oral history. Storytelling is a way to pay homage to the past. Throughout my life I have heard stories of hardships that have faced my people, obstacles that have been overcome, testimonies of faith, and songs of endurance.Even as an adult, I still love to hear people’s personal stories. I love to hear them tell their own account of how they have reached or are reaching their goals.Everyone’s story so far is so unique and I love that. What I’ve noticed is that no matter who is telling the story, those who are truly obtaining their goals have always faced obstacles and have been victorious. I literally feel excitement when I hear the passion in someone’s voice as they share their life’s journey. Their stories motivate me to continue pursuing my own dreams. I will note that to truly appreciate someone else’s stories, you have to learn that you are a unique individual and therefore your own story doesn’t have to be a mirror image of theirs. To truly embrace their story, you have to embrace your own.

Scholar Vlogger: Would you consider yourself a “moldmaker”? If so, why?

Elisabeth: Would I consider myself a moldmaker? Honestly, until recently, I would have never considered myself to be a moldmaker. In my imagination, I considered a moldmaker to be someone who accomplished goals that were so impressive that they could not go unrecognized. I envisioned a moldmaker as someone who knew exactly what they wanted and strove for it. When I viewed myself, I categorized myself as a woman who always worked hard, who set mini goals along the way, and achieved those goals. And as she achieved one goal, it would lead to pursuing yet another goal…maybe in the same direction or maybe not. I don’t recall consciously setting out to shatter molds; however, in retrospect, the truth is, I’ve never quite fit into a mold! In my own way, from the very beginning, I was always different. The journey to who I’ve yet to become is not like anyone else’s, but it also wasn’t meant to be. I now realize that that’s what makes me a moldmaker.

Scholar Vlogger: Is there one piece of advice you would give to other moldmakers?

Elisabeth: One piece of advice that I would give other moldmakers is this: Never compare your journey to someone else’s because comparing yourself to someone else only cheats you out of becoming the person you were created to be. There is only one of you. Yes, others you encounter may be pursuing the same dream, but every experience in your life, every obstacle you’ve faced, every path that you have traveled is designed to help you become who you are meant to be. I have finally learned that the beauty of achieving your dreams is in the process. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on the end goal that we miss that part. As I pursue my doctorate in Educational Leadership, I am truly enjoying the process. I want to get all that I can out of this grand experience, and I hope to inspire someone along the way. I encourage you to do the same!