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Chip Baker is a fourth-generation educator, a speaker, host of the Success Chronicles Podcast, host of the Radio 111.7 Show, a Coach/Trainer for the John Gordon Power of Positive Leadership, and is the author of multiple books, videos, and resources.
What it was like growing up
I was born in Dallas, Tx. My parents separated when I was five years old and we moved with my mom to Hern, TX, close to Texas A&M University. I played four sports in high school and football at West Texas A&M University. Growing up, I was surrounded by encouragement and lots of love where I learned how education was important.
There were lessons I learned and it made me realize that personally there is a process to achieve growth while going through tough things. I learned early it is not about us, it is about helping others. Then our life takes off and great things happen for it.
I was raised by a Super Hero in my house; my mom. Every day I watched her do heroic things. She created free food programs for kids, and was the first black lady on the City Council in my home town, and taught Special Education. That’s where I became interested in teaching Special Education. I was voluntold to do some things like help out with Special Olympics, I saw the positive difference it made in the lives of others and am a fourth-generation educator after my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. My younger sister is also an educator and both of us have been teachers of the year on our campuses. I’ve been so fortunate to have been raised by my blessed family, church folk, and educators to give a life of service. I’ve had amazing people in my life who have encouraged me. I learned to be a good team player from my mom who gave us transferable skills so we could all work together as a team.
One person in particular who helped me so much is my little league baseball coach who was my elementary school principal, Mr. Norris McDaniel. His son and I were classmates and very close. They were like a second family to me. When I graduated from college, I applied to Conroe School District to a principal who knew Mr. McDaniel that I included as a reference. Mr. McDaniel told him amazing things about me and to hire me. They didn’t even look at my credentials or resume. They hired me for my first just job and opportunity because of Mr. McDaniel.
Being a Coach and Special Education Teacher
This is my twenty-second year in education. I’m a coach and Special Education teacher in Conroe, Texas that is north of Houston. I teach Life Skills for Special Education where there are around 40 students with 5 teachers in our department. We break it down into the core subjects, and I teach the Business, Marketing, and Finance skills and School-based Enterprise. These are the skills they will be able to use on the job and in life.
We have to make sure that every moment of every day we strive to do our best to be the best version of ourselves, work hard, treat people right, and take care of the little things like doing things the right way.
What it is like teaching during a pandemic
When we started school during this pandemic, the district had a ramp-up plan where everyone was virtual. After two weeks, we started gradually bringing in our Special Education students. We’re still in the phase where it is optional for in-person or virtual. At the time of this podcast, we have about 70% of kids on campus. Anytime there is a crisis, you have an opportunity to create avenues to communicate with families using Zoom, email, and Google. Parents have been great and we’re doing the best with can with what we have. Kids are showing us that if they get the support, they want to learn.
I believe kids are resilient and can adjust a lot more than we think they can.
We just have to give them the encouragement and opportunity to show it.
The Success Chronicles
I started The Success Chronicles a little over four years ago when I realized that I’ve been truly blessed by amazing people who made a difference in my life and share their stories. I’m grateful that in Season 1, I did 150 episodes and I’m now in Season 2 with 60 with more on the way including yours. Radio 111.7 Show started through a live interview with LaDonna Finnels who invited me to post my podcasts on Saturday mornings.
Check out all the resources on his site!!
So what is your definition of Success?
The most important thing for me is relationships and living a life of fulfillment. When you can make a positive impact on someone, that is so fulfilling. That includes making those connections to find ways to do things together to help others. Once you have time with me, I want you to leave with something that has value for you. I want to add value to what you are doing.
You get what you give.
What would you say for others who are struggling now during this crisis? Can success be in their reach even now?
This time has given us opportunities to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. When have we had time to spend time with family, work on our personal growth, connect with people. Never. Now this pandemic has allowed us to slow down and be aware of the greatness of nature, the beauty, and the opportunities that you have around you. Be in the present and enjoy each moment!
There’s a blessing in every lesson.
Chip’s Contact Information
Online Store http://chip-baker-the-success-chronicles.square.site/
Interested in checking out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and reflections, click on the podcast tab at the top, the logo below, or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
For more information about Barbara’s new book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.