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  • Writer's pictureRita D. Williams, Ph.D.

Nuggets for New Teachers

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

I am extremely grateful that we successfully hosted our inaugural conference entitled Nuggets for New Teachers. In the midst of working in the background to ensure everything was on point, I was also able to glean nuggets that I will use to F1NE-TUNE my practices.

While I picked up tips from all sessions, I will take a moment to share my takeaways from Luqman Abdur-Rahman’s keynote address.

The graduate of Morehouse College, Georgia Tech and Columbia University gave us four charges:

  1. Dream big.

  2. Start small.

  3. Be ridiculously faithful to the details.

  4. Focus on what you can control.

As the CEO of F1NE-TUNE, I am dreaming bigger than I ever have. Now that I am building a stellar team, I am looking forward to putting F1NE-TUNE on the map as an effective professional learning company to which both educators and parents can look for viable support. Quality training for teachers is hard to find, and it is almost obsolete for parents. We want to come alongside both groups for the ultimate betterment of their students.

In 2014, I started F1NE-TUNE. I was a one-woman show, but I put my best efforts forward and made a decent name for the company. While I focused on the area of mathematics solely, I learned how to write engaging professional development using Knowles’ principles of andragogy. In 2019, I received some critical feedback from an elementary school in DeKalb County, GA that helped me F1NE-TUNE my training design. Since then, I have been careful to allot the bulk of the session time for modeling exactly how to implement the strategies being presented. This eliminates teachers having to guess how the strategies should look and instead allows them to be ready to incorporate the learning the next day in their classrooms. Starting small helped me learn critical lessons that will aid me as I oversee F1NE-TUNE's expansion.

As a detail-oriented individual, I was affirmed by the third charge. I believe the difference is in the details, and I attend to them with precision as any mathematically-proficient chick does. Some may think I go overboard, but everyone always enjoys my final product. As such, I cannot and will not operate any other way. Lol.

Out of everything I heard, I know I need to practice and master #4. As a perfectionist, I want to F1NE-TUNE what both others and I should be doing. However, as a woman in her forties, I know that is so not practical and so not what God called me to do. I am going to focus on my realm of influence, and I am going to make sure that I maximize all of its potential. This mindset is much better for my health as well as that of those around me. :-) And I look forward to attaining the rewards.

Nuggets for New Teachers was F1NE-TUNE’s way of telling new colleagues we are behind them 100%. However, I am glad that, as an educator entering her 24th year, I was able to walk away with nuggets of wisdom that will help me be a better me. Hats off, Luqman! Your keynote F1NE-TUNEd the best in all of us.

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