I am honored that Dr Samuel knicks chose to be on this podcast to share his brilliance with you. Dr SAm began his career in education as a middle school teacher and coach. Dr Nix has served as an assistant principal and the principal at both middle and high schools. Dr Nix was named principal of the year 2015 to 2016 in the Arlington Independent School, currently serves as the chief of schools in the Duncanville Independent School district and since 2006 he has served as an education consultant for education career, alternative programmer. A cap has been awarded a Leadership in Education award from the texas House of Representatives. How Cool was nominated for the martin Luther King JR Service Award in education was presented the mary McLeod with the in Heritage Award for education by the CCP In 2010, The doctor june James C. P. Education Award in 2016 and the Leadership legacy award from the Future Schools Network in 2019. This guy is awesome.
DR Nix was featured in the new Horizon University of North texas magazine as a premier leader in education and was featured in the number one selling education book in America. The first days of school by Harry Wong. Dr Nix is the award winning author of ensure educational success, a book that offers innovative and common sense strategies for leading a school culture where teachers and students thrive. He has much wisdom to share, let's get right to the episode educational justice coach lindsey Lyons and here on the time for teacher ship podcast. We learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings if you're a principal assistant superintendent, curriculum director, instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nursing out about co creating curriculum students, I made this show for you.
Here we go, Dr Samuel Nix, welcome to the time for Teacher ship podcast. Thank you so much for having me. It is an absolute pleasure to be on your show and I'm not just saying that lazy, I am truly excited to be here before you say anything and I know I'm breaking protocol. The most recent podcast that I listened to of yours, that was my absolute favorite, was your fourth episode in your leadership series where you started to talk about adaptive leadership and approaching that to data analysis and so I'm just sharing with you that I'm not just here. I'm also a fan. I'm excited to be here. So thank you so much for having me on your show. Oh my gosh, that means so much to me. And also I'm really excited that that was the episode that you picked up on because I see so much overlap in our work in that regard. So we could dive into that too. Oh yes, this is gonna be great. So, I read your professional bio at the top of the hour episode, and I'm just curious to know if there's anything else that you want to add to that or that listeners should know as they kind of keep in mind who you are and what you bring to the table as we start this conversation today.
Well, thank you so much for sharing that. Just just the only thing that's not in my bio that I'd like to share with other people, just because it matters to me is that I am a proud father of two amazing young people, a five year old and a two year old at this time, and I have an amazing wife that allows me the opportunity uh and support to be able to do the things that that we and I do in education. So I'm very thankful, just wanted everyone to know how thankful I am. I love that, that is so beautiful, and I really think that's so important to be able to start with, because sometimes we're just kind of our professional bios to people, it's like our whole human beings like this is an important part of our lives. Absolutely, this is great. Okay, cool. So we'll dive in here and I always start with this first question for my guests, which is, you know, thinking about this kind of big dream that we have for education, and I love the idea of freedom dreaming, and I particularly love dr Bettina loves quote about it, where she describes it as dreams grounded in the critique of injustice.
I just think that's so powerful and I'm curious to know with that quote in mind what is that big dream that you hold for the field of education? Because in my opinion, there's a difference between how I think education should go in a dream for education when I think about a dream and I and I hope that it's not cliche, I think about dr martin Luther King who stood up and said, I have a dream and to me that is it's something that is almost seen as impossible. It's almost seen as something that is unattainable and unreasonable um for today, right? So for my dream for education, it is truly that there is no equity gap, there is no achievement gap. My dream for education is that students enjoy and want to learn and are motivated to learn, are inspired to learn that the adaptive approach that we take to education is the norm. Uh and it's not something that is, you know, unique to two individuals talking about the difference between technical approaches and adaptive approaches, right?
But that's my dream is that school is a place where kids enjoy, where they're benefiting from their learning in such a way that it creates so many opportunities for them in the future and where that gap of inequity is is not existent. So that's a dream that I have, I love so many pieces of that, I like the enjoyment part, I mean, I think that's like what we wish, you know, students had an experience of school, right? Joy is a huge piece that's often missing and it's not part of like our planning process, right? Like how do we bring in Joy should be a key question, but also I love that you were just saying like how they benefit from it right sometimes, but when we think about the benefits to students, it's like, oh the benefit is they learn stuff that we decided it was important for them to know and then have a dinner table conversation when they're 40 and they bring that into the mix, like what, that's not really what we want, right? So that immediate benefit I think is so powerful to think about, you know, I think a lot of teachers probably don't even think about that question as they are developing units and curriculum and lessons like what is that benefit and what do our students want that benefit to be?
So yeah, I love it. Okay, cool, so, I think what you started saying too about the context of the dream seeming almost as if it were impossible and that element of dreaming is so profound and I think it connects deeply to my next question about, you know, it takes some shifting to get to that place where we have joy for all students and we have an immediate benefit for all students. And so I'm wondering, you know, how do we need to shift our minds and our mindsets as educators, as leaders of schools and districts to get people to kind of buy and fight for that dream that you described? Do you ask a loaded question that, um, you know, I hope I can answer correctly, but here's the deal. I believe that the most difficult thing to do in any field, not the field of education, but any field is shifting a person's mindset. So, for example, because what you're, what you're in essence dealing with, in my opinion, when you're dealing with a mindset, you're dealing with a belief.
And so I believe that experiences shape beliefs, beliefs, influence actions and actions produce results. I'm gonna say that again. I believe that experiences shape beliefs, beliefs, influence actions and actions produce results. So in order for there to be a mind shift in order for there to be some some change in how people approach the work. First, we have to ask ourselves what has been their experience, what has led them to believe, what they believe about their profession, about these Children, about whatever that looks like, right. And then we're so quick to dismiss people's opinions or beliefs or whatever the case may be, instead of trying to understand them, trying to understand their perspective, trying to understand their background, trying to understand their rationale because it's only in truly understanding where they're coming from what they're dealing with what their perspective is, that we're even positioning ourselves to try to help them, quote unquote, help them shift their mindset to produce different actions to get different results.
So I'm sorry if I took the long way around for this, but I think how we do that is we have to honor what people's experiences are. We are so well versed in telling people what should happen. We are so well versed Lindsay and telling people what we want to see. We're so we're well versed in telling people what the dream is and what the vision is and where we're trying to go. And although people may take that direction may take those steps, they don't believe it. And so we have schools and we have universities and we have professional educators who are in systems where unfortunately they don't believe that the kids can do it. They don't believe that students should be in school, have fun. They don't believe that that making lessons relevant and and changing the way that they are approaching the work and doing the work is what's best for kids. Well, why what's been your experience? What have you seen if they haven't had an opportunity to really reflect on or engage in conversation about why they think that and why they believe that they were not going to change.
That's such a great point. And I think so, so thoughtful about many things to in your answer, your thoughtful about individual experience and so not necessarily doing this, saying this in like a blaming way, but like if your experience was like a miserable, you know, childhood education and no one in your teacher prep program exposed you to these different ways of doing it. Like of course, so we need system change here. And then also I love that you're, you're talking about, you know, the honoring experiences that made me think two of the experiences of our of our students and that oftentimes we assume what those experiences are too, without asking beyond that. I love that you're talking about kind of this notion of buying where I love your phrase of were well versed in telling were well versed in telling the vision and and I think so much of what leadership in leadership programs, what that purports to be is a telling. It is, let's get people behind this, lets you know the phrase of buy in usually irks me.
But I mean I think it's it's the closest thing sometimes that we have to like having a common understanding, but it's like, no, we don't need people to buy in, we need the co creation of the vision or whatever, right? So you just triggered a thought if you don't mind. Uh you mentioned that you mentioned that the phrase buy in. Um I don't know the word you use, but annoys you write or frustrate you, right. Um, and I would so much agree because what I see that we do is less buy in and more what I call selling. And so what I mean by that is we do a lot of selling to people and when people feel sold to, they will resist new ideas. And the reason why it's because people don't support what they don't understand. And so there's very little true buy in when it comes to uh, changing or shifting, whether that's mindsets, organizations or structures. There's very little buy in.
And the funny thing about it, Lindsay is that I have asked leaders and senior, did you get by? Oh yeah, I got buy in. But from their perspective, they didn't get by. They got, they got selling, they sold and they thought that people bought and people didn't buy because people didn't understand. And so there's compliance. But there's not comprehension, Hey, everyone, just a quick reminder that you have a bunch of free resources available for you in relation to this episode, Dr Nix is sharing a ton of great stuff. You can grab that link at lindsey Beth Lyons dot com slash blog slash 89. Now back to the episode, can you say that last line again? That was so good. Yeah, there's compliance. People do the work, but there's not comprehension, they don't understand why they're doing it. They don't, they don't have the belief system that will ensure sustainable success in that area, Right? Yes. Oh my gosh, So many things he asked about what you just said, and I appreciate that last Edition two with a sustainable success.
Because we have, I think an education like initiative fatigue where we're like, we're gonna do this, we're gonna do this and we're gonna pull this in and then it's gonna die out in two months. And I think teachers are frustrated by that students and families are frustrated by that. It doesn't actually impact like, you know, the long term adaptive challenges that we see in education and that sustainability, I think goes hand in hand with exactly what you're talking about about being sold to versus being like a full co creator or participant of like, what are we doing here? And so that's so important. Oh, my gosh, I'm so glad that you took us there. Thank you for that. And so as people are listening and they're just like, yes, I'm, you know, head nodding along as I'm listening to all the things you're saying, what are the things that people can do, whether they're, you know, a district leader, a school leader, maybe even just a teacher. You know, what are those brave actions that people can take that can actually make this idea a reality for their community, Would you say this idea?
Um are you referring to the dream that I shared or you're talking about getting people to buy into whatever it is that a leader is trying to um to promote or or trying to bring to fruition. Yeah. Oh my gosh, thank you for clarifying. So I I think ultimately uh the dream, but I do think it's really, it would be great if we could give listeners an idea of what it looks like to lead in a way that is not selling to and is, you know, co creating that vision and thinking about that specifically within, I think as a means to get to the larger dream. Very good lindsey. I um I often do something when I'm presenting to smaller groups of leaders, teachers and I'm gonna share what I do on this podcast. And if anyone takes this, and does it make sure you give credit? Not just playing.
So what I do Lindsay is I usually will, I'll give people a sheet of paper and on this paper are images of different students, asian student, african american student, uh african american girl and uh hispanic young lady, just different shades, different cultures, different um ages of Children. And at the top of the page I say, here's your challenge. You have to assign these Children a grade a through f there's no trick to this. What grade do you think these Children average? That's it, no qualifying, anything. And I've done this Lindsay. I'm not exaggerating, I've done this to thousands of educators, not hundreds. So I give them a few minutes, I tell them there is a correct answer to this, give them the sheet and I allow them a few minutes to go through and, and they look at the clothes that the Children have on, they look at their smile, their hair.
One of the student has a necklace on. One of the students has, um, uh, what we call a wife beater on, another has a nice shirt or whatever, whatever makes up the child, right? And then see what ends up happening is at the end of the allotted time. I will inevitably look down at the paper and I'll see they, you know, this child, they think they have an A or this child, they think they have a B or this child. They think average is A D or for whatever that looks like. And then I'll ask this question, why did you give that student that great? You don't know, this child, You've never met this child. You know nothing about this child. This child probably remind you of someone or triggered an emotion or triggered a thought or triggered something in you that said to you because they're dressed this way or because they look this way or because they remind you of something. They're probably a B. Student or C. Student. But the answer is they're all a students, they're all a students. But what is it in us that assigned that child and A or B or C or D or F.
What is it in us And here's the point that I'm making Lindsay if we don't come to the conclusion that we all have some internal bias that we have to acknowledge and deal with, then we're operating under the assumption that, oh, everybody, I love all kids, everything's fine. Everybody's gonna get an equitable treatment in my classroom. And and the reality is no, they're not. And and for those who are listening and saying that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I'm telling you thousands and thousands of people take this and they do this. And then when I ask them, can you explain to me why the asian never gets it of the thousands of people I've done, nobody's ever failed given them. I mean, it's just right why? Because there's something intrinsically in the head that, well, this student is smart. And how do you treat students that you think are smart? How do you approach students that you think are capable?
How do you plan for students that you think are going to excel versus the opposite and in our education system until we can deal with acknowledge and start to work on those things? We're gonna have a gap because your belief system drives your actions and those actions are going to produce results. Now, you talked about, we talked briefly about buying it and how to get people to buy into um change or or shift in mindset or or any type of of shift or movement or improvement um initiative or anything of that nature and here's what I would say to that I would say that there are five components to ensure and buy it. The first component I would say is that you have to engage in what I'm gonna call honest and transparent dialogue, you have to be honest about where you are, you have to be very transparent about what the issue is and you have to allow people to talk and to communicate what their challenges are, what their issues are and you have to be in a position to listen and understand.
So number one, are you engaging in honest and transparent dialogue with whatever it is that you're trying to get someone to buy into number two. Usually when there's a change, usually when there's a shift in any type of situation, it's usually a lot to ask them how to change, right, Lindsay and so the way that I have found or I have seen works the best is to be very strategic with how you chunk change. What I mean by that is If we can improve, there's a book called 1% right or a book called the slight edge where you talk about Jeff Olson, where you talk about um improving incrementally. So breaking down change initiatives into distinct phases is always helpful. The third way I would think after engaging in honest transparent dialogue after chunking the change, I would say the third thing that we would need to consider in Mayan is it's just really listening.
It's when I get to this third one, there's an author by the name of Ricco Rick, uh what's his name, Rick Mahr, I think M O U M A U R E R Rick Meagher and he says relationships are just as important as ideas, relationships are just as important as ideas. So you may have a great idea. But do you have a great relationship and in that he talks about in that book, he talks about three broad categories of why people resist change. Now all of this is falling under the third aspect of listening, right? But when he talks about three bread broad categories for resistance to change, it is so interesting what he says. Number one people resist because they don't understand it, right? Number two people resist because they don't like it. And number three people resist because they don't like you the first, which is they don't understand, it invites an opportunity to clarify the 2nd and 3rd, our emotional reactions and their emotional reactions to um the change message or the change messenger.
And what that does is is provide you an opportunity when you understand that. No, that that's why listening is so important because then you can know where the resistance is. So once again like Rick said, I don't like it, I don't like you or I just don't get it, but they don't get it, that's easy. But they don't like if they don't like you and they don't like the change, then you have to listen to find out where their experiences where their belief is. Um So after engaging honest feedback, chunking, listening, I would say that the fourth way to ensure buying is you have to obtain feedback and you have to gain input from the people that the changes impacting. If you're not getting feedback that goes beyond listening, listening is simply listening understanding but getting feedback and getting input from the people that the change impacts on the incremental process is key. Then lastly I would say you have to communicate progress so often I see people organizations, leaders will engage in change.
They'll do, you know, they'll be honest and they'll chunk and they'll listen and they'll get feedback but they won't communicate where they are, where they're progressing, where are we headed in relation to where we're trying to be give people updates and and and is this actually working or is it not? And if it's not, are we willing to make the proper justice? So those are just some of the things that I have seen that really work well to garner by it and and and and and really impede the process of trying to be trying to sell or trying to make sure someone feels sold to wow, there was so much in there that is so powerful and I really appreciate you naming each of those five pieces. One of the things that came to my mind as you were talking about your initial activity two is um there's a chapter I think is part of a larger book from Zander and Zander that was called Giving the A or giving an A something like that. Just the idea that like day one, you could just give everybody an A in your class and like how does that change the day dynamic and how does everyone rise to that standard and gets the A ultimately in the end, right?
They've earned it because you've created that image and I think that's so powerful just thinking about that with that activity is like, all right, everybody gets the a and now you have a very different experience with each individual students so powerful that mindset and like you're saying like everyone has bias, it's really telling when um you know, we we engage with the schools or school leaders who are like, oh well, you know, we're not we don't have that kind of problem. We don't have this, this underlying bias, that's not the issue. It's like if we can't even admit that, we can't even get to the first step just acknowledging that to be true. We're not going to get much further. We're not going to be able to do the deeper work that's necessary. And so yeah, huge, huge point that you made the other piece, I think that that stuck out to me was that dialogue piece um dr Sherry Bridges Patrick is as a person I worked closely with and she has been on the podcast a few times and her work is in uh dialogue, specifically racial dialogue and racialized dialogue in various communities of the helping profession social work, education and things like this.
And it's just that perceived she's taught me a lot about perceived safety and this concept of, you know, we can't declare a space safe and now we all get along and talk right? But that everyone comes to this space and has this different, unique, important perception of safety and each person has to perceive that this is a space we can have honest dialogue. Um and that is such a fundamental piece. I love that you named it first and then you don't know if I interpreted this or if you if you were intentional about this, but it almost sounded like that's the thing that if that's missing, you can't have any of the other ones. Is that a correct assumption or are they not in order in that way? I'm going to take credit for being strategic. Although it was not that I'm gonna take all the credit for being strategic and listen at first, but the reality is you're so right, you're so right, Lindsay, because if so if that's not in place, if that is not the foundational aspect that has been established, man, everything that comes after that is just gonna it's gonna crumble.
Yeah. And I think one of the things that I am really fascinated by recently is this idea of strategic planning and I know this is something that you talk about and write about in your book. And I think this key of honest dialogue and importantly, a lot of the other things you're saying, right, I really resonated with the gaining input and feedback. It actually made me think of, so I'm from the like the student voice scholarship field and I'm like really in that world and there's this great pyramid of student voice that dana mitra came up with and then she like maps it into this idea of turbulence theory. And so she he talks about how at the very first level, like the initial level of student voices just being heard, but also that's the most turbulent because you have people kind of sharing these ideas. But if you don't do anything with it, if you don't take that next level up and partner with them and take action as a result of that feedback, then it's just gonna get all these ideas spewed out into the world and people are gonna be like angry almost that they were vulnerable and shared with you and you did nothing with it.
And I think that's really powerful, but why why is there such a gap between listening and understanding and taking action from your perspective Lindsay, you know, I know this is I'm on your podcast and I'm honored and privileged to be here, but really Lindsay you spend so much time talking to experts, you spend so much time talking to leaders, you spend so much time helping and providing information and resource as a resource for educators who are, I mean they're, they're just, they're hungry and want to do better and want to learn more. And your podcast is is such a great venue for that. But what are you seeing when you're talking to people? Why is there such a disconnect between taking that action and and and and following up on on what you know to do? Why why is there such a disconnect there? I so appreciate you asking me a question. Thank you. So actually it goes back to, okay, I loved how you were saying um you were talking about the three reasons that people resist and it made me think of, I think it was high fits, it's some adaptive leadership scholar who says, you know, the resistance is loss and resistance is this kind of like fear of losing something.
Um, and I think for me it actually is number one of what you said, right, they don't understand. So that might be one piece, but then it's also this kind of fear or so sense of loss. So maybe I don't understand the how like how do I partner with students, but then I also, I might understand the technical piece of the, how I, I, you know, have a morning meeting or a circle time with students and I get their input and then we co create the unit question for the, you know, I might know the how, but I fear the loss of control for example, right? Like I fear that I am giving up something here, I'm losing. Like it's this zero sum game, right? That we imagine is is real. And I think a lot of that is tied to deeply held beliefs about just like adulthood, about the specific students in our class, about the implicit bias we were talking about, it's also teacher prep programs and this is, I've been told not to smile until christmas kind of thing, you know, and what that all means to be a teacher I really like and I know it's, it's turn into a bit of a cliche, but I really like this idea of like the coach, the teacher in the coach role because as a former basketball coach, like I, I am definitely a person who is like, oh, I can now get into that mode and I'm not dribbling for them, I'm not taking the shot for that.
Like I'm not doing these things for them, I'm not spoon feeding, I'm calling a play and then they're gonna figure it out and I need to make sure that each person has what they need to figure it out in the moment and if we looked at education in that way, I think the partnership mindset I guess makes so much more sense. I'm no longer fearing that I'm losing the coaching authority because a coach authority is not the same as like, you know, someone who dictates this is what's going to happen, everyone follow or else. And so I think there's, there's that resistance as lost as well as like maybe I just don't know. And so like you said, I think people fall into these different groups and you respond accordingly and coach accordingly lindsey. I love that. Here's my follow up question. I know I'm not the host and please forgive me for asking questions, but you, you phrased it so beautifully, is the current system that we're in, designed for teachers to be successful with that approach. Such a good question. Okay, so I think, I think that that could be a whole other podcast facility in terms of the depth we could go with that conversation, I'll say quickly, I don't think it is on the whole, however, I have seen pockets of innovation and and what I would call bravery that make it possible.
So for example, there's a group of schools in new york, new york city, new york state actually, I think they extend beyond the city. Um I was fortunate enough for part of my teaching career to teach in one of them And they said, you know, the system as it exists around standardized testing was, is the example that I'll start with. But they were like, this is messed up. It's not helping our kids, we know we can do better. And so they developed a consortium of schools. They said, here's what we're gonna do. As, you know, a group of 30 schools, we're going to do performance-based assessments. We're gonna have this really rigorous uh, rubric that we're gonna go through and and agree. And there's all this protocol to make sure it's good. We're gonna have panelists of judges from different schools in the community who are going to, you know, have real authentic feedback conversations with students as they present their projects. And this will serve. This project will serve as their standardized test. It's going to replace the region's test or whatever the state test would be in different scenarios. And that took a lot of work for them to come together and do that.
But it's possible. And those schools and those students in those schools are thriving because they were willing to put in the work and willing to change what the system was telling them that they could do and find an innovative way to work within it. Um, I'm definitely a fan of changing the larger system, but in the meantime, you know, what actions can we take to to do what we can to make it possible for us to take those action steps? Um, perhaps on a smaller, localized scale in the meantime, I think it is possible. I would completely agree, and, you know, in my book, ensure educational success, those are some of the things that I write about in harp on um for teachers to process through, even though you may be in a system that is inhibiting your freedom to, like you said, um, just be all the way autonomous with um allowing you, you being the coach and allowing the students to, or you guiding the students, it is absolutely possible. And although challenging it's possible and it doesn't take a whole lot right, There are just some things that you have to shift in your mindset to understanding the difference between a dependent learning an independent learner, right?
And and what it means to guide the learning and what it means to provide relevancy for students and coach them in certain areas, um, to allow them the space to think and learn um differently than they have been. So, I love the way that you put that, and I think you're absolutely correct, and I think that's the challenge. It's how do we step outside of the traditional system to provide opportunities for students in such a way that they enjoy that they're motivated that they're encouraged, but ultimately, um that you're not spoon feeding them or as you say, dribbling for them and teaching them how to do that. That's that's that's the goal, awesome. I love it. And I know that you mentioned your book too. I just want to give you a minute to just share. You know, is there anything else that, that people should know about your book? I feel like people are going to listen to this and be like, I want to buy your book and like can you just tell people how, you know a little bit about the book and then also like you know how they get a copy we can add any links to to the show notes.
Thank you so much. My book is called ensure educational success. It's available on amazon Barnes and nobles or wherever books are sold via online and of course, uh, hopefully the link will be provided there. Um, to access the reason that I wrote this book, it's for educators, educational leaders is because I have been in the traditional education system for um, Almost 19 years now. I've been very fortunate Lindsay, I've been very fortunate in education as a classroom teacher. I taught middle school, eighth grade U. S. History. I had the highest scores in my district. I was in um, a very large district in north texas, one of the ninth largest school district in texas. Um, I had a student one time and his name was Trey. Talk to Trey. Um, but they couldn't read Lindsay. Trey was in eighth grade. Now I just want you to just picture that. I know people hear that and they dismiss it and here's another sob story about a student.
But I really want you to think about this. An eighth grade student that reads about on a second grade love, imagine the challenge that this kid had, imagine that the all that this young man had to go through and of course he was a discipline problem. Of course he was an issue for, of course he was. I mean he, he has pride and he doesn't want everybody to know he's struggling, right? But the reality is with this particular student, he would tap on his desk, he would beat on his desk with a pen. He would wrap and lindsey for all of those who are dismissive of, of this genre of rap. This young man was able to rap about anything and make his words every other words rhyme and single page and so forth and so on. It takes a lot of skill to do that. So I knew he was intelligent. I knew he had it in him. I just had to find a way to get it out. So I had a friend of mine who's a producer and I went over his house one night and we stayed up all night trying to find how to make a song for the bill of rights so that he could learn the bill of rights.
So I'm sitting here trying to find something that rhymes with Magna carta right? And a friend is over here trying to get the music together and we create this this song for him so that he could learn. Do you know what happened Lindsay? He got that he learned the Bill of Rights in such a way that he started to help others learn the Bill of Rights Asked me can you do the same thing for the next section? We'll I'm not, I don't write write, I don't do that right? But that's what we did. And we ended up coming up with a city that was ended up being used in 12 different states. But the the point of it is I found a way to motivate him to encourage him to inspire him to want to learn. So whether it's C. D. Or art or music or whatever it is, there's things that inspire our Children. So I wrote this book to inspire educators to inspire leaders to break away from the traditional mindset of how we approach education and give some tenants and some common sense innovative strategies for how to take schools students leaders to the next level because of that city.
I was featured in Harry Wong's book. The first days of school Harry Wong if you don't know was on Oprah at that time and I don't care if you go on Oprah selling eyebrow pencil, you will have the number one selling eyebrow pencils in America right? So of course this book went to number one. Um, so having that opportunity as a middle school principal, having extreme success as a high school principal being named as a demonstration school, one of 32 top urban schools in America at closing achievement gaps. I mean these are things that I look back now and I just, I'm, I'm so thankful to have had a team and teachers that bought into what we were trying to do and what we're trying to do is ensure educational success for students. So that's what I write about. So I'll write about how to duplicate that, how to do it. It is not difficult, it's not rocket science, but it is intentional. Um, and, and so that's what the book is about. Thank you so much for talking about that and for sharing an anecdote from the book that's, that's so powerful and I think we've talked about so much on this in this podcast episode that I'm thinking for the teacher or leader who is kind of ready to close down the episode, Ready to go take action on some of this stuff.
What is one, just one next step that someone could go do, you know, tomorrow next week something to get the ball rolling on some of these big ideas we've been talking about. Um, that would just be kind of a momentum starter. Well the first thing they could do is go by the book, But, but the second thing they can do after 14? The second thing that they can do is in all transparency, Everything that we've talked about. If they're listening to this podcast, if they've listened this far in the podcast, that means that they're, they have a true proclivity to improve. What I would say Lindsay is the first thing that people should do is ask this question are my actions having the impact that they have the potential to have. So let me pause for a second. We are all busy every day. We are all doing something every day whether that's teaching.
Well that's an assistant principal in their duties and job responsibilities, whether it's a principal or superintendent, whether it's a podcast host or whatever it is, we are all engaged in actions. But if we don't stop and reflect on our, my actions, having the impact that I desire them to have, then we will continue in mediocrity. We will continue doing the things that we're doing and getting the results that we're getting and we will be looking for and blaming everybody and everything else for why we're not transforming the thing that I would say is we need to reflect much like earlier in the episode when I talked about the teachers who took the um gave the kids the grades. The first thing that has to happen is they have to understand where they are in relation to where they're trying to be. So the question is, are my actions yielding the results, having the impact and if not, are you willing, are you brave enough to do something about it?
Such a powerful question. Yes, I highly encourage everyone to just take a minute to press pause even on the episode and do that now. Right to just answer that question. Um thank you for that and, and, and as a closing, closing question, this is kind of just fun. I've been adding this in lately, but I'm curious to know we all in that spirit like you're saying of constant learning and growth and if you listen this far, you know, you're a person who is dedicated to that, I know you're dedicated to that. So I'm curious to know what's something that you have been learning about lately and this could be professionally, it could be personally, you learn how to cook something new. Like anything you've been learning about lately, you know, this is actually a really great question. I just finished a book um by chris Voss and the name of this book is never split the difference and chris voss I believe, and I hope I'm not misquoting this at one point in time, I believe he was the the United States leading negotiator and this book is about how to become a better negotiator now, the reason that I'm reading this book is because everything in life is a negotiation.
I mean trying to get your kids to go to sleep? It's negotiation? I mean where you know everything in life, but what I've learned and what I'm learning in this book is the art of communication in such a way that you're able to negotiate um not manipulate but negotiate for win wins. And so I'm really enjoying that or I read the book and I've enjoyed what I'm learning and I'll go back and just continue to try to refine that. Oh that's awesome. Now I love adding to my to read list going right on it. And the last question they have for you is just where can listeners learn more about you or connect with you online? Thank you so much. I'd like to share with them my website which is um www dot S N I X three consulting dot com. That's s next three consulting dot com. And it's on that website that you would be able to um learn more about me, my book um opportunities and resources for you and your organization to continue to improve.
There are different things on there for you to analyze kind of where you are as an organization, as a person. Um so that would be a great place to start. And then of course I don't have a million social platforms but you can follow me on twitter at Samuel nix. Perfect. And we'll link to both of those links in our blog post for the episode as well. Dr nick, Thank you so much for just spending this time with us and sharing so many wonderful insights. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on. The pleasure has been all my Lindsay. Thank you so much and thank you to the listeners. I am so honored. Um, I wish you nothing but the best. If you're leaving this episode wanting more, you're going to love my live coaching intensive curriculum bootcamp. I help one department or grade team create feminist anti racist curricula that challenges affirms and inspires all students. We leave current events into course content and amplify student voices, which skyrockets engagement and academic achievement. It energizes educators feeling burns out and it's just two days plus you can reuse the same process any time you create a new unit which saves time and money.
If you can't wait to bring this to your staff, I'm inviting you to sign up for a 20 minute call with me, grab a spot on my calendar at www dot lindsey beth Lyons dot com slash contact Until next time leaders continue to think big act brave and be your best self. This podcast is a proud member of the teach better podcast network better today, better tomorrow and the podcast to get you there, explore more podcasts at teach better dot com slash podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode
89. 5 Components of Real Buy-In with Dr. Samuel D. Nix
89. 5 Components of Real Buy-In with Dr. Samuel D. Nix