Flippin' the Switch

S5 E2: Cultivating Minds and Communities with Dr. Sonia Martin

February 20, 2024 Jones-Onslow EMC Season 5 Episode 2
S5 E2: Cultivating Minds and Communities with Dr. Sonia Martin
Flippin' the Switch
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Flippin' the Switch
S5 E2: Cultivating Minds and Communities with Dr. Sonia Martin
Feb 20, 2024 Season 5 Episode 2
Jones-Onslow EMC

When the relentless pursuit of education meets the heart of community empowerment, magic happens. Our esteemed guest, Dr. Sonia Martin, personifies this magic through her transformative journey from educator to life coach, the driving force behind Love Loud Coaching and Consulting.  From professionals to students, Dr. Martin’s dedication resonates deeply in her community, creating waves of collaboration and excellence. Her initiatives—ranging from convocations for local educators to mental health workshops—epitomize the spirit of empowerment and the remarkable impact of nurturing minds across generations.

Weaving spirituality into the fabric of education, Dr. Martin gives us a profound glimpse into the soul of teaching with her book, "Teach Like a Boss through a Spiritual Lens." Her wisdom provides a sanctuary for educators searching for balance and rejuvenation amidst a post-pandemic world. As she unpacks the richness within the pages, we also celebrate the creation of a nurturing community where educators receive the support and resources to flourish. Her plans for master classes for personal growth, strategies for effective classroom management, and the cultivation of meaningful student relationships—Sonia leads a conversation that shines a light on the critical support systems that uphold the well-being of those who shape our future. Join us and listen to this incredibly special episode of Flippin' the Switch!

Run Time: 25 min

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When the relentless pursuit of education meets the heart of community empowerment, magic happens. Our esteemed guest, Dr. Sonia Martin, personifies this magic through her transformative journey from educator to life coach, the driving force behind Love Loud Coaching and Consulting.  From professionals to students, Dr. Martin’s dedication resonates deeply in her community, creating waves of collaboration and excellence. Her initiatives—ranging from convocations for local educators to mental health workshops—epitomize the spirit of empowerment and the remarkable impact of nurturing minds across generations.

Weaving spirituality into the fabric of education, Dr. Martin gives us a profound glimpse into the soul of teaching with her book, "Teach Like a Boss through a Spiritual Lens." Her wisdom provides a sanctuary for educators searching for balance and rejuvenation amidst a post-pandemic world. As she unpacks the richness within the pages, we also celebrate the creation of a nurturing community where educators receive the support and resources to flourish. Her plans for master classes for personal growth, strategies for effective classroom management, and the cultivation of meaningful student relationships—Sonia leads a conversation that shines a light on the critical support systems that uphold the well-being of those who shape our future. Join us and listen to this incredibly special episode of Flippin' the Switch!

Run Time: 25 min

Speaker 1:

Welcome listeners to season 5, episode 2 of Flip in the Switch. February is Black History Month and we're taking the time to highlight and appreciate the diverse member base here at Jones-Onslow that have a hand in some amazing work that happens in our community. We're celebrating a local Black-owned business by speaking with Dr Sonia Martin, life coach and former educator, about how she empowers community members to be their best selves and how they can find their, why we're so excited to share this interview with you all. So with that, let's start. Flip in the Switch.

Speaker 2:

Well, welcome to this edition of Flip in the Switch. We are honored today to have Dr Sonia Martin with us. Sonia is the proud owner of Love Loud Coaching and Consulting, and she also does lots of things with the students within Oslo County, which we'll learn quite a bit today, and also with the educators within our community. So welcome, sonia, thank you, I'm happy to be here this morning.

Speaker 2:

We are so happy to have you, we're going to jump right in. So could you tell us a little bit about your journey to where you are today and kind of what brought you to Oslo County?

Speaker 3:

Well, I've been in education for over 25 years. I have held many jobs within that role and capacity, and so I've been a classroom teacher to start a reading specialist Immediately after I became a reading specialist, a reading coach. I became an administrator early on in my teaching and education career, and I've also worked at the district level in supporting teachers with assessment and accountability.

Speaker 3:

As well as ELA and being a district coordinator, and so throughout those years I have found coaching to be my niche, and so I've always to help others become the best version of themselves, no matter where they were in their journey as an educator admin. I supported them as well, and so I just have that ability to support others and help them be successful.

Speaker 2:

I think you kind of zued that through your personality, Like you just kind of want to bring everybody in.

Speaker 4:

Yeah that's it Instant comfort which is great.

Speaker 2:

So we're going to pepper you with some questions throughout the day, or throughout the day Throughout this episode. We won't spend the whole day we could probably but we kind of wanted to reach out to you because your mission and what you do for others within the community all ages kind of aligns with the mission of what Jones-Onslow does, and with that we are driven to be community focused and to empower our members to be doing the best things that we can for ourselves, the environment and our neighbors within us. So can you kind of tell us a little bit about how your coaching services empower those within the community?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely so. My mission to begin with is to empower others to be the best version of themselves. I work with and help professionals, entrepreneurs and even teens to unlock their potential, as well as promote self-preservation. That's critical for me. Good job, see you soon. In supporting them, I develop their mindsets, help them develop increased accountability and self-awareness, and with that I'm able to identify their strengths and the boister their leadership and competence in serving well in their homes and in their communities and on their jobs, so that in turn, it's a ripple effect where we are engaging and collaborating with one another so that we can bring out the best in others.

Speaker 2:

Which I think that's what all of us strive to do. Absolutely Everybody has worked to do inside of themselves to make it better, yes, so I think that's a huge thing that you're doing for each of us. Could you share some examples of how your consulting has positively impacted those?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. One of the things I enjoy doing and you said it earlier is bringing others together, and so I'm always trying to find ways to create an impact, to help someone leave with great intentions and to feel that they can achieve anything that they set their heart and mind to, and so this past summer I hosted a convocation for Oslo County teachers and surrounding teachers, just to lift them up, give them some motivation, to let them know that they are valued and that they matter in our community, and with that I solicited vendors to be a part of that event. So the funds that I got from the vendors participating I gave it back, that's huge.

Speaker 3:

I gave it back to the teachers with gift cards and support coaching services, not just life coaching or professional development coaching, financial coaching, which is huge.

Speaker 5:

Exactly.

Speaker 3:

And so I teamed up with Vaughn Alina Financial Solutions. She was very instrumental in helping me facilitate the collaboration between other businesses who donated things, gifts and things to swag.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm sure they appreciated that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah to the event and so it was very positive. And not only that I get vendors out, I also work with Rodney. He's also instrumental in the community and our church, new Life Family Worship Center. He was able to get cheerleaders from the high school, the band from- oh, that's fun To Hackneyville.

Speaker 3:

And so to welcome the teachers in to the convocation, to lift them up before the school year and prior to that, in May. Last May I teamed up with Andrea McKellar, who's a realtor a local realtor. She and I worked together to put together Breaking the Code on Mental Health.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow.

Speaker 3:

And so we got together and we facilitated a morning of helping individuals participants reflect on what it means to be self-aware and know when, what their breaking point is, what their triggers are, in order to maintain their emotional intelligence.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think that shows that you have a wide variety of education and assets that you bring to the community, not only with the educators that we serve and throughout the entire country certainly have a very hard job that they encounter each and every day, so to give them something a little extra is always a huge win. We do that with our Bright Ideas program. But that's just a small portion of something we can do. But you're doing it too at on a big level of just building them up, which is great. So, as we kind of go into like community engagement and service and coaching approach, it sounds like your consulting has taken like a full-on community approach, so we kind of covered that. Can you kind of elaborate about your role of leadership within the community? And I know your past has been kind of varied. We talked about you had served as an assistant principal at a school and now you're at a new school.

Speaker 2:

Can you kind of tell us about, like your evolution of leadership?

Speaker 3:

Yes, and part of that is sometimes we outgrow our purpose. I strongly believe that we all have purpose and we have the impact that changed the corner of our world, and so I decided for myself that I needed to take a step back from the larger school and decide, you know, and go to a smaller setting. And that was important for me, for my emotional and mental capacity, nurturing who I am as an individual and thinking in terms of love, love coaching. That is a growing business of mine, and so I wanted to be able to manage both. I did not want to leave education without fully giving it all I had until I was emptied and went okay, I'm really really done now.

Speaker 3:

And so now I'm at Saka Charter School here in Jacksonville. It is a public entity for grades K-8. It is the founder is Stacey Howard Owens Owens Howard. Sorry I always get that incorrect, but she knows who she is. She is amazing and she provides wraparound services for the students who attend ZECA.

Speaker 3:

We speak about social injustice. We teach students how to recognize belonging and acceptance and social justice for all, not just some, not just one and so students know to advocate for themselves as well as others. Students and teachers are empowered through the units that have been developed by Dr Janet Hale. She comes in periodically to ensure that we are implementing the standards the way that they need to, and with that, the impact has been really great.

Speaker 3:

Zeka was in F-school, now it is a D-school with a C in reading, and so we're on a trajectory of making more growth and seeing more students proficient in reading and math, because it's such a concentrated subgroup of African American students, hispanic and some white students who are living below the poverty line in some instances not all, but there are so many factors working against those students, and so we make sure that they are checking in every day. She makes sure their social-emotional capacities are in check and they have to check in on the computer and tell how they're doing through a rhythm which is a social-emotional checks and balance. So in the morning they check in.

Speaker 3:

Teachers find out how they're doing all right if they need to intervene, they intervene, and then at lunchtime they do the same thing, just in case something changed.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's a good thing, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so in case something changed within their day, and so they have freedom liberty to communicate openly about what's happening with them.

Speaker 2:

Can you kind of tell us what your role with that school is?

Speaker 3:

So my role is to support teachers. Once again, my role is to help them to be the best that they can be. We do have goals that we must follow. There are no negotiations. We need to make sure that lesson plans are intact, that they are engaging students and that they are aligned to the North Carolina standards. I also intervene, you know when I need to, I step in. When I need to step in, I model lessons, even though I am in an administrative role, because I have a coaching background with teaching.

Speaker 2:

You have that varied skill set yeah, yeah, I step in.

Speaker 3:

So because it's a small school, I'm able to use my previous resources and help out in any capacity, and I call that indispensable.

Speaker 2:

I would. I mean you had mentioned before you kind of were done with that part of your life, but really you get to bring all the best parts of that with you to this new role. Yes, so you can continue to do what you love.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and you know I help teachers. Data dive we look at student data.

Speaker 4:

Which is always important, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I help them drive instruction by setting goals, just so that we are promoting a sense of excellence in and out of the building and making sure we make an impact.

Speaker 2:

Well, it seems like your life has been like one of evolution because you have gone through these many different roles. Yes, now, as you come forward, it sounds like you've done so much in the community too. I mean, you've done these events for educators. So a little tidbit that we have not talked about is that you have written a book. Yes, so I would. I would commend you on that, because that's a labor of love for one. And then the second part of that, that kind of ingresses, that whole community vibe that you're creating, is that. Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

Speaker 3:

Yes, I wrote that book. It started out in 2020. And I noticed that there was a depletion of excitement and passion for teaching and learning because it had inundated and disrupt the norm during COVID, and so I wrote it from that perspective. But then I inserted my spirituality within that book and it it just. I wrote it from my reflection, from myself, and in turn, it helped others. And so I speak about and want to sound the alarm to those who are entrusted to teachers admin, although it's for teachers but I want it to sound the alarm that this is something that we need to put our eyes on and help teachers become the best version, and to help teachers be the best version that they can be to their students, like helping them identify the meaning behind the human spirit. You can't reach a student unless you have an understanding of how, what the spirit needs and how much it can take on their.

Speaker 2:

So much to rest, and what I sense from that is no one's alike. We all have different sets of circumstances behind us, and you're kind of going straight for that, exactly and how to build relationships, how to validate students so that they understand, okay, I have these feelings and I have a right to have these feelings but how do I?

Speaker 3:

go about managing them and executing to change my situation.

Speaker 2:

So for our listeners, could you tell them the name of your book and where they could find it?

Speaker 3:

Yes, the title of my book is Teach Like a Boss through a Spiritual Lens, and they can find it on Amazon.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to order it because I'm interested too, and I've got a couple friends that are educators. I think they would love that. So, with all of this, you know what are your aspirations as you move forward into this next step. What are your wants, your wishes, your dreams? Well, I want For your consulting and you personally.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and so what I want is to create a community for educators, create a community that will love on them, that will inspire them to motivate them, design a place for them to find resources that they can use for themselves as well as their students, and one of the things that I want to do is to put a series of master classes together that will take them on a journey to identifying who they are reconnecting to their purpose. And then the seven big things that they need to know in order to be successful. Whether you are in year one or 20, and you need to revisit these seven things you know student relationships, taking care of yourself. Those are critical things that we need to learn and know about ourselves. Classroom management.

Speaker 3:

That's like time management, yeah time management, Because our kids are growing and they're evolving. They're not like the way that we used to be, and so we have to get our greats, our veterans, to understand that it's not no longer yes or yes, ma'am, sit down and be quiet. You know, we got to figure out, figure out how to go around, you know, to reach them, and so there are several things that we must do in order to have a strong classroom culture, and so it can be time consuming and overwhelming.

Speaker 3:

But, if you think smarter about it, you can get ahead of it and feel good about yourself most of the time. Not every day is perfect.

Speaker 2:

Nobody's day is perfect.

Speaker 3:

No, and so we can have a lot more perfect days versus every day is imperfect, and I'm tired and worn out and I want teachers to know that they matter and that they can still do it Like I. Most of my clients now are educators and once I talk with them and let them know, I help them unpack their thinking through a series of questions and we identify their strengths and weaknesses, give me a synopsis of what is happening in the classroom and as soon as they realize, oh, that's it, then we talk about okay, how can we strategize to help you overcome?

Speaker 2:

that You're creating all those light bulb moments.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and so they feel. Some feel stuck in their role, like I don't. I hope no one can identify who this person is, but she's a young teacher and she told me I dread I'm in year below 10. And I don't want to have to. I dread staying in for 30 years and I'm like it doesn't have to be that way. It does not have to be that way, and so we talked about ways that she can have an outlet that fuels her to still do what she's doing now, but plan for her future, and so those are the things that we discuss and help them see that you're not just by name a teacher.

Speaker 3:

You have a lot to give to this world, so don't box yourself in, you know. And so we come up with the strengths. We talk about work-life balance, we talk about the bigger picture where all of it fits, and so, and then you leave with the plan.

Speaker 2:

Which is huge to have a plan, to be able to say this is my, you know, these are my charging orders in the best way possible of where I'm moving forward.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's ironic today that we are chatting with you and it is Valentine's Day and we have talked about love for ourselves, love for our community, and you're all about love. I think that's a big win for all of us, is that? You know, we want to love our neighbors, our friends, but at Gen Zons, our biggest thing is that connection to you, and I think Dr Martin is here to kind of bring all of that full circle and help our educators and the students within the classroom to kind of build a bridge and connect with them, whether it's through improving themselves daily or just kind of embracing what's within them. So we really appreciate you being here with us today and we encourage all of our members and listeners to check out your website. Would you mind sharing that with us? Loveloudcoachingcom. And again, that is the love on that. So thank you so much, you're welcome.

Speaker 4:

We recently experienced a big winter plunge. Although the temperatures may be milder now, energy used during the recent frigid weather makes up a big chunk of your upcoming heating bill. Remember the colder it is outside, the harder your heating system works. It uses more electricity to maintain the indoor temperature, even if your thermostat setting remains the same. For more energy tips to avoid billing surprises, visit joemccom.

Speaker 1:

Hey there members. Natalie here to tell you what's happening at Jones-Onslow. Have you checked out this month's spotlight newsletter? Head to our website to read more about helpful winter weather tips to ensure a safe and warm winter for you and your family. Joemc is here for you. Our energy tip of the month is all about area rugs. Did you know that area rugs are an easy, cost-effective solution to cold floors? Using area rugs to hard surface flooring can add warmth to any room. Choose rugs made from wool or other natural fibers for the most insulation. Area rugs can enhance the aesthetic of your home and keep you cozier. Last but not least, we're gearing up for our annual meeting of members in just a few short weeks. You don't want to miss out on one of our most highly anticipated events of the year. Plus, we have a new venue. Come out to River of Life Church Friday, march 22nd and enjoy free food, live entertainment, our annual business meeting and even enter to win a free truck. Registration begins at 5.30. See you there, and that's what's happening at Jones-Onslow, emc.

Speaker 5:

Do you have a rising sixth or seventh grader who dreams of playing basketball on a college campus? Joemc is partnering with UNC, chapel Hill, an NC State University, to make that dream a reality for two lucky students. The scholarships cover all expenses and campers receive instruction from Division 1 coaches to enhance their basketball ability. Download the Touchstone Energy Sports Camp application at joemccom. The deadline to apply is March 31st.

Speaker 6:

Well, folks, that'll do it for this episode of Flipping the Switch Until next time. If you don't currently follow us on Facebook, instagram or any of our other social media channels, consider doing so. It's the best way to keep informed about what's going on with your cooperative. Thanks again.

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