This creator spotlight features Aisha Taylor. Aisha is an administrator, author, speaker, and confidence coach. In this interview, Aisha shares her experiences in education while also detailing her newest book.
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Tame the Classroom (TTC): Aisha, currently you are a principal. How much time did you spend in the classroom before becoming a principal?
Aisha Taylor (AT): I was a teacher for 5 years before I began transitioning out the classroom.
TTC: When did you decide to make the transition from being a teacher to a principal?
AT: I came into education from the corporate world with the intent of coming out the classroom. As an administrator I feel like I can make a larger impact.
TTC: You’ve been able to see what it is like both as a classroom teacher and as an administrator. Were there things from your time as a teacher that you knew you wanted to “fix” or improve on when you became a principal?
AT: I learned teachers want supportive administrators and what it takes to build trust and influence.
TTC: What are the pros and cons of being a principal?
AT: The best thing about being a principal is I get to impact the lives of teachers and students! I enjoy coaching and inspiring teachers on how to meet the needs of students from diverse back grounds by preparing them to compete in the 21st century real world.
TTC: What are your overall thoughts about the COVID-19 pandemic and the way that it has shifted the educational system?
AT: I feel like God allowed a pandemic to get the world’s attention. We will never see a time in history where the world paused. It is making us all reflect on what is really important. Just like the world, the educational system will never be the same. We too will have a new normal when returning in the Fall. The pandemic interrupting the educational system exposed which districts were truly preparing students for 21st century learning and which districts were not. The truth is, integrating technology and creating multiple opportunities for students to learn should have never been an option but a mandate for districts.
TTC: You are known as the confidence coach. What strategies do you share with teachers to help boost their confidence in the classroom?
AT: There are psychological and nonpsychological strategies to build teacher efficacy. Three nonpsychological strategies teachers can build efficacy are:
- Using your prior work experience to engage students better. Share your story!
- Building a rapport/relationship with all students but especially low performing students.
- Understanding a student’s background – I call it knowing your audience.
TTC: Do you help principals boost their confidence too? If so, what strategies do you utilize with them?
AT: Yes. I teach leaders and teachers confidence boosting strategies that position them to make a more significant impact both in and out of the classroom.
I would use the same strategies I would use with a teacher but in a different way by using psychological strategies of building efficacy which are:
- Verbal persuasion
- Mastery experiences
- Vicarious experiences
- Physiological and emotional arousal
TTC: What do you think teachers struggle with the most?
AT: Most teachers struggle with knowing how to meet the needs of all students.
TTC: Tell us about your new book, Faith. Fear. Resilience: How to Reclaim Your Educational Life.
AT: It is a compelling story about the life of an educator and her glorious triumph to overcome the trials and tribulations of the profession. The story begins with a description of the most terrifying day of her educational life. That day now serves as the cornerstone to reflect on the attributes of faith, fear, and resilience to overcome this trying time in her life.
This book chronicles the effects of the daily trials faced by educators and the intersectionality of how such hardships could potentially affect their personal lives. In this book, I take readers, and educators alike, through this personal journey in hopes to find their own truths and rediscover the love and passion for their chosen profession.
TTC: What was the process of writing this book?
AT: The book started out as a short story book that was going to be a memoir. After asking a friend, who is an author, to proofread it. she was adamant that it should be a book. Dr. Terell Hoston convinced me to write a full blown book. I will never forget that he said, “This is your story. You need to tell it.”
TTC: What inspired you to write this book?
AT: I had just started being creating with ebooks. However, Dr. Hoston convinced me to tell my story.
TTC: In your opinion, what is the biggest problem in today’s educational system?
AT: Equity in learning, teaching, and resources.
TTC: Statistics state that there is a high turnover rate for new teachers staying in the profession. Why do you think this is the case?
AT: According to research there are three reasons: low salary, lack of support, and accountability pressure.
TTC: As a principal, how do you help support new teachers in your school?
AT: Making sure new teachers have a mentor program at least the 1st year of teaching, peer mentoring, and support.
TTC: You are an edupreneur. What does that term mean to you and what do you do as an edupreneur?
AT: An eduprenuer is both an educator and entrepreneur. They lead with a 21st century mindset and are known globally inside and outside the classroom. Being an edupreneur allows me to open up the movement of learning from one to many, from localized to global, from the past and present into the future, all while making a profit.
TTC: What advice do you have for aspiring edupreneurs?
AT: You are an entrepreneur therefore you must adapt that mindset of working for yourself.
TTC: Tell us about your upcoming projects.
AT: I will do an official launch of the “confidence shirts” and I’m currently working on the confidence coaching webinar series and a planner. I am currently hosting a webseries with another author on Facebook called “Breaking The Code To Reclaim Your Educational Life.”
TTC: Where can we find out more about you and everything you are working on?
AT: Follow me on Facebook & Instagram @iamtheconfidencecoach. To book me to speak you can go to my website at www.aishataylor.org. The book can be purchased on my website or on Amazon.
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