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Growth Over Grades Podcast: Episode 15 - Dr. Randall Sampson “The Champion Culture”

Ep. 15 | Dr. Randall Sampson “The Champion Culture”
Melody McAllister
June 16, 2023

Ep. 15 | Dr. Randall Sampson “The Champion Culture”

Welcome to the Growth Over Grades Podcast where we talk about education ideas and topics that matter most to our SpacesEDU Educator Community

At the beginning of each episode, I like to feature an amazing member in our community. Today I want to honor teacher Stacy Kratochvil. She recently shared how she celebrates growth over grades with her students in PE. She shared she is “slowing shifting mindsets” as she has “shifted from grading a final run on standard times to having students set goals, track their progress, modify their goals, increase distance and then create their own rubric to grade themselves. It’s more of a focus on process than product.” 

Meet Dr. Randall Sampson

I was blown away by Stacy’s response this week in our community and it reminded me of the guest on our podcast, Dr. Randall Sampson. Dr. Sampson is a dedicated leader in education who has founded #PersonalizedPD and he is an author of Welcome To The Grind: How Educators Achieve Exponential Results. He proudly hails from Columbus, OH. He has been an educator at all levels from the classroom to administrator, and he founded/owns a consulting business called  Liberty Leadership Development. I’ve had the honor of seeing Dr. Sampson in action and share his message on focusing on the process to become the champions we are meant to be in and outside of the classroom

In fact, Dr. Sampson regularly shares that it's not about the end goal, it’s about how we get there. When we, as teachers and leaders, can adopt this mindset, we pass it on to our students as well. When I was listening to him on the Teq Roadshow that we were both part of, he brought this Heavyweight Belt and let educators hold it and share about areas in which they excelled. These educators glowed while sharing and it made for particularly special moments. 

Dr. Sampson has a way of amplifying the work of educators while also pushing them to become even greater. I’m so grateful to call him friend and I can verify that he lives out his message.  I’ve been a recipient of his wisdom and I am better for it, like so many others. 

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The Champion Culture

Right from the beginning, Dr. Sampson started dropping gems. The Champion Culture, his mission, is to help others love who they are and what they do. He shares that we are not here to “instill” but rather, we are here to help our students develop this mindset. From his life of playing sports, coaching, teaching, and leading he shares what helped him. He expresses that being a “captain” is about leading others. 

3 Key Practices:

  1. Show Up;
  2. Be Kind; and
  3. Do Your Job. 

When we show up, it’s more than just being physically in a location. It’s about being present with emotions and making sure to show up for ourselves. Being kind isn’t just something we do for others. Being kind to ourselves looks like positive self-talk, visualizing ourselves winning, and creating routines for better mind and physical health. Once we put those two practices in place, we can also do our jobs and grow into better versions of ourselves. If we realize we are not where we want to be, we can choose to “reset.” It’s grace and forgiveness while growing and stretching in all areas.  

The Power of Relationships 

One of the best parts of our conversation was when we began talking about relationships. There are some in education who say that talking about “relationships” is overdone. But Dr. Sampson compares the importance of relationships in education to location in real estate, as in relationships mean everything. Dr. Sampson reminds us that “relationships are the currency in education.” 

However, it’s not just about teacher-to-student relationships, it’s about student-to-student relationships. Champion Culture in a school community looks like students mentoring each other as well as administrators and teachers mentoring each other and students. For example, it’s high expectations that seniors share with freshmen as much as high expectations from the seniors' teachers. Champion Culture exists when everyone takes leadership in their roles, knowing we are teaching more through what we model than the words we speak. 

A powerful illustration of this is a story that Dr. Sampson shared while he was a principal at a high school. He thought he was walking up on upperclassmen bullying lowerclassmen, and he thought it was a severe case. When he got closer to the group, and started talking to the group, he realized the upperclassmen were checking some freshmen and sophomores to see if they had signed up for honors and AP classes!!! This is the proof that community is being formed and culture is genuine. 

 “The champion culture is when everyone is looking out for each other, pushing each other, and caring for each other.” Dr. Randall Sampson

Aligning the Mission and Goals with SpacesEDU 

When Dr. Randall Sampson works with districts and schools, he is helping them to align their mission and goals. It’s moving beyond the buzzwords and the latest trends. He shares about using SpacesEDU for a portrait of a learner where students can curate and share what they are doing with their learning. This is meaningful data and truly shows the growth over time in student achievement. 

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Growth over time is also for educators and that is why #PersonalizedPD is so important to Dr. Sampson. He helps educators grow so they can earn graduate credit, better pay, and street cred! With personalized PD, educators are showcasing the amazing things they are doing with their students and helping change the negative political rhetoric. 

Dr. Randall Sampson ends the podcast with the best wisdom, “Be your own champion so you can champion your students.” To accomplish the goals we have for ourselves and hope to facilitate with our learners, we must take care of ourselves, first. Self-care is not selfish, it is a necessity to thrive!

This was such a fantastic episode. I hope you were inspired as much as I was. Keep the conversation going in our SpacesEDU Community! 

Follows & Show Notes:

Dr. Randall Sampson on Twitter 

Welcome To The Grind: How Educators Achieve Exponential Results  

Stacy Kratochvil on Twitter

Follow SpacesEDU on Twitter 

You are invited to our SpacesEDU Educator Community

Melody McAllister

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