The Key to Success, is Access
Every day, as my students come into the classroom, they walk under a sign that says “The Key to Success, is Access.” Many may not give it another thought, but when they enter, their instructor does everything he can to make that statement come alive. And it’s not empty words, or a clever bumper sticker campaign. It’s life. It’s his life, and hopefully it becomes their life.
Their instructor explains that they can achieve anything, but they truly have to believe it. If they think negatively about something, they will be faced with many negative choices, because that’s all they look for. But on the other side, if they think of positive things, they will be surrounded by positive choices, because that is what they seek, and what they will actually see.
I, as the instructor, know what I’m talking about.
When I started college, I thought I was all that, and didn’t put much effort into anything, while expecting everything to fall my way. High school was “easy,” so why shouldn’t college be. I look back now, and think of all the other things I could have achieved if I applied myself, but I look today and realize all the possibilities and wouldn’t change anything for the world. But in college, I received the “wake up” call: 1:07 GPA!!! I was bummed out, and kept playing the “what if”” game, interchanged with the “fill in the blank is going to kill me” game. Neither of which I really wanted to be an active participant in. At least, not willing. Right then and there, I knew there was nothing I could do about the past, but I could make a different in the future. Because I believed, I succeeded, making the Dean’s List every semester, through 8 degrees. If I had given up at that moment, and so many people told me I should, I never would have known all the great things in store, truly there for the taking. I know it, because I did it.
And now, I pass that on to my students. I work with them on believing in their strengths to apply to their goals. I set up the courses to supply many possibilities and paths to take to succeed, using true application, reworking the “wiring” of our minds to not believe that “one size fits all.” It doesn’t, so they shouldn’t.
Sometimes, I become rather reflective, thinking that just because it worked for me, should it work for them. But then I have a student come by, and thank me for the class and really making them feel special. Or I get an e-mail from a student using some of the principles of the course and some of my ideas, and telling me how “easy” everything seems, as they do what they’ve always wanted. I know I’ve provided them the access.
I’ve always told everyone who would listen that I can’t (nor can any of us) motivate anyone, and I believe that. We can’t motivate anyone, if they don’t want to be motivated. Providing the access leads to that motivation.
I’ve even written a book about it, putting these ideas in the written word, giving them to any student, or staff member, or parent who wants them, to reaccess, realign, and reemphasize the “reality” they thought they could never change. I can’t imagine doing anything else, but I feel I learn more every day, far more than I teach. Because of them, I am.