Speaker offers advice to Randolph schools employees

ELKINS –a In preparation for the school year, employees of Randolph County Schools heard from a keynote speaker who offered advice regarding techniques and strategies for working with students who may face difficulties outside of school.

Craig Boykin, author, consultant and speaker, told county employees in attendance that what happens outside of the classroom greatly impacts a student’s success in the classroom.

Furthermore, during his presentation, Boykin claimed more than 1.2 million students drop out of school every year in the United States and approximately 7 million children are placed in special education.

“(There are many) young people who are being labeled or put on (medication) and there is nothing wrong with them, they just can’t sit down and be quiet,” he said. “So, no longer can we say ‘I’m just worried about Craig while he’s in my classroom.’ It has been proven time and time again that what happens to these young men and these young women outside of your classroom effects the way they learn when they’re in your classroom.”

Boykin went on to say that children may lack motivation in the classroom due to a variety of reasons.

“(Abraham) Maslow basically says that every human being that comes into this world is built with innate which means there are certain basic needs I need to be in place before I can have that intrinsic motivation to be the best me,” he said. “What Maslow says is that you have to understand that some of these basic needs that these kids are lacking is going to affect how their motivated to be the greatest them.”

According to good therapy.org, Maslow was a 20th century psychologist who developed a humanistic psychology based on the belief that people are born with the desire to achieve their maximum potential or reach a point Maslow termed self-actualization.

In addition to teachers and administration in attendance, Boykin emphasized that custodians, bus drivers and school cooks play an important role in students’ lives.

“If you come in contact with kids in any fashion, you are just as important as anybody else — from the superintendent to the janitor,” he said. “As a matter of fact, they did a survey in a school district and they did it with the kids and they actually asked, ‘Who was the most relatable person in the school’ and the survey came back saying the janitor. … So, lunchroom workers, janitors, bus drivers, you guys play just as an important role as these teachers do.”

According to the speaker’s website, his mission in life is to provide hope to students and educators who may feel that their current educational situation is hopeless.

During his presentation, Boykin discussed his life as a young adult which included joining Job Corps, which allowed him to earn his G.E.D. Following completion of his G.E.D., Boykin enlisted in the U.S. Army.

After his time serving in the Army, Boykin enrolled in college and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, despite challenges along the way. He later earned a master’s degree in theology, a master’s degree in criminal justice and a Ph.D in adult education.