In 1996 I started my teaching career as an elementary school special education teacher. I was asked, around mid-year, to help a group of kids who were considered to be “at risk” for passing their current grade. That meant that I needed to prepare them for their end of grade testing. I knew it would be a difficult challenge, because these kids had already been determined by their teachers that they didn’t have it in them to succeed. The request was to basically teach them how not to distract the other kids who were seen as those who had “more potential” or a greater probability of passing the test. For me, it wasn’t an assignment, it was a challenge, my challenge! I knew these kids had potential and I was about to watch it come forth. We worked for weeks, leading up to the testing dates.
We needed a name for this group, and I came up with “Club SFC” Strong, Focused and Confident. These amazing elementary kids quickly adopted this philosophy. This belief, was exactly what they needed in order to tap into their potential. They needed to be “defined” but by something positive and powerful. Every time we met we would declare that I’m strong, I’m focused, and I’m confident. I refused to allow these kids to be defined by their behaviors, their exceptionality or the system. Once I saw their enthusiasm and willingness to give it their all, I realized that the more I changed the way they saw themselves, the more confident and creative they became. This group of kids who had been counted out, ended up scoring average to above average on their end of year test, and became eligible for promotion.
Not only did they change, but so did I, and as a result SFC became my mantra. Once these three words were embedded into my mind, my entire life began to shape and transform. I realized that by DEFINING YOURSELF, it allows you to strip that power from others who try to define you. DEFINING YOURSELF also raises a standard for others that you allow to come into your life. In order to gain access to you, they must accept you for you. There’s a quote that says “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” SFC’s goal is to help you see the BEST that’s already been put inside of each one of us. The beauty, the uniqueness, the individuality.
SFC’s logo is the Peacock. The peacock is one of this world’s most beautiful creatures and it represents who we are, by the way it handles threats, intimidation, and its enemies. One of the peacocks’ defense mechanisms is its beauty. When a peacock feels threatened, intimidated or attacked his defense is to spread its plumage and display its natural beauty. He does this to confuse its enemies. That’s right, it allows its most beautiful self to be seen when faced with adversity! One of SFC’s goals is to perpetuate a society that when threatened, intimidated and/or attacked, not to retaliate with violence, but instead, like the peacock, allow your beauty, uniqueness and individuality to be seen.
Be STRONG, Be FOCUSED, Be CONFIDENT.......Be DEFINED!