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Start New, Starting Now

Many years ago I read a book called, “Strength Finders.” The premise was to focus on strengths and making them stronger, rather than strengthening weakness.

My greatest passion as an educator is helping the students who struggle in school. Many times by the time they reach me for learning strategies, they’ve begun to think they’re broken, stupid, and can’t be successful.

My first question for older students 5th grade and up is, why are here? Usually the answer is built off their poor academic performance.

My next question, what is the best thing you can do? Most times the activities appear like they’re far from academic.

My goal is to find my students’ strengths and build them up toward academic success. When they begin to see that organizing their toys is like organizing their week, they feel empowered. When they see reading a graphic novel is no different than reading other books, they feel empowered.

The third and most important thing is that they discover they have what it takes to empower themselves.

My dear friend and cousin, Jen, helped me connect this mindset to myself. I love being business minded, teaching, and empowering others. As a little girl, my pretend play was imagining I was on cooking shows, owning and running businesses, and teaching. As I got older, I thought if I wasn’t serious when I was doing something, it must not be successful.

What a ridiculous thought! The truth is the more I build my teaching and businesses around my strengths, the greater success I find. In my everyday life I often see myself as a stay-at-home mom, but I actually have a few businesses that adjust to my strengths.

I am an independent contractor for an online teaching platform that offers lessons for students who want to learn English as a Second Language.

I recently became a Pampered Chef consultant because I can teach others how to use kitchen tools to empower themselves in cooking and recipe making. I have a Facebook page where I share Tara’s Tasty Treats and Tips and a group where I test recipes called Tara’s Tasty Test Kitchen. This platform will allow for me to teach online classes for students and offer teaching suggestions for parents on the website I built, Empowered Learning Designs. On my site I have video lessons that offer tips and strategies for parents and students at Tara’s Teaching Toolbox. An area where I have not always felt strong was my health and weight. Jen introduced me to a product called Isagenix. I was skeptical and came in convinced I was broken. I gave it a shot and more than the normal focus of weight loss, I feel like I have self-control. Over the next week I’ll be using my strengths to launch another business endeavor to become a consultant. Typically I’d want to figure it all out, but my 2021 goal is to Start New, Starting Now.

What are areas you feel like you’re strongest?

That’s where you start and where you find hope rises again.

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