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#ASCD13: 3 lessons from Maya Angelou

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During a time in education when teacher retention is an ongoing challenge, Maya Angelou encouraged attendees at the ASCD 68th Annual Conference & Exhibit Show to “continue to be rainbows in the clouds.”

“You have no idea the power you have,” she said. “Well, you do have some idea because of how many thousands of you have come to make connections and see old friends and make new friends and encourage each other to continue.”

“I am here to tell you to continue,” she added. “Continue with sass — some idea of flare. Continue with some passion and compassion — some humor and some style. I came here to tell you how grateful I am to you, and let you know that you are rainbows in the clouds.”

Angelou shared times in her life in which teachers of all kinds — from her uncle Willy who taught her multiplication to her grandmother who encouraged Angelou during a time when others had given up on her — helped her become who she is today.

The keynote was moving and full of takeaways for us all, but a few lessons seemed especially poignant for today’s educators: Recognize the sacrifices other make. Have an attitude of gratitude even if the circumstances aren’t ideal. Be courageous.

Join the conversation and tell us in the comments what you took away from Angelou’s keynote address.

Melissa Greenwood is SmartBrief’s senior education editor, with responsibility for content in a variety of SmartBrief’s education e-newsletters. She also manages content for SmartBlog on Education and related social media channels.

Image credit: ASCD Conference Media