Seminar Inspires, Engages Teachers and Students
How can we better engage our minority students? This was one of the many critical questions posed at a seminar hosted by the Minority Teacher Recruitment Project (MTRP) in March. The keynote speaker, Mychal Wynn, offered potential solutions on how to close the achievement gap and make college a reality for all students in his presentation, “The Pathway through College is all about Strategies.”
K-12 teachers, university faculty and students, middle and high school students, and community and church youth leaders attended the event. Wynn’s presentation was motivational, thought provoking, and inspired lively discussions among the various groups.
Teachers praised the opportunity to hear Wynn speak about techniques and strategies that can be used to address the challenges facing today’s students—empowering them to succeed by setting goals for their education and career. It also helped prepare them to better identify students who are in danger of falling through the cracks, never realizing their talent or potential.
Students were captivated by Wynn’s straightforward approach and unfailing belief that education can break the cycle of poverty. Students reflected on his words and actively participated in breakout sessions. Many stated that it “woke them up” and “inspired and engaged them.”
LeDita Howard-Hobbs, director of MTRP at UofL’s College of Education and Human Development, stated that the level of enthusiasm shown by the seminar attendees was moving.
“This began as an opportunity for students to acquire a better understanding of KTIP (Kentucky Teacher Internship Program) and blossomed into a fantastic seminar that brought so many people together who believe in the power of education,” stated Hobbs.
Wynn reminded the students that:
- “You choose your friends—don’t let them choose you.”
- “Always have goals and a plan of action. Believe in your self and your future.”
- “Where you come from does not determine where you are going—only where you begin.”
Wynn also added, “Whether you would want your children to attend the school where you work or to be taught by your colleagues is analogous to asking the question of a waitress, “Would you eat the food you serve?” or a mechanic, “Would you want the people you work with to service your car?”… If the administrators, teachers, and support staff have confidence in their colleagues, the instructional practices occurring within classrooms, the school-wide climate and culture, the administrative leadership, the curriculum, and the extracurricular activities of the school in which they work, and are willing to have their own children educated where they work, then it is probably a good school for all children.”
Mychal Wynn is a consultant, author and noted motivational speaker and addresses the complex challenges and potential solutions to increasing student achievement and widening the primary to postsecondary path to college. He provides staff development and college planning seminars for students, schools, and school districts. Mr. Wynn’s published works include, The Eagles Who Thought They Were Chickens, and The College-Bound Planning Series, and Increasing Student Achievement: A Guide to School Improvement Planning.
To contact the MTRP, call 502-852-7697, or visit the website, http://louisville.edu/education/research/special-projects/mtrp/.