It’s a lesson we all face from time to time: how to deal when people tell us no. As students, we may have little recourse. As teachers, we can voice our thoughts. And as coaches, we must push others past the no.
In US history, many groups are marginalized and told no over and over. Oddly, it happens so much during childhood that kids get used to being told no. They may believe that they cannot accomplish their dreams.
Let’s look to Bessie Coleman. Nearly 100 years ago Coleman, an African American, dreamt of flying airplanes. Women then were not allowed to fly airplanes. In fact, African American women were not allowed decent schooling, jobs that paid well, or even basic respect. In spite of these struggles, Bessie Coleman decided she was going to fly. Coleman found the only school that would accept her was in France. She learned French, saved money, crossed the ocean and learned to fly.
Coleman inspires. When people told her no, she searched for a different route to accomplish her dream. When there was an obstacle, she found her way through.
We cannot always accept it when people tell us no. If our dream is important enough, we have to persevere. Each day we must work a little more, reach a little higher, and hope that the dream gets a little closer. As coaches, we must become the co-pilot in some ways, supporting and encouraging our teachers and student. It’s those moments where we say, “why not?” or find that extra resource. When we as coaches can help make the next step easier, teachers can reach that much further out.
Bessie Coleman, the dreamer, teaches us to not always accept no for an answer. If the dream is important, we must help teachers find their way past their own obstacles so that they too can fly like Bessie.
About our Guest Author: Elsa Andreasen Glover is in the middle of her first year as an instructional coach at Kaneland High School in Maple Park, Illinois. A National Board Certified Teacher in Early Adolescent Social Studies, Elsa taught 7th graders for 18 years. She holds MAT from Aurora University and writes monthly perspectives at her local NPR station. You can follow Elsa on Twitter at @elsainga.