Ciara’s latest banger, Level Up is more than a dance hit. It has a couple of hidden gems that will provide some professional improvement. Development is key as we all seek to Level Up as educators, so let’s check out some of these lyrics.

 

Lyric: Them old mistakes are gone, I won’t do them no more
That’s old news, there’s new news, I done did that before

THE WORK: Don’t Dwell. Develop
Don’t dwell on the past mistakes you’ve made. Recognize them and use those past moves as tools to improve. For educators, this is a new year. If you haven’t taken the summer to improve on your craft, there’s still time to do so. Level up your administrative work by decluttering your space prioritizing better. Level up your public speaking by enrolling in classes or webinars (provided by Trill Or Not Trill) or taking chances and volunteering to speak at functions you normally wouldn’t. Be intentional in pointing out areas of improvement. Take strategic and actionable steps to get better. Don’t keep making the same mistakes. 

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Lyric: I turned nothing to something, my comeback on one hunnid’
Less talking, more action, you just gon’ CiCi coming
THE WORK: Make Something Out of Nothing
Resources don’t come easy. Education is the field of turning something into nothing. My budget is never where I want to be. My staff isn’t as large as it needs to be. These statements and so many like them are constants in the field. It’a time to get creative. If you’ve already done so, get even more creative. Find your “nothings” that are flexible enough to transform into “somethings.” Use the right avenues and ideas and make them bigger. I’ve worked directly with our career services office to find us interns in lieu of not getting approved for more graduate assistants. We couldn’t afford to provide tuition for graduate assistants so  I worked with our housing department to help provide room and board as a potential incentive for grad assistants. You can curate a panel of amazing professionals for an inexpensive price. Reach out to local and even national companies to provide resources to your students or to present workshops. Have the art students curate a fully immersive experience like a Dream Machine or an Escape Room. One of the best ways to level up with a lack of resources is to see what others are doing. Whether it’s through texts, articles or Facebook groups, do your research and find out how your colleagues are getting it done. Talking will get places but action will get things done.
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Lyric: Oh, you can talk all you want
See me, I see greater
THE WORK: Rise Above Toxic Co-Workers
Toxic staff members will always exist. They are likely talking negatively about your work ethic and job performance. They are creating rumors and spreading gossip. Do not get caught in those weeds. 
Always remember the students come first and the office brand matters more than selfish individuals. This is the time to keep your ego in check and embrace your personal excellence. Don’t stoop to their level. Never got tit for tat with people who are more concerned with criticism than development. These arguments will never lead to victory or development. Rise above it all by always doing the work necessary to better the office. When people see you, they don’t see the problematic behavior, they see greater. Represent yourself with respect and dignity and always get the job done. Lastly, by seeing greater, it allows opportunities for self-care. Let the negative behavior breeze right by you and find allies in excellence. Don’t end up losing your head over people with malice intent.