Welcome back to the first story of the 2019 Share Your Story series. Last time Stephanie from GenieBaby shared the story behind starting up her own business. We’re kicking 2019 off with Ray from Raise A Legend who is sharing his story on how he fell in love with teaching.
Raise A Legend
My name is Ray FitzGerald — and I’ve taken a very non-traditional path to blogging about parenthood and education.
I grew up knowing I’d be a writer. I got my journalism degree and settled into a very nice job as a sportswriter at a fairly large newspaper in the U.S. My wife and I are different races and our daughter is a beautiful combination of the two.
But, once she was old enough to start school, we realized that not everyone was as accepting of her as we are. She was teased and bullied and, eventually, we decided to homeschool her for a few years.
That’s when I fell in love with education.
Through teaching her, I realised I had a gift. As soon as she felt comfortable rejoining the school system, I returned to school myself and earned an elementary education degree. A principal quickly hired me to run the gifted program for high-achieving children at her school.
I loved everything about the job. I worked every day with incredibly bright children who were self-motivated and had qualities that genuinely set themselves apart from their peers.
I spent years studying these children and found that the skills and knowledge they had weren’t a product of genetics, luck or even hard work. Any child could do the things these children did. Unfortunately, most children don’t have access to the lessons and life skills taught in these exclusive classroom settings.
Continuing My Journey
What most parents don’t realize is that gifted education isn’t all about books and testing. In fact, the keystone of these programs is teaching life skills and working to build confidence and leadership traits within children while teaching control to competitive children.
These are the skills that create future leaders — not memorizing textbooks or constantly taking tests.
Through my blog at RaiseALegend.com, I take all of the life skills and confidence-building lessons I taught to my former students and share them with parents and educators of all backgrounds. I’ve learned through the years that the children who need these lessons the most are the ones who find it hardest to access them.
In many ways, it reminds me of my daughter. An incredibly bright young lady who was locked out of the social circles of her school due to things that were out of her control.
Every child should have control over their future. It’s my hope that, with you parents on my side, we can return the control back where it belongs. To your child.
Although I’ve decided to leave the classroom and focus full-time on RaiseALegend. I’ve never stopped teaching. My specialty has always been helping children gain confidence in their abilities so that they can have the power to take chances and learn new things.
Many parents think that these lessons take tremendous work and discipline. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, simple, small shifts in daily behaviour are all that’s required to witness massive shifts in confidence and growth for your entire family.
That’s because nearly all of the high-achieving children I worked with were blessed with parents who helped them develop positive habits and daily routines. These habits aren’t hard to form and give your child control over his or her activities to help them improve time management, performance in and out of the classroom, and strengthen interpersonal relationships with peers and adults.
I know this not only from my years of teaching children in the classroom, but from my own experiences as a parent.
A Happy Ending?
It’s been many years since I laid out on the front yard teaching social studies to my homeschooled daughter. She’s since grown up and, earlier this year, moved cross-country to continue her education.
My wife and I are incredibly proud of the woman she’s become and, despite missing her like mad, can’t wait to see all of the things she accomplishes in adulthood.
My wish for you is that you one day get to see the same for your child. Together, we’ll make that happen.