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Weber jumps to motivate FIS
Mayor McGill declared Tuesday, Feb. 16 ‘Dave Weber Day’

Motivational speaker Dave Weber takes a jumping, dancing and in-your-face approach to a Farragut Intermediate School “in-service” staff meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 16, at FIS.- Ashley Peterson/farragutpress
Second-generation motivational speaker Dave Weber hyped up Farragut Intermediate School staffers and guests at a 3-hour in-service meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 16, at FIS.

Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill declared Tuesday, Feb. 16 “Dave Weber Day.”

“I’m going to Tweet this! Wow, that is so awesome. Now I have my own day,” Weber said.

FIS Principal Kay Wellons had heard Weber speak at the annual state principal’s conference in Nashville last year and knew her staff and school would benefit from hearing his message, Wellons said.

“Teachers need some inspiration from time to time,” McGill said.

“I love to challenge people’s paradigms about what works and what doesn’t,” Weber said.

“Because we all tend to get stuck in ruts and the last thing parents want is for their kids to be in a classroom that is stuck on autopilot.”

Since December Wellons spent weeks trying to schedule Weber to come to her small group, small in comparison to his normal crowds. However, Wellons made it clear to Weber she expected the best.

“The pressure she has put on me this afternoon is staggering. She said, ‘Wait a minute, you have to understand what is expected of you. You need to get their hearts pumping,’” Weber said.

Wellons arranged for a workshop-type setting in the FIS gym, creating a more relaxed atmosphere for listeners to engage in Weber’s “dynamic” speaking style.

Running, jumping, waving, shouting and sometimes dancing were techniques Weber used to make his speech memorable to his listeners.

Recognizing the importance of teaching people and not percentiles, Weber said, “If we don’t teach people, we lose the heart of teaching.”

It can be difficult, “As educators we are either being pooped on or perceived as doing the pooping,” he said.

Weber stressed community instead of learning as key to being a great educator.

“If we can get community right, learning is the automatic come-along,” he said.

Weber said encouragement is “a powerful force to be reckoned with. It’s not just about the destination, it’s about the relationship.”

Community begins with staff relationships, Weber chose a school staff member, “Amanda,” to paint a picture of unforgiveness among co-workers. Weber created an entire story about hatred between himself and Amanda as hypothetical co-workers.

A few examples he used to convey negative office behavior with Amanda included scanning a meeting room for a place to sit, making sure it is the furthest away from Amanda; hoping the absolute worst for Amanda, which allows separation of community.

The ironic thing about unforgiveness: “It’s like I’m driving down the road drinking poison, waiting for her to die,” Weber said. “The six most powerful words are ‘I’m sorry, will you forgive me?’

“Anger, resentment and bitterness are cancers of the soul,” Weber added.

He said forgiveness modeled by staff and parents is important in student growth.

“When you don’t forgive, it’s like you are handcuffing yourself to something negative from the past and bringing it into your future,” he said.

Weber noted earlier in his speech how awake and alive the educators were in comparison to a previous session earlier that day in a different Tennessee school district.

Weber said of FIS staffers and guests, “They were fully engaged and participating. Even after teaching on their feet all day long, they were with it. I’m honored to be with them.”

Weber graduated from Mercer University (Ga.) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with an emphasis in speaking, Weber said. He has been motivating educators since 1987.

“I wanted to grow up and be just like my dad,” Weber said of why he chose to become a motivational speaker.


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