Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders with Andy Schindling
March 9, 2021
youth empowerment

How do we create a sense of self-agency and personal direction in tomorrow’s youth? By teaching students how to master themselves first, we cultivate a powerful generation of leaders ready to change the world.

Today on the podcast, I am joined by a former professional baseball player, Andy Schindling, who now focuses on empowering low-income middle school students to become leaders and change-makers.

Andy shares the growth and evolution of TCP Academy, student leadership development through community projects, and why we shouldn’t be afraid of the word “love.”

Let’s listen in and learn more about Andy and his incredible mission!

About Andy Schindling:

Andy Schindling is a former professional athlete committed to serving the younger generation by using his life experiences to educate, mentor and lead young people.

In 2015, Andy started The Complete Player Charity, a 501(c)3 nonprofit to provide baseball opportunities for youth in his community. After successfully awarding over $22,000 in scholarships to 33 youth baseball players in two short years, Andy shifted his focus to serving athletes and non-athletes through after-school programming by creating TCP Youth Empowerment.

Through a strong focus on business and leadership, Andy’s program, aimed to mentor low-income middle school students, quickly evolved into TCP Academy. This thriving micro-school utilizes a project-based learning model around business and entrepreneurship with s strict emphasis on the social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual development students.

Stay up to date with TCP Academy by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Jump Through the Conversation

  • [3:45] Dead fish metaphor for life
  • [5:50] Being The Complete Player (TCP) in the game of life
  • [7:01] Business and leadership skills in middle school through student-designed projects
  • [14:15] Measuring impact by lives changed
  • [18:25] Love — more than a “four-letter word”
  • [28:24] Andy’s Magic Wand for middle school learners: put them in the real world with travel, exploration, building, and creating to go beyond societal limitations
  • [31:30] Unpacking SEL, love, and servant leadership

Links and Resources:

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Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at education evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education, evolution and the micro school coalition, where we are fiercely Committed to changing the narrative, to reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive.

If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Hey, good morning, Andy.

Andy Schindling
Good morning. Morning. How are you?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Great. How are you doing?

Andy Schindling
Doing fantastic.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
In Maryland? Oh, I’m envious. So listeners, Andy’s gone from professional baseball player to youth empowerment leader for low income middle school students. Let’s listen in and learn more about Andy and his wonderful mission. So, Andy, why I’m really curious to hear your TCP Genesis story. How did this happen?

Andy Schindling
Yeah, well, first appreciate you having me on. It is inspiring to others. So TCP just came about out of my my love for kids, you know, always knew I wanted to give back to the younger generation, even as a professional athlete. And when my playing days were done, and kind of tried to figure out how to do that. And it started out, you know, really tapping into what I lived growing up, which was sports, and how I can provide opportunities for kids to experience the game of baseball like I did, when also, I understood that baseball opened many doors for me, it led me to go into a private school to play baseball. It led me to get a scholarship to college and obviously led me to my professional career led me to a free college education along the way, definitely led me to good friendships. It was a place of my comfort zone and sanctuary. So I wanted to make sure kids weren’t losing that because of money. So that’s how we initially started was to raise money for kids to play baseball. But as I grew and developed and gave my life to Christ, a new vision was born inside of me. And it was more about impacting kids as, as a person, instead of just for baseball. And to do that we are, you know, my vision really focused on tapping into this after school time, you know, I was one of those kids who made terrible decisions. On my free time, you know, what I believe? You know, downtime is the playground for the devil. And he convinces us to do crazy things. So Oh, no, how can we tap into these younger kids and start influencing them after school? We’re helping them get on track, and kind of the driving force behind TCP youth empowerment. And what I’m working on now is a quote that I heard that said, even a dead fish can float downstream and get somewhere. And when I first heard it, you know, I laughed, and then I sat back and said, Oh, boy, because I realized I was a dead fish. You Yeah, about the ages of seven, from the age 17 to 28. Even through my professional career, you know, I really realized that I was a dead fish, I was float through life, I was just going where life took me where baseball took me, I never had a sense of control, or like, just knew where I was headed. So that’s the driving force now, as is really, you know, helping to develop kids and in this sense of ownership over their life, on the sense of self agency, and really helping them to find direction. So when they leave high school, and not thrown out into the real world with kind of no idea what to do, and then end up floating through life, and not really, you know, going after their dreams, goals or desires. So that’s the driving force now, and really what we’re focused on.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That is so amazing. I love the progression from going from what you know, which is sports and sports, save so many kids. I’ve been out High school administrator for ages, and a lot of kids, the only way they get through school is their connection with sports or with music or something. It’s not the academics, that’s what they suffer through for the part that they love. So honing in on what kids love or developing that so that they have something they can connect to, if it’s not the academics is a great segue into helping kids, and then to have it evolve to really empowering them. That’s, that’s a really great Genesis story. Thank you.

Andy Schindling
Yeah. Not from from my own personal journey and growth and development. So that’s where I really value you know, what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yeah. So what would I see if I went to your program? And what did the initial stand for TCP?

Andy Schindling
Yeah, TCP stands for the complete player, but definitely had to make a transition. When we when we got out of sports, you know, so now we’re the complete players in the game of life. So nice. That’s the name of TCP. What does it look like? Yeah, that’s great question, up until COVID. You know, we were in, we were in three schools in Anna Rondo County, and we would go into the schools. And we had this nice, collaborative, free flowing environment where we really focused our program around business and leadership. So I have a degree in business administration always wanted to omo business, obviously, now, it’s a nonprofit. But to me, everything, once you leave school, the world is a business. And you need to know some type of business to, in my opinion, again, in my opinion, to survive, and whether that’s basic fundamentals of business, that offer avenues to go down a certain path in business, whether it be marketing accounting project, or product development, procurement, whatever it may be, right. So my idea was, how can I take my love for business entrepreneurship and start educating kids about the business world. So in on any given day, you can come in and see kids working towards developing a business plan, whether they’re collecting data around marketing and or collecting data around, you know, how your product costs to create their cash flow statements and expense reports. But the idea behind the program, or the end result is kids put together business plan presentations that they present in front of a panel of business professionals. And they do them either around community projects, or products or services that they want to, you know, create or provide. I mean, one thing we’re really going to work, push more towards are these community projects. And these, this isn’t something that they just do a project on. And that’s it, you know, right now we’re doing it virtually, in our students presented their presentations, the end of December, on our Facebook page. And now we’re actually taking the kids through the process of bringing these community events to life. So it’s not just a, hey, let’s do this, and then forget about it, it’s, hey, we’re going to actually create something or you’re going to create something that you’re going to bring to life. So you can take some ownership of it. And really get that sense of gratitude of what it feels like to give back to your community and serve and help others. So that’s one side of the program on the leadership component is really wrapped around self mastery, you know, our philosophy of leadership is, in order to successfully lead others, you got to first successfully be able to lead yourself. So we really hone in on those social emotional and cognitive skill development through through the leadership program. Because our hope is that when when kids leave our program, they’re fully equipped to be able to lead themselves. And going back to our definition of leadership is we’re not really trying to persuade or influence or coerce people to leadership, we’re really trying to lead ourselves so effectively that people choose to follow us. And then they lead us out of choice, their own choice not out of, you know, they need to, or they’re being convinced to or coerce to. It’s more about how we we handle ourselves and go about our business that people choose to follow us. I love that and natural leaders do people gravitate to them. So it’s not coercion, backing up the whole piece of community engagement.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
It just keeps coming out. As I talked to educational innovators, they’re talking about I want to in my place, I want to be a place based school, or they’re talking about relevant real world learning that kids a textbook is just content that we have to have the context for them. And project based learning. They talk about the final cycles of the design thinking model our kids actually created Meeting it and having a real audience that gets to see it. So everything you’re doing, there’s so much going on in the world of innovation that says, that’s the kind of learning that sticks. What what might be a project that you’ve done in the past or that you’re working on. That is an example of some of the community engagement that you’re creating.

Andy Schindling
Yeah, great question. So last year, was the first year we propose these community projects in a group of students in Brooklyn Park, middle school came up with the idea of, well, actually, there was three ideas, one was sprucing up a local park that was just another one was building a school bus just for kids. You know, you got the city school bus stops, but they want a bus stop for kids that have places for bookbag to go, they got lights on it, that’s got some decorations that I thought that was pretty cool. And then another group wanted to create an outdoor classroom behind their school, that could be that could double down as a place for kids in the community to go meet. And this would be an outdoor classroom that would have like a whiteboard, and everything you would need to learn. But ultimately, it came with the one we were able to pursue was the spruce up project, which we actually received a grant for from us service America. But unfortunately, COVID hit. So they went all down. And right now we had the community projects the kids came up with that we’re working to bring the lights are the Chesapeake Bay restoration, were early with a particular focus on oyster farming and gardening. Another one is to teach kids young people how to bake. And the third one is doing something for the homeless community that will do they want to be collected bunch of blankets and clothing and do a food drive to support some local shelters. So those are the three right now that we’re working towards bringing the life on top of some mom, some projects that kids are actually trying to start a business around.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Wow. And when kids have the say, the agency that that you make a priority, they really dive in. And I like middle school to be such an age of self absorption and not a negative way just developmentally, they’re worried about everything about them. So for you to have them going through this project, design model, and be thinking about others the empathy that they’re getting to build at a time where kids don’t tend to be very empathetic. You’re helping them really stretching those leadership skills. And you gain a decade basically of starting to think of others that doesn’t often that doesn’t happen until after high school, sometimes even later. So these kids are are getting a different view on the world. Thanks to TCP. That sounds really cool.

Andy Schindling
Yeah, appreciate. There’s definitely been fun and just seeing them. You know how excited they were this year when they when we told him like, this isn’t just something you’re doing and forgetting. And a couple of cat we’re like, we get to do this, like really get to do this. I’m like, Yeah, yeah, you I want you to own it. What do you feel proud of it. So that’s definitely refreshing seeing and their excitement about it definitely challenges, especially virtually, and getting them to work collaboratively on their own time. But they’re certainly, you know, do a phenomenal job. And I’m excited about doing these projects on the Global Youth Service day. Again, we received another grant from you service American, so we’re excited about it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Nice. Well, our paths crossed because you are in our small schools and programs, leaders mastermind, because it doesn’t sound like you’re done. It doesn’t like the after school program is your endgame. What’s next?

Andy Schindling
Yeah, definitely not. a stepping stone. So what’s next is starting to micro school. You know that we’ve made significant impact to the after school program, but I’m not satisfied. No, I want more. I’m always asking myself, is the impact we’re making really changing lives? Is it really what are we really doing? How are we creating real change. And the only thing left to do is to start at school, you know, if we can, we got 90% of our kids right now expressing an increase in self confidence and self esteem. And to me that means everything, you know, you can have all the skill in the world, but if you don’t have confidence and self esteem, aka me, Andy shuttling outside of baseball, what are you going to be able to do in life? You know, because you’re always gonna find holding yourself back. So the fact that we’re able to do that in two hours a week, you know, I’m just, I’m excited to see what we can do with kids. We have them all day, every day. So this micro school is going to start off for sixth and seventh graders and kind of follow in your footsteps progresses into a Middle High School, or our focus is really around so Emotional, cognitive and spiritual development, utilizing this practice this project based learning model, and intertwining that with the business and the leadership. Because I’m a firm believer that education needs to change. The traditional way wasn’t really working when I was in school. And I know it’s not really working now. Amen. Yeah. And it’s not it’s not a diss, you know, I understand coming from, you know, they got their hands tied. So we’re just trying to bring a new opportunity to this community. There’s nothing around here like it. As far as what we’re trying to do. There may be a few other like Montessori or somewhat micro schools. But we’re really trying to create change, create a sense of community bridge gaps between communities, serving low income kids, and those that aren’t low income, you know, we got the richest city in the county in and around the county in severna. Park is only five, six miles away from the poorest city in the county and Brooklyn Park. And I’m trying to bridge those communities so we can create real change. And it’s going to start with our kids in our schools. So we’re really excited about it. And really, really excited about the projects that kids are going to start creating in the community through this school on but that’s what’s next, the name of the school is TCP Academy. And I literally just got the email this morning from the state of articles of incorporation being accepted. So yes, congrats, rock and roll. Yeah, appreciate it. And we’re aiming to start in September, you know, we got long road ahead of us a lot of hurdles. And, you know, the fundraising side, and I’m ambitious, I really want 50% of our schools in five years to be low income students coming free of charge. So we got a lot of work to do. But I got it, definitely excited about it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I love that that’s upfront that your goal is 50%, you know, free tuition, so that you’re not like, oh, maybe we’ll add some scholarships down the road. But Heck, no, we’re gonna, we’re shooting for that from the get go. We really want that socio economic diversity. Now, that’s, that’s 40% of our kids at my micro school have scholarships, and it’s a sliding scale. So they talk to us, they work with us, we’ve never turned somebody away based on finances. And it’s so liberating, because I’ve worked in other private schools where, oh, sorry, our financial aid has been used for this year, you have to pay all or you can’t come so yearly about it.

Andy Schindling
They suffer that every day, they walk out the door, and these kids are telling themselves man, I can’t get this, I’ve got enough money. Right? Why are we going to turn some turn away or not even how why limit some kids potential future because they grew up in a situation they didn’t have money.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Absolutely, and diversity in our school populations of any kind, neuro diversity, racial, socio economic diversity makes us so much richer and builds that empathy because we’re a community, a rainbow of learners. So you’re creating an environment that kids are going to maybe get exposed to differences that they wouldn’t if they had just stayed in their neighborhood and on their original trajectory.

Andy Schindling
Right, I firmly believe change is going to be created through our youth, they’re the ones coming up next, if we can influence them to appreciate and ultimately love each other, while they don’t matter where they come from, if they can learn to appreciate, listen to them understand each other, and they take that home, you know, now we can we can really start to create change, obviously, we got influenced the parents as well, because they’re the ones feeding the kids, you know, these perceptions, so but I believe we can start with the kids and these are the ones that are coming up next, then they can start projecting into the younger generations as they get older. You know, this sense of unity and being able to appreciate and love each other.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
You know, love is such a huge one. And I think in school sometimes we’re afraid to say it that it’s like, but love and belonging whether it’s back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, or more recent neuroscience, we don’t perform if we don’t feel safe and love and belonging. If kids aren’t getting that in school, they’re getting out of computer games, they’re getting a lot of disconnects. So if we don’t create the connection if they don’t feel that love and belonging, I really think hate crimes up and serial murders up and everything that middle school high school we have a chance to change that direct trajectory makes sure every kid feels like a human and knows what it feels like to be loved and would never want to harm another human and right now I think some kids are pretty disconnected and think it’s all just one big video game. So that love piece is just as important to me is what I’m hearing you say with the business in the leadership and, and we kind of that’s a four letter word that’s like Oh dear, don’t say that one out loud. But it’s huge, so good for you for owning it. And I think especially coming from I’m an athlete and somebody that has that perspective, it like gives it a cool factor where, you know, here I am a, you know, a middle aged mom, if I say that it’s like, Oh, isn’t that sweet? When you’re saying that? It’s like, oh, cool, I think kids are gonna hear that in a really important way. And you’re setting the stage for them to consider something that might have been Oh, that sissy or That’s silly. You’re saying no, this is super important. So you get to be a role model on probably the most important topic in schools, how we treat ourselves and treat others.

Andy Schindling
Yeah. And I’ll be honest with you, the word love didn’t come out of my mouth much until this past year, really the last couple of months, and especially being an athlete in the mail. So I’m ready to push that on kids. And I’m speaking to some high school students in March, I’m ready to share that love and let them know it’s okay to say feel it and express it. So

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yay, yay. That’s, that’s the magic. And when you talk about unity, again, that’s what our our country so needs right now is to find our commonalities to celebrate to to focus on bringing us together and sprucing up that park and you know, creating the cool bus stop and, you know, doing things that bring us together and and that’s what fills us will help nobody feels good when they’re filled with with hate and negativity. So you’re inspiring the next generation in amazing ways, Andy?

Andy Schindling
Yeah, thank you. Yeah. Yeah, got a great I also have a great team around me that’s definitely has opened my eyes, providing great insight and fuel of motivation. So it’s certainly not just me, and definitely got to give a lot of credit to those around me on my board that have definitely fueled this fire inside of me.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Nice. And isn’t that I mean, synergy. We all need to have that village so good for you for creating it and for giving them a shout out.

Andy Schindling
Yeah, definitely.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
So this part of the interview is turbo time and I snagged it from Andrew Marotta. I love just getting some fast snippets. So are you ready?

Andy Schindling
I’m ready. Okay.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
What’s the last book you read?

Andy Schindling
It’s called rules of engagement. It’s preparing for your role in the spiritual battle by Derek Prince. And I’m almost finished. Urban leaders leadership by Robert Greenleaf. Oh,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
that’s a classic that I read in the 90s. And servant leadership really is foundational to how I live my life so good for you. It’s a it’s an oldie but a goodie, isn’t it?

Andy Schindling
Oh, it’s phenomenal. Yes. Unity and unity in love, man. He hits it on the head.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yes. To inspirational folks in history you’d love to meet.

Andy Schindling
Well, I gotta go with Robert. Make sense right now. All right, fresh in the mind. Another inspirational folk in history. I that’s too hard for me. There’s so many. So. And I don’t know how far in history you want me to go. But I’ll stick with Robert for right now. On this side of things. I always got to say I would like to meet Cal Ripken. So I know that’s not in deep history, but he was my the person I idolized. Growing up, I like to sit down and have some lunch with him.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Nice. Your favorite place to travel?

Andy Schindling
Anywhere outside the country. I love exploring new new ways of living new cultures. And just to see what else out there is in this beautiful world.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I agree. And I think that’s one of the best ways we learn and that our kids learned. It’s so important to know beyond our own comfort zone. Yeah. How about a TED talk that inspires you?

Andy Schindling
Yeah, I had so many actually had to go back and look at my notes to see which ones I want to pick in. I love Bernie Browns vulnerability. To me, that’s just one, if not the biggest key to success in life is vulnerability and opening yourself up.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That’s real real change starts to be created within yourself and within others. Absolutely. What’s the biggest thing you wish folks knew about youth mentoring?

Andy Schindling
The social and emotional development of kids really being able to pinpoint their uniqueness and skill set. And then enabling and propelling them to strengthen knows you know, I’ve really suffered from that lack of social emotional development. And I feel I’ve never reached my full potential as a professional athlete because of that. So I think that social emotional development part is huge and youth mentoring, and on top of just the real world skills in you we call life skills.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Absolutely. What’s a pet peeve of yours?

Andy Schindling
laziness.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
What’s your best morning routine tip?

Andy Schindling
Gold Rush it you know, sometimes we even if we wake up late or whatever, and I experienced it this morning, I just felt rushed, you know, and then so don’t rush it, you know, it sets the tone for the day. So, you know, significantly, you know, if you start off feeling rushed, you’re gonna feel rushed the rest of the day. And that’s not that’s not gonna be productive.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Good for you. That’s when I work on I hate that feeling. I’m trying to exit out of my experience bank.

Andy Schindling
Yeah. Another tip breastwork.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yes, yeah. Good things to be sharing with you. Good things for you to share with your kids.

Andy Schindling
Oh, it’s already part of the curriculum. I’m not surprised.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
And what’s your favorite thing about Maryland?

Andy Schindling
Well, I’ll first off start by saying, I don’t want to live here anymore. But I will say you get to experience all four seasons. Okay. Yeah, I’m tired of the four seasons of the year. But you do get to experience all four seasons, you got the ocean, you got the state capitol, you got the US Capitol, you got mountains, you got a lot of uniqueness that people from around the world, come here to experience. And it’s in our backyard. Sometimes we overlook that and take it for granted. So our location has definitely got a lot of value to it. But I’m ready to leave.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I hear you. What’s something positive for you that’s come out of this time of COVID.

Andy Schindling
My micro school, January 16 2020. When I discovered it on LinkedIn, I can’t remember. Robert van something. I can’t remember his last name. But he popped it popped up on his LinkedIn. I was praying What’s next? And it led to finding your book. And here we are.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That is a pretty amazing thing to come out of a crazy time.

Andy Schindling
Yeah, being able to take it virtual the program too. So yeah, yeah. You Mr. Robert, for not remembering your full last name. Pretty powerful person education. So I think I need to remember it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Definitely. Um, and something about you, Andy, that people don’t know.

Andy Schindling
I’m definitely shy. I can’t tell now. But I was a shy kid. stayed in myself had a lot of social anxiety and worry and just never felt comfortable outside of the baseball world or sport world. But yeah, I mean, that’s definitely something many people don’t know about me.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Yeah, that’s a biggie. And I think that’s so inspirational to kids to to know that you weren’t always this poised or confident, I think gives kids hope, too, that Oh, okay. He was anxious, I can be anxious and I can push through to So being a role model sometimes is sharing our weaknesses, not just our strengths, that Renee brown vulnerability part, right.

Andy Schindling
Absolutely. Yeah.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Exactly. And my final question, is, magic wands. I mean, I’d like to think, if we didn’t have any limiting beliefs, what would we shoot for? So if you had a magic wand and could influence anything in the world of middle school students, what would you wish for?

Andy Schindling
Hmm, that’s a tough one to throw out at the end here.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I know, I know. But you get to dream if you could have

Andy Schindling
one thing, if I could influence or do anything with middle school students. mean for me, it would it would be just putting them in the real world. You know, giving them the you know, the rest of their life would be life experience of travel exploration, taking them and letting them build and create things and convincing them that we don’t need to live in the way society wants us to live in. We don’t have to follow the crowd, that it’s better to not follow the crowd and buy into what society tells you what you should do or how you should live or what you should pursue. So it really be taking them out of society in a sense and letting them just explore life. So they can develop different skills and an outlook on life that is more optimistic and that can lead to them growing as an individual in the way that they want to grow. And and not the way that society is trying to form us into growing.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
That’s amazing. I love that let them really explore and be their best selves. And not some cookie cutter assembly line product,

Andy Schindling
Take them out of their comfort zone and make them grow.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
Love it. Andy, what you are doing is inspirational. And yes, starting a micro school is hard work. But you’ve got it, you’ve got the program, you’ve got the model, and the kids that you’re serving now and the ones that you serve in your school, starting in the fall, are so fortunate that you’re there and care and that you’re making this dream a reality. Thank you for being my guest today.

Andy Schindling
Yeah, thank you for having me. And I like to just shout out in the meantime, check us out on TCP youth empowerment.org You can find us on Facebook and Instagram at that same handle. And we are launching TCP Academy md.org in 14 days. So if you go there before then please, you know, don’t critique too hard, but send the critiques because I gotta you know, make sure this website is ready to go. But you’ll find it that those same handles on all the major social media outlets.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
I am going to put all of that in the show notes so people know how to find you, Andy. Thank you.

Andy Schindling
Thank you so much, Maureen for having me today.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy
My pleasure.

Andy sure gives us a lot to think about destiny. I’ve been working on my TEDx talk and studying effective communication. Creating imagery is an important way to get an idea to stick isn’t Andy’s dead fish imagery nice and sticky. We sure don’t want our kids to just float downstream with no purpose or passion in school and then in life. Andy’s TCP Academy will make sure that his students are on fire and have the leadership entrepreneurship and Sal skills to take on the world and create unity and change.

In episode eight Julie burgers, dentists speech therapist and social communication whiz explains the importance of STL. This social emotional learning plays out in how a person’s self regulates and controls impulses and big emotions. It also guides us in perspective taking and seeing through the lens of another. This is needed for empathy. Schools doing this work, like Kristin in the with heart project in Episode 42. See academic gains when they take time for wellness and Sal. Wouldn’t it be great if Sal were as much a part of the curriculum as any other subject? Thinking about our conversation on love? Hmm. Funny how hate and love are used so casually in conversations. I hate being late. I love Thai food. But expressing love to each other or letting our students know that love is what fuels us to show up at school each day is so taboo. It seems to connect with Andy’s favorite TED Talk, Rene Browns talk on vulnerability. I went to see her when she came to Seattle. She is so real and willing to be vulnerable, has tons of information from her years of research and sociology. And vulnerability is just what we need more of her TED Talk is in the show notes. And here are two of her quotes. vulnerability is not winning or losing. It’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. vulnerability is not weakness. It’s our greatest measure of courage. Her second quote is people who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real bad asses. Renee also has podcasts and a Netflix special if you want more on her research as a sociologist. When I think about schools and project based learning, big picture learning is my go to inspirational school design. Their focus on students diving into their interests and passion and purpose driving projects and internships is impressive. In Episode 30, I get to talk with Lauren demmer Otis from Big Picture learning. He is adamant that love and belonging are foundational in our schools. And I agree. I see kids arrive at my micro school lead prep, sometimes pretty beaten down by the world. They have bought into negative self images and how society superficially defines success. Then I see our teachers connect and build trust and relationships. I see our other students engage and collaborate on projects. Slowly the joy of learning and a sense of self worth returns, love and belonging, non negotiables needed in our schools. So glad to be in a small school where community and caring are Givens. One final comment, Robert Greenleaf and his servant leadership book, the full title, servant leadership, a journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Boy was I surprised to hear Andy say he was just finishing that book from 1977. It was transformative when I read it as a doctoral student. I would totally love to meet Robert Greenleaf. Not only did he start the trend to empower employees, he coined the term servant leadership and propose that service ought to be the distinguishing characteristic of leadership. He was an at&t exec and visiting lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Harvard Business School. When he retired, he kept serving and founded the Center for Applied ethics, which eventually became the Robert K. Greenleaf center for servant leadership in Indianapolis. Wouldn’t it be great for the TCPA Academy lead prep, and other schools focused on developing the full student and community engaged service to help create a future generation of servant leaders? Let’s do it. Thank you for joining us today, education evolution listeners.

If you’re finding yourself thinking, I need to do this in my school. Let’s talk about it. I consult with schools to help them find new innovative solutions to reaching every student. Let’s put together an action plan. Visit education evolution.org backslash consults to book a call and let’s get started.

Education evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen, heard, valued and thriving. We need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. I’d be so grateful if you’d head over to your podcast app to give a great rating and review if you found this episode valuable. Don’t wait. Please do it right now before you forget. I really appreciate it. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

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