This week we decided to switch it up and interview a fellow entrepreneur who we met working in the field with a unique approach to a very real problem, ENJOY!
Interview with G. Taboris Taylor
Tell us about what you do?
I am G. Taboris Taylor, owner of Taboris Intelligence Training Group. I am an Independent Certified John Maxwell Life Coach, Trainer, Author, and Speaker specializing in Social Media Etiquette, Smartphone Addiction, and Emotional Intelligence Training as well as Coaching. I graduated from Dillard University with a B.S. Degree in Computer Science and have over 20+ years of combined experience in Speaking, Training and Mentoring Sales Professionals in Corporate America and 10+ years with the Federal Government. I have a passion for helping people develop coping mechanisms to deal with stress, depression, and rejection; as well as developing the Social and Interpersonal Skills necessary to succeed in life thus avoiding the pitfalls and consequences of living in a virtual and digital World.
What is the biggest misconception about Social Media and Kids?
Wow, that is a great question, I always say we need to have an honest, difficult, non-emotional conversation about where we are today. The biggest misconception is that only school-age and college kids use Social Media. According to the latest study, 78% of adults ages 30-49 were FB users, 65% of adults ages 50-65 indicated they used social networking as well.
Through a lot of our training with clients we’ve learned kids ages 5-14 thrive in real world situations without the use of smart tech or Social Media. Whereas the older you are the less secure you feel, and the more they don’t want to share or engage. They don't want to use their independent and critical thinking skills, because their so afraid of being judged or being wrong. And if their younger their more likely to throw that concept out the window.
What do you want young people to know about how they engage with Social Media? Listening, this generation today communicates much differently…..
Young people if you’re listening to me this is G. Taboris, this generation communicates much differently today than every other generation. Not realizing the long term potential consequences and pitfalls of an emotional response to a tweet, email, post, voice mail, or text message. Resulting in you having a permanent transcript of everything you say and do, and how it can be made public at any time. And you need to understand what goes online stays online, and can have severe long term career consequences. An unhealthy relationship with technology, can develop into an electronic dependency, which can look like cyberbullying better known as twitter thugs or keyboard warriors. All of this contributes to self esteem issues and smart-phone addictions.
Social Media should be in your life, your every thought and random moves should not be on Social Media. Back in the day we had these things called a diary, or personal journal. We wrote our thoughts in it, our daily activities, our secrets that even a best friend may not know, and it was kept under lock and key. Today everything is posted for public consumption and that creates a problem itself.
What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned working with the digital kids of today?
Creative Freedom! Even though our youth mimic what they see from leaders and parents, even though they at times act like cyborg species looking down never up, even though they appear to have a severe electronic imbalance at school, church, dinner, movies etc. they are highly intelligent, they love cool stuff, and like to hear about life before smart tech. They run circles around us old dinosaurs who are used to writing everything down, and only type with one hand, and they are one with tech, it’s apart of them. We just have to connect with how they communicate.
Could you recommend one book, one strategy, and one podcasts that parents & teachers could look to for additional support.
June 5th was the day we got the email telling us we’d been selected to present! “I'm excited to inform you that you've been selected to share your Innovative Project in the idea competition at Plywood Presents x ATL Ideas this year! You're probably wondering what's next” was how the email opened, and I was super excited to call Kimberlie and tell her. We began planning immediately, and decided to use a pitch we had just done for Teach For America in May. We planned on editing it a bit, and telling more of our story to convey our passion.
However, over the course of the next few weeks Kimberlie had started to come to some conclusions of her own. She told me she “needed to talk”, and I immediately got nervous. What would my business partner say? She video-called me and sheepishly told me that she wanted to step into her role more and play the behind the scenes areas while I stepped out and led. We’d been talking about our roles more lately, so I wasn’t surprised by her mentioning it. She let me know that she’d definitely come on stage with me at Plywood Presents since we’d been preparing for it, but after that she wanted me out front.
Something nudged me in the moment, and I let her know I was willing to do it alone. I told her to take some time and decide if she wanted to be up there. After about a day Kimberlie let me know “it’s your time, you got this, and I will be there the entire time”. With that I nervously prepared my pitch. I spent hours writing, editing, deleting the words on the slides to convey why I am so passionate about Restore More. I revamped the pitch entirely, and decided to include my personal story with childhood abuse in the opening. I was nervous about how it would land in a room full of strangers, but I tried to put it out of my mind as I worked to craft the perfect words and flow.
I spent all of July working out, practicing my pitch, and pushing towards Restore More’s goals. I even decided to do JJ Smith’s 10-DAY Green Smoothie cleanse in an attempt to get mentally clear, and prepared to deliver the best pitch possible. About two weeks before the big day, I had a mandatory rehearsal with Jeff, the Founder of Plywood, talk about pressure. I did my pitch, and had to use headphones in my ear that were playing my words, so that I could remember it. Clearly not as prepared as I’d like to be. Memorizing 5 minutes of information proved to be incredibly challenging. Luckily, I managed to get through it without messing up too much. Jeff looked at me with a smile and said “Are you sure you’re ready to share that?”. I appreciated the ask, but I knew sharing my story was essential for part of my healing so I said “yes”, my voice trembling.
The Monday before the big pitch, I went to see my therapist. I knew talking about my abuse publicly for the first time was probably as good a time as any to check-in with her. She encouraged me, affirmed me, and reminded me that I’ve been preparing to do this work in more ways than one my whole life. I am one of the best to do the job, because I lived it, survived it, went to school for it, trained for it, and have professional experience in it. I left the session feeling ready and excited for Thursday. There was one problem however, everytime I read my pitch I would shake uncontrollably and my heart would pound loudly in my throat, the anxiety was real y’all.
Thursday had arrived, and I was ready mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Many friends showed up to support us including Katie Rigby, the lady who taught me how to teach Science my first year in the classroom, Folami Adams, a long time mentor who coached me in leadership, and Jimmy Starnes our business coach and all-around great soul. The room was packed and the 6 pitch participants were seated upfront. Jeff took the stage and kicked off the competition. His last statement ended with my name, I was first. I walked onto the stage, waited as he adjusted the mic, and then began my pitch. “I was born to an immigrant mother and a father, who had a debilitating disease, addiction”. The next 5 minutes were a blur, honestly. I know that there was applause at two points, and that I messed up at the end, needless to say the entire experience was pretty surreal.
It was a relief when I finally took my seat. I had done it. I told my truth, and didn’t die. This was at some point in my childhood a legitimate fear. I would tell people, and then literally die of embarrassment. Well this life-long journey of healing has taught me that what happened to me wasn’t my fault, I was never responsible for any of it, and I therefore will not be ashamed of it. I am also no victim, but rather a survivor who has been made stronger through her experiences. I am grateful today that I can tell that story about one part of my life proudly feeling worlds away from that little girl, and beyond proud of the woman I am becoming now. I hope this story encourages someone out there to seek out their own healing, so they too can tell their story without shame. That night so many people came up to me thanking me for being so brave and sharing, when I went to bed I felt like I had already won.
The next day we sat in the same room waiting to hear who would take the $5,000 prize. Jeff took the stage, along with Bethaney of Plywood People. They called us up on stage, and we stood behind them as they announced the audience favorite winner, “Restore More”. The prize, a 1-Year Membership at the Brand New Plywood offices that will open in January. I timidly stepped forward and mouthed thank you, fighting back tears. Before I could catch my breath, Jeff told us the judges had an issue, they felt like there were so many quality pitches that they wanted to offer their own money to create a 2nd-$2,500, and 3rd-$1,000 place prize. I remember thinking how amazing it was that the judges were swayed to move like that. And then Bethaney announced the 3rd place winner “Restore More”. I couldn’t believe it, we actually won again.
It’s still all a bit surreal, we took home two prizes in our very first pitch competition and we did it in our own unique way, WOW, just WOW. I am super proud of the work Kimberlie and I are doing and the support we are receiving let’s us know we are on the right track. Thank you to everyone who has ever shared a post, liked a status, commented on a pic, read the blog, or told a friend about us. All of that is support, entrepreneurs like to remind people all the time that support is a verb and you have to actually do something to support someone. Well I don’t need to tell you guys any of that because you all DO so much to show us support. That day alone we received so many texts, calls, and displays of love that seriously made us feel so special. Thank You, Thank You,
P.S. We get a high quality edited video of the pitch next month, would y’all wanna see it?
Comment Below :)
"On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how depressed are you?"
"On a scale of 1-10, how much do you think about leaving this earth?"
I had to fight back tears as I listened in on a session with a social worker, and my mentee. She asked me to accompany her to the meeting for support, but I am not sure how much of a support I was if I could barely handle the answers to those questions. As she continued to share, I wondered how many other students were just like her, but did not feel safe enough to tell an adult what they were experiencing.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-14, which means many children do not feel comfortable or safe enough to be vulnerable with adults. Now that we know this, we have to make sure the adults working with kids are adequately prepared to not only handle trauma in kids, but to guide them to the resources available to them.
Here are a few tips that can aid this process:
The tips shared above do not come overnight, and need to be developed, but when we recognize the mental health crisis we are in, we take a different responsibility with ourselves, our students, and our community as a whole.
So you're in the classroom and everything is going great until a child unintentionally triggers you into an unexpected emotional meltdown! Embarrassing! How could this little being with their pretty predictable behaviors, launch you into an emotional response that takes you by surprise?
Well that’s kind of how it works! Getting triggered is not something you typically plan for, but it is something that happens a lot, to all of us. This blog isn't just for teachers, look we all get triggered, probably more than we'd like to admit. So this is for everyone out there who’d like to get a better handle on their emotions!
The first step in managing how you react to triggers is knowing what gets you upset, bothered, or emotional in the first place. By the time you finish completing this activity we want you to know exactly what it is that gets you hot and bothered, so that you can avoid these places and situations or apply healthy coping skills when needed.
There are three areas you will need to look at to develop this level of self-awareness.
But here comes the actual work, you MUST study yourself!
Comment below with your email, and we will send you a treasure, THE TRIGGER TRACKER, which will allow you to use the next week to study what really grinds your gears, why, and note how you deal with it. After about a week pay close attention to what you see in the trigger column, and ask yourself what patterns do I see emerging?
Once you are empowered with this knowledge, you can begin to develop healthy ways to cope with your stress. This completed activity is a great tool to share with your therapist who can also help you to create healthy ways for coping with stress.
As your tracking this week feel free to let us know how it’s going! Shoot us an email, (email@example.com), leave a comment below, or find us on social media, we’d love to support and encourage you!
As Black educators we must take a stand for our black boys, love them or leave them alone. As Ava DuVernay’s latest Film When They See Us points out, when they see us, they fear us and develop narratives no matter how different the truth is. Who are they? Bigots, racists, oppressors or small minded folks who refuse to analyze America and it’s sorted history with racism. It’s safe to say if you grew up in America, prejudice and bias runs deep within you, so we must consciously fight to dismantle it, especially in our schools. When we see them we need a new, unified response. They are ready to act when they see black boys, so let’s meet them where they are be ready to challenge the status quo when we see them.
Black boys specifically are over suspended, over expelled, and placed into remedial classes faster than any other sub-group in this country. We must love these babies that much more fiercely, because this country continues to tell them “you don’t matter”. When the world has only feared you, it's a wonder you continue to thrive. So to counterbalance the acts of ignorance and hate, educators must love them extra. Now be clear love doesn’t mean low expectations, in fact it means the opposite high standards, high belief that they can reach them, and high support to make sure they do so. How do you do this? We have a few suggestions:
SEE THEM AS PEOPLE, NOT STATISTICS or NARRATIVES
Ask them questions, get to know them, learn about their parents/families, find out what they love to do. When you really see them, you will grow to love them because they are beautifully made.
TELL THEM YOU CARE
It’s never been helpful to anyone to hear “I got my degree, you need yours” so stop using that destructive and privileged language. Instead tell them “I care about you, I know what it takes to get to college, and I’m here to help you accomplish your goals”. It lands better, gets desired results faster, and saves you from looking like an ass.
SET HIGH EXPECTATIONS, KEEP THEM THERE
You help absolutely no one by lowering the bar because you think it’s best for their future.Too many teachers “underestimate the potential of black children more than that of whites” (Smith, 2005), so avoid that.Truth moment-a study found that “the effort and academic motivation put forth by African American students was as high or higher than that of White students” (Smith, 2005). The real question is how will you use that motivation to help them.
This is the responsibility of every educator regardless of race, remember you joined an ongoing intense fight for equality. Therefore we don’t have time for you to get your bearings, and then act. We need you to join the right side of history and call out the hate when you see it, immediately. My son, who is 4 is more than someone else’s fear, and I plan on making sure the world learns to see him for all his complexities and greatness. I fight for all black boys, because their stories are rich and full of resilience. Make some time to listen today because that small action impacts them more than you know!
Keep fighting for equality,
It was the Spring of 2017, I was working full time as an Assistant Principal of a well known Charter Network, and tired would’ve been an understatement. I was in year 9, and wanted to be the forever educator that former students could come back and see decades later. However, with another school year on the horizon, and no summer break in sight I recall feeling depleted, overwhelmed, and weary. It got so bad that the stress began to take a physical hold on my body that summer. I dropped weight, fell into a depression, and began to suffer from anxiety, which was totally foreign to me. As most people do in dark times, I went home to visit my Mom.
After some nerves, many tears, and lots of hugs I confessed to my mom “I don’t think I can do this anymore”. I felt I was letting her down. As a single mom, she worked to put me through college, and here I was leaving a 10 year career that I worked tirelessly for, what would I do next? My mother stopped my thoughts and spoke over me, “Baby working that hard, and missing out on your life is never worth any price. You’ll figure it out, I support you”. With encouragement in tow, I left Rhode Island that November confident that leaving was right for me, my family, and my mental health. Keeping my secret was agonizing, and I wondered if leaving was the right thing too many times to count. Luckily, my inner voice continued to narrate that I needed to leap out on faith.
I spoke to my Principal in January of 2018, and though the conversation was a tough one, it was a necessary step. From that point on, I decided to focus on closing out my 10 year journey on a high-note, prioritizing my mental health, and loving on myself and family more. May 26th, 2018 was my last day of a decade long trip and it was bittersweet, but what happened after has been nothing short of amazing. Fast forward a year later, and I am now the CEO & Co-Founder of my own Educational Consulting Firm, Restore More. We help schools train teachers to enhance the Social-Emotional Development of students.
This is the work I am most passionate about, helping black and brown students better manage their emotions to thrive and be successful. It was the part of the job that fueled me most, and now I get to do it ALL day. This undertaking has been a wild ride and I can’t wait to share more as we travel the bumpy road of a social innovation start-up. With this blog we hope to educate, uplift, and unite communities, especially of color, by providing insight into our worlds & minds.
Welcome to the Journey,
My business partner and I at a Pitch Night event!