Dear Difference Maker,
Here’s a much needed message for students and teachers in this year’s Welcome Back To School video recently written and produced by our actress daughter turned teacher, Mari Phillips.
As Mari was preparing for the start of the school year while listening to You’ll Be Back from Hamilton, the words for this video just flowed out onto the paper. So she decided to go ahead and put herself out there with her rendition to welcome her students back.
Oh, and did I mention that in high school she played Dorothy in Wizard of Oz and Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods. EnJOY!
In getting ready to send this out, I decided to interview my bonus daughter (2nd marriage) only to be wowed by her yet again!
As Fort Worth School District, Southwest High School’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year, I wanted to know what she does that makes all the difference in her students’ lives. Here’s what she said:
Mari Phillips’ Top 3 Tips for Student Happiness and Success
1 – Be Yourself. Be Real.
Early in her teaching career Mari learned that she needed to only be who she was because you can’t outdo other great teachers. She found that being herself and being real was all her students really wanted her to be. Nothing more. Nothing less.
2 – Understand that you are in Sales and Marketing.
Having come to teaching from the banking industry, Mari thought she’d never again have to meet daily sales quotas and ask people to tell her all about their entire financial histories. In her first teaching job she quickly realized she was still in sales, marketing and learning all about each of her student’s histories with math. She absolutely needed to sell and market math every single day so her students would want to buy into what it was she was offering.
3 – Sell them on Themselves.
The big turning point for Mari was when she realized that it wasn’t math she was selling after all. It was selling these kids on themselves. “Unfortunately far too many kids get lost in math in junior high. By the time they get to high school what could have been a mole hill size stumbling block, becomes hard to navigate mountainous terrain.” So she decided to sell them on their right to learn and she marketed the love of math so they would not hate coming to class. She saw it as her job to help them want to learn and to teach them to BEcome mathematicians.
Welcome to Room ###
I am pleased to welcome you to my classroom, in the far back corner of Southwest High School, where we learn how to learn math. We will also do lots of laughing, writing, collaborating, and building skills for success in life.