Muriel Kennedy, PhD
Trainer - Consultant - Licensed Clinical Psychologist
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve,” – Napoleon Hill
In knowing, first hand, what it means to struggle with reading, I am very passionate when it comes to motivating and inspiring others to be the best that they can possibly be despite their perceived limitations and/or challenges. My faith, combined with my personal life experiences, leads me to believe that all things truly are possible to them that dare to believe. Interestingly, I am not what the average person would consider an avid reader. I’m actually what one might consider a slow, meticulous reader. However, I love learning and actually delight in purchasing books that I would one day love to read, time permitting. Nevertheless, I have not let my challenges with reading deter me from achieving my life goals, which include becoming a renowned author.
In elementary school it became apparent to me that I was struggling with reading, and I was placed in a special reading group along with a few of my peers. I took great pride in being pulled out of the larger group and placed in a subgroup in the classroom, having special attention given to my reading challenges. I was especially pleased that my academic needs were being addressed without my being stigmatized or feeling that I was not as smart as my peers who had mastered the art of reading. After being given the extra attention, I was promoted along with my peers, and I was able to thrive academically. And I thank my then-ninth grade Algebra I teacher, Mrs. Edith Gregg, for taking the time to point out my strengths in math and science. She subsequently encouraged me to take Algebra 2 and Geometry the following year, Algebra 3 in the eleventh grade and Calculus 1 during my senior year while recommending that I pursue a degree in Engineering. She unequivocally stated that I had what it took to become a engineer. I trusted and believed in Mrs. Gregg; and I did exactly what she suggested.
I am extremely blessed to have had an Algebra 1 teacher who believed in me and focused on my strengths in math and science. These strengths allowed me to compensate for my challenges with reading, as I developed confidence in my ability to succeed at whatever I put my mind to. Because my ninth grade Algebra 1 teacher chose to focus on my strengths, while simultaneously helping me to overcome my challenges, I chose to do the same with the children, youth and families that I have been blessed to work with over the years, as a licensed clinical psychologist. Yes, I changed my career field from mechanical engineering to clinical psychology which is a testimony in itself!
In understanding the joys that come with making a difference in the lives of our children, youth, adolescents and their families, I applaud and praise teachers for their unparalleled passion and unwavering commitment in teaching, educating and empowering our children, youth and adolescents with the knowledge, information, tools, life skills and resources that they need to pursue their hopes and dreams! Our children, youth and adolescents truly are our most valuable resource…For they are indeed our future leaders, teachers, entrepreneurs, physicians, engineers, astronauts and inventors! Being a devoted teacher and educator is a very noble profession; and what you have to offer our children, youth and adolescents truly is invaluable!
In appreciating the critical role of teachers and the growing challenges related to classroom behavior management, I welcome the opportunity to conduct on-site school trainings on an evidence-based classroom management curriculum that is research-based with proven effectiveness. In the words of John F. Kennedy, “Children [truly] are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future;” and I shudder to think where we would be, as a nation, without truly devoted, caring and compassionate teachers!