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Real Talk for Real Teachers with Latoria Marcellus and Amy Speidel


Episode Summary

Award-winning principal and Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Tanyelle Hannah has seen the transformational power of Conscious Discipline firsthand at Benjamin E. Mays Academy in Chicago. Since implementing Conscious Discipline, her school has experienced improved relationships, behavior, attendance, academic achievement, parent involvement, and beyond.

In this episode, Tanyelle shares inspiring stories and actionable advice with hosts Latoria Marcellus and Amy Speidel. You’ll hear about her distributed leadership model, tips for starting and sustaining implementation, and inclusive efforts to engage and involve families. She also shares the importance of giving yourself grace, showing up as an authentic “real person” to build relationships, and helping each educator identify their personal “why.”

Essential Takeaways

  • Tanyelle’s school uses intentional language: “scholars” instead of “students” and “villagers” instead of “mom and dad,” a family structure that doesn’t apply to every scholar.
  • To sustain motivation through challenges, educators at Benjamin E. Mays celebrate every small step in the journey and focus on their personal “why.”
  • Tanyelle implements a distributed leadership model, giving educators opportunities to lead in spaces where they thrive and have interest. Her philosophy is, “I can teach pedagogy, but I can’t teach passion. If [an educator] has passion for something, then we can work on the leadership portion.”
  • Benjamin E. Mays started Conscious Discipline with a book study, attended by a “coalition of the willing.” After others saw what Conscious Discipline did in their colleagues’ classrooms, they started the next school year with significant authentic buy-in.
  • For administrators interested in Conscious Discipline, Tanyelle recommends focusing on building relationships and choosing a few pieces to implement with fidelity. As the transformation becomes apparent and authentic buy-in increases, add additional pieces over time.

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :00 Introduction
  • 2:26 Introduction of guest Tanyelle Hannah
  •  3:33 Tanyelle’s school and introduction to Conscious Discipline
  •  6:29 Using intentional language
  • 8:24 Being a Game Changer
  •  10:55 Finding motivation to continue working toward your mission
  •  14:17 Distributed leadership model
  • 17:59 Sustaining focus on your “why”
  • 20:20 Tips for other administrators on getting started
  • 25:20 Tanyelle’s experience as a Certified Instructor
  •  27:43 Examples of transformation
  • 35:35 Conscious Discipline for older kids
  • 37:47 Impact on the community
  • 42:56 Recap and discussion
  • 47:14 Question from a listener: How do I get more family participation and trust when it comes to my use of Conscious Discipline in the classroom?
  • 54:01 What’s Conscious Discipline celebrating?
  • 56:08 Wish Wells


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