Catch Debbie Elder on the #PirateBroadcast - russjohns

Catch Debbie Elder on the #PirateBroadcast

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​Russ Johns 0:01
Welcome to the pirate broadcast, where we interview interesting people doing interesting things. Where you can expand your connections, your community. Kindness is cool and smiles are free. Let's get this party started.

It's a beautiful day to have a wonderful way. The pirate broadcast is here to really highlight other people in the community. I'm so happy that you're here. I'm excited that Debbie is here in the room. How are you this fine day, Debbie?

Debbie Elder 0:37
Fantastic. Thank you. Yeah, I'm doing great. Life is different, but life is really good.

Russ Johns 0:42
Yeah. Life is different. Now. For those that do not know Debbie elder, you need to connect with Debbie. She's an amazing individual that has a diverse background in lots of different activities. She actually operates a school. I wanted to talk about the school because so many things have been disrupted, and have evolved into kind of a different way of looking at it, not necessarily a negative. However, it's just different. Right, Debbie?

Debbie Elder 1:16
It is, yes!

Russ Johns 1:17
Walk us through the process that you had to go through in order to get in class opportunities and education into a virtual class operation and how that whole thing has taken place for yourself.

Debbie Elder 1:32
Sure. So we were on spring break when the world came to an end on March 12. They shut the rodeo down here in Houston. We had to think about how we could move forward. The first week after spring break, we sent work to our students via email that their parents did with them. We took that week to get ourselves ready to go into a virtual classroom. I trained my teachers and how that was going to work. We looked at different platforms decided on zoom. By the following week, we were up and running kids came in, we had lower Elementary, which is our first and second grade in the morning, upper elementary in the afternoon. We just moved forward. From there, we started with just the core classes, reading, writing, and arithmetic. The first week, second week, we started to introduce speech, art, and science and social studies. We were now ramped up fully to where we're able to offer all of our classes and it's been challenging, but it's been fun. We've learned a lot and we really determined sort of what the necessities are and what things our kids really need. When you have to make decisions like this hardcore decisions, you get very clear on what's important. For that, we feel very blessed. So it's been good. We've had lots of contact with our parents. Lots of suggestions. I really feel like it's a whole community trying to move this boat forward. So yeah, it's been good.

Russ Johns 3:06
You bring up a couple of key points that I want to dive into a little deeper. One for your group of individual children, your kids and students. They're probably all in the age range that they were familiar with the devices, the iPads, the computers, the smartphones, they were already well invested in the technology. It may not necessarily be the same case for their parents because some individuals that are not necessarily as interested in technology. I'll just say interested in technology. It can be challenging and it can be overwhelming. So it's not necessarily the kids that are challenged by the technology as much as their parents getting everything lined up and dialed in at the home. I think that's one of the things that I've heard across the education system. Has that been your experience as well?

Debbie Elder 4:08
Yes, we've had a lot of overwhelm parents. The teachers snd I have a stand up meeting every morning where we meet on zoom now. We kind of joke amongst us, if the parents were out of the picture would be so much easier, but the parents are dealing with, they're trying to do their jobs, right. They're all from home. They have several children that are trying to ensure everybody's getting their needs met. It's very difficult for them. So we're trying to make it as easy as possible, trying to minimize change that we're doing. Zoom came out recently with a request that we all have passwords for our meetings so that we're not, I guess, bombed by people who want to come into groups where they're not invited. It's just a reminder that we had to add to the procedures which I waited until the last minute, I kind of have the attitude rest that I don't make decisions until I'm forced to. I don't make changes until I need to. It became very clear Monday morning, we needed to include a password for our parents, so they could feel secure and safe that their children were going to be in virtual classrooms that we're secure. That's been the latest move that we've had to endure.

Russ Johns 5:23
It's interesting because I was talking about this subject yesterday on the show. One of the things that we need to be patient around is the fact that the parents are in a new environment as well. Typically, they may be in an office somewhere else doing something completely different. Now they're home attempting to balance dinner and lunch, laundry, household and then they're adding their work on top of it. Then they're also homeschooling, essentially. It's three different specific tasks that are kind of a mindset shift in their multitasking in between these events, and it's challenging at best. Like I said before the show started my life pretty much has not changed because I've been doing this remote home work for years and it's and mind boggling to think of all of the people out there that are going through the changes and my heart goes out to you. I think that the theme that we need to live through is resiliency and being able to adapt. That's something that you've done a number of times in your life, you've adapted to different circumstances in different environments and things like that. What's the roadmap for Debbie Elder in the school and your speaking environment and some of those things are? What's on your mind? What's taking place in your world now?

Debbie Elder 7:03
Interestingly enough, I made the decision at the beginning of the year to take my school to get it ready to be licensed, I wasn't willing to franchise I've done that in the past and that really diverts your attention from what you love to now you're managing owners and I didn't want to do that again. I am getting the school ready to be licensed. What that requires is putting together a package so it's a turnkey operation for the next owner, to take what we do and implement. I speak all around the country. Every time I talk, somebody says, Do you have a school in our area? My answer always is no. We're going to act on that right now. The Coronavirus has allowed us to expedite that, unbelievably, and so we are as a staff working and writing and producing so many documents and our standard operating procedures manuals finished already. We go most of the book written that would allow a manual for someone to come in and do what we're doing. With regards to speaking, I've been given the opportunity to do Facebook Lives and podcasts such as this on a fairly regular basis. In fact, I have five this week. Speaking of just shifted to me being able to be home and speak and and it's been kind of fun because I've been sort of a woman family on Facebook and asked me to speak Thursday night to a very large group of stay at home childcare providers, so I'll be doing that on Thursday night speaking on self care. Wednesday night the school district in our area, Russ kind of crashed schoolology, which is one of the platforms that they were using. The students that live in my neighborhood and surrounding areas are not receiving any education right now.

Yeah, we're doing a Facebook Live on correlating quarantine question mark, we're going to talk about strategies to sort of keep the families together. Then from there, offer them the opportunity to reach out to us if we can help in any way with their educational needs, or teaching them study strategies, whatever they need for our neighboring members of our community. Yeah, lots of really exciting stuff going on. It's been different but very fun.

Russ Johns 9:23
Do you see this as a kind of a wake up call, in terms of how education can be delivered versus what our traditional and historical views on education have been?

Debbie Elder 9:39
I see it as a wake up call in all aspects. I've been sort of preaching, if you will, I do a video every day. I've been talking to my audience about the fact that this is an opportunity to do a reset, to really look at what's working in your life, what's not working, what do you want to leave in the Coronavirus era and what do you want to take? Moving forward, going back to normal may require us or may, enlighten us to leave some of what wasn't working in this era, leave it here, don't take it forward and really a chance to reflect on what we want moving forward. I know personally, I'm using this time to reset some habits that I really want to take into the next era that I want to be able to bring forward and with the time and the flexibility I have right now, I feel it's a great time to start implementing which I've been doing so new habits and to be revisiting some things that worked for me in the past that I might have let go because I thought it was too busy. I see it as a real cleansing opportunity. I think that we have a really good chance to look at what's truly important to us and to focus on that and to let other things go by the wayside. So I think it's an opportunity.

Russ Johns 10:36
Oh No!

I really love that what you you just shared because it's, For myself I'm a I'm a fairly, I wouldn't call myself a minimalist. However, over the years and relocating and moving and readjusting my life and my lifestyle, it's really, anything I can do to remove baggage, it has been a good thing. The less I have to carry, the more efficient I can become. I think a lot of people are looking at this opportunity saying, Well, what is truly important? When we're talking about something of this magnitude, and it's a global scale, we're all going through this. My desire and my hope and my prayer is that we come together as humanity a little tighter and less opposition, less challenges. We're always gonna have challenges in our world. However, there's an opportunity that we can actually come together and think about things that are important and really make an impact on our lives and some of those things and those ideas. I think it needs to be shared and broadcasted. If you're sharing those, I applaud you. I thank you so much for doing that. Also, I think it's important that we think about using this time because a lot of people have extra time because they're not commuting in a car. Houston traffic is a place you could get lost for an hour without thinking about it. We have this extra time we can use this to increase and improve our skills. We don't necessarily have to just sit there and wait for life to happen, we can actually make life happen. We can make improvements in our life and make choices so what kinds of ideas have you thought about or shared or heard on other podcasts that are that people are doing to improve their skills and their value? As we evolve through this process?

Debbie Elder 13:02
Great question. So the other morning I woke up, I have several clients that I work with, I do a lot of one on one coaching. I woke up thinking about my 16 year old client who is in the same school district I just mentioned, where they're not being provided with any educational processes right now, or any content from the teachers. I challenged him to select a book off a book list that I have put together, which is really success mandated. He chose the book "Thinking Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill

Russ Johns 13:37
Napoleon Hill.

Debbie Elder 13:38
Phenomenal book.

I said to him at 16 if you could start to integrate these philosophies and these mandates and these ways of thinking, you're going to be so much further ahead. What happens in my opinion, from what I've witnessed is people wait until they get into their mid 30s and go Hmm, this is not what I thought it was gonna be like, and then they have to undo habits. I would prefer for him at 16 to implement these habits to really get the thinking right, no stinking thinking as Zig Ziglar would say, right from the beginning. That's how I raise my daughters Russ. I kind of looked at what do I want walk out my door at 18? What would that look like for them? Then we used as you know, my homeschooling time with them. I had them from third grade till college, I was able to implement over lunch, we listened to a lot of the books that I now have on my list, and we discussed it and we implemented it. You have to listen, but you have to take action. It's not enough just to go Oh, that was a great book and put it aside. You need to really be willing to see how you can implement the strategies into your life and take those one step at a time and start making those changes and coming out of this Coronavirus with a whole renewed outlook and a set of skills that you didn't have when this started is phenomenal and that's what gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that I have time to really work on me and what a gift. So yeah, it's pretty exciting.

Russ Johns 13:39
Yeah!

It is very exciting. When we look at challenges as opportunities rather than things that are gonna stop us in our tracks, it's almost like life is a game. It's like, Okay, how can I play this to my advantage? How can I use this experience to learn something from? It's just an experience, some experiences are good, some experiences are bad, and every experience brings something to us. I was having this conversation with a friend, Angie the other day and it was, we can all go say to the same theater and see the same movie and eat the same popcorn and leave with a different experience.

Debbie Elder 15:59
Right.

Russ Johns 16:00
That's how life is. Our perspective and our experience in our skills all add to what we're bringing to the table going forward. If you set your mindset at 16 on thinking go rich versus some other alternatives that are available at 16. The outcome and the progress you can make over the next decade is it's monumental. It can make a huge difference in our lives. As this student takes advantage of this educational process, has there been any kind of epiphanies that they've shared with you that would be valuable to share today?

Debbie Elder 16:46
Well, he had an interesting road. He had a big fight with his parents right before spring break and left the home and didn't return for over a week, and then this whole Coronavirus hit so there was really no Incentive to return home which was a little scary for his parents. He did eventually come back. They've been able to work through some things. He's had a lot of opportunity to self reflect and was very willing to take on this challenge. He's a really competitive baseball player. He's a pitcher, he's phenomenal. That's probably going to be his ticket into college. I just had to word my offer very carefully, and set it up as a challenge to sort of hit on his competitiveness. I was able to sort of hook him in to this. It's he just started reading the book yesterday. I have only heard that he is reading it. I don't have any action that he's taken as of yet. We've set up an accountability process where he's going to read and let me know how he's implementing it what he's learned. I think anytime you take on something new, that may be challenging if there is an accountability piece into it. It's more difficult. I've learned for myself that I need to be held accountable by friends or family or people that I hire. I work out with a trainer that used to come to my school and train the teachers and I now we're doing it over zoom. It's crazy, because I go upstairs and I work out. I would probably do it without him but not with the same vigor not with the same, not the same competitiveness, as I do when I'm on and he's watching and I'm with the rest of my staff. It's crazy. I think accepting that as part of human nature and then sort of leaning into it allows us to progress faster and kind of bootstrap up and that's what I'm trying to do for this students. I think sometimes it's you may not like what the truth is but accepting it. I don't like the fact that I work hard harder when there's others on the call, on the zoom or in the in the gym, but I do and so just letting it go and accepting that and then figuring out ways to allow myself to be in situations where I can bootstrap that or use that to my advantage is kind of how I like to operate. Self awareness is something when I was a college planner, after homeschooling my daughters and running the middle of high schools that I had, I sort of stepped out of a bubble of my own sort of network, and started working with students from private and public schools in the Houston area and was absolutely shocked by the lack of self awareness that these juniors and seniors had, especially those who were heading off with $60,000 of their parents money to a college and really had no self awareness at all. I think if people would spend some time during this moment of isolation, to really figure out who they are, what they want, where they're going, we're going to see this world take a spin that, like no other it's gonna be pretty phenomenal.

Russ Johns 19:55
Yeah, I'm looking forward to that because I'm an advocate for self awareness. There's been many times in my life where I've been lost. It's like, what am I doing? Why am I doing it? You really have it takes time to reflect and really understand why you're feeling the way you are. You think you're doing what you need to do in reality, you're miserable doing what you're doing, thinking you're going to be doing this. It goes back to self awareness and thinking, really, what's my motivation? Why am I doing what I'm doing? I just want to give a shout out to this morning, Debbie to some of the wonderful people that join us. All right, Wendy, thank you so much for being here. Laurie Knutson. Nick Norman. I hope you're doing well. Nick hadn't heard from me for a while. Thank you for joining us, Sherry lolly as always. She's a pirate. Randall. Say hi to Calvin. Thank you so much for being here, Debbie and Russ in New Orleans Calvin. Hola says hello to Juan. Thank you so much. Learning English with us. Yes, thank you. Awesome. Hope I set a good example once in a while. Gabriel thank you for being here Sherry, Kenyatta. Thank you so much. Appreciate you being here. Blaine. Thank you from Sweden, all the way from Sweden. Angie says Time to create more space for better things. Angie says Oh, fantastic. She says I am kind of a mentalist. She knows me, Louis. Roz, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I just want to thank you everyone for being here. Debbie is an amazing individual that has a school in, Well, it's not actually Houston, it's

Debbie Elder 20:56
Richmond.

Russ Johns 22:00
Richmond, which is outside of the Houston Metro market and just amazing individual. She speaks on a number of different topics around education as well as a lot of positive information. If you're looking for a speaker or you're looking for someone for your podcast, reach out and get ahold of Debbie, I got some resources for you Debbie, afterwards, I'll share them with you. You can actually get in contact with a few more people that might be valuable for you.

Debbie Elder 22:32
Thank you!

Russ Johns 22:34
Now we're setting the stage, we're changing lives. We're impacting young people, we're doing these things, changing the landscaping, becoming self aware. Nobody has a crystal ball. We don't know what's going to be in our future right now. At this point in time. I know that things are going to change. Things are changing. How do you share with the younger individuals in your environment, about flexibility and resiliency and being able to adapt and not get so hooked into stock expectations? I mean, how do we navigate through that conversation?

Debbie Elder 23:26
It's a great question. We've had several conversations over the last couple of weeks with our students about resilience and perseverance and getting clear on why we do what we do, so that they can step into and take ownership of their learning during this very different time. I've had a couple of calls with my first and second graders about the fact that this is not vacation that this is actually school time and helping them to change that mindset. We do a lot of focus, Russ, on growth mindset versus fixed mindset. We talk about this we also have a class that we run every week called be your best self, which addresses things like mindset and attitude and how you look at things and how you attract different things to you and how your thinking can produce events and things that you want. What you think about you bring about and exposing them to all of this allows them to make some changes, and also to take ownership, which is pretty powerful when you're seven, eight years old, knowing that you do have some control that it's not just an adult based world that you as a child can make or break what you want to have moving forward. We also try to really lean in and listen to the emotional feelings when the governor of Texas shut down our state until May 1st, I did a quick video for my parents and for anyone who wanted to watch it, about the importance of talking to our students about what has been decided, because I know for me, not knowing what's coming was much more difficult than him saying, we've had we have a line in the sand, we're not going to be going back to anything but social distancing until the first of May. I was like, Okay, I don't like that answer. Now I know, I can sort of get on board with it and start to make plans. I think not telling our children at that time that this decision had been made was a mistake. I came out very strongly giving parents words that they could use to explain that to their children, so that they could understand the why. They could implement the changes. Once you know what's expected, you can stand up and do when you're not sure we get into feelings of procrastination. I'm just going to lay back and wait and I'm uncertain so I'm not going to take action. I'm a big believer in moving forward and taking action. Giving them the information in a way that they could absorb it, allows them to then get comfortable with it and move forward.

Russ Johns 26:03
I think it does two things. One, it allows you to frame what is necessary and needed to move forward. Also number two, it provides a way not to be a victim and take responsibility for what's taking place for yourself. We all need to improve that skill set at all levels. I think we're seeing a lot of examples right now of a lot of people that are taking responsibility. Then there's some people that are still in the victim mentality, and it's so crystal clear when you can see it taking place in real life, that it's not necessary, and we all have responsibilities and we all have the opportunity to help others around us. Be the positive guide in the world, be the positive example, set the standard, raise the bar in some of these expectations. Sometimes it's not raising the bar high enough, that is the challenge we had to deal with. We all have an opportunity to grow it through this experience and evolve as we were experiencing this thing. I just want to thank you so much for being here, Debbie, I appreciate you and the things that you're doing, and the school and the opportunity to raise brilliant minds going forward in our community. So thank you so much. Any last words of wisdom that you want to share with the community here today and the Pirates now that you're a pirate? In the pirate community?

Debbie Elder 27:53
Arrrrrr. Yes. So I think if I can ask parents to just really listen, be present with their children, encourage them hear their concerns through this, but to also model strength and edibility and ability to look at this as a positive opportunity to really look within and make the changes that you were too busy to make one of my favorite memes that I saw Russ was so to all those husbands out there that said they would do all those honey dues for their wives when they had time yet. Well, you got time now. So we all have time now to do the honey dues that we wanted to do for ourselves. So let's make the best use of this time that we've been given and really capitalize on it. So yeah.

Russ Johns 28:42
As always, it's a pleasure to see you Debbie and hang out and have conversation. I look forward to watching this unfold and become part of history as they were, and I really appreciate everybody that's watching and joined us today. Diane, Are you here? Good morning pirates. All of the people that are joining the pirate broadcasts, we're a community. We're out there doing things. We're streaming live on Facebook. Please subscribe and follow me on YouTube and even the podcast, you could write a review, you could actually share it out. We can get the word out. We want to share positive things, interesting people doing interesting things. I love the fact that we have a community around this idea. I think it's important that we share it and continue to share it. So anything you can do to help and assist us grow would be appreciated. So thank you so much. Debbie, I know you're doing great work and continue this and if there's anything we can do share it with the community and Let us know what we can do to help you.

Debbie Elder 30:05
Thank you. Thank you so much.

As you always know, kindnesses, cool, smiles are free, and you enjoy the day. Take care.

Russ Johns 30:19
Thank you for joining the pirate broadcast. If you found this content valuable, please like, comment and share it across your social media channels. I would love the opportunity to help others grow in their business. The pirate syndicate is a platform where you show up we produce the show, it's that easy. If you want to be seen, be heard and be talked about. Join the pirate



Historically, pirate broadcasting is a term used for any type of broadcasting without a broadcast license. With the internet, creating your own way of connecting has evolved.  

Join the next Pirate on your favorite Social Channel