Advice that will Help You be Successful

What should teachers and administrators do to be successful? What should undergraduate and graduate students do to be successful? What should you do to be successful at your job?

Based on my experiences I have come to the conclusion that to be successful a person must know and understand the importance of three words:

Knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

A skill is the learned ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. In other words, the abilities that one possesses. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills.

Dispositions are the predominant or prevailing tendency of one’s spirits; natural mental and emotional outlook or mood; characteristic attitude.

As a former teacher, school administrator, college professor and assistant dean in the College of Education I have come to the conclusion that one word is more important than the other two for people to be successful.

Before you read further take a minute and think about which word you would choose as the most important and why?

As a supervisor of thousands of teachers, public school students, college students and student teachers I am convinced, based upon personal experiences, that if an individual fails to be successful it is because they are unable to work well with others, follow directions, establish positive relationships, attend to a task in a timely manner, be accepting of individual differences or feel entitled. (Note: this is not an all-inclusive list)

The vast majority of failures I observed was, in my opinion, because many of those individuals lacked an understanding of the importance of dispositions. Most individuals I mentored who were struggling to be successful often appeared to acknowledge what positive dispositions were but for some reason were unwilling or unable to incorporate positive actions into their day to day dealings with individuals in their school or organization.

I welcome your feedback as we all work together to be successful knowing that success will lead to a happy and satisfying life.

Happy Trails to You–Herb

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