There are some experiences that are life changing. Those moments are different for everyone, but the Education Leadership Experience (ELE) falls into that category for Columbia’s ELE Delta class member, Emmylou Todd.
“As corny as it sounds, I remember what I was wearing when I got the email I’d been nominated to participate in the Education Leaders Experience,” said Emmylou. “It was exactly what I needed, ELE was refreshing, raw, and uplifting.”
At Colonial Life, we believe in investing in the future workforce and that begins with educators. By providing support to educator preparation and leadership development programs such as the Education Leaders Experience, we equip educators with tools and perspectives to develop world-class talent.
The ELE program was created by Unum and Colonial Life and is administered in partnership with the Center for Educational Partnerships at the University of South Carolina. This 10-month professional development program connects leading educators with business leaders and exposes them to real world talent needs in today’s workforce.
An additional part of the ELE program is giving educators time to grow and learn so they can foster the best environment for their students and staff.
“We spent time with people in the business world who shared how education impacts what they do and how they plan based on what’s going on in education,” Emmylou shared.
“So much of our time and energy as educators is spent building up and focusing on our students, their families, and our colleagues. We often forget to appreciate and focus on ourselves.”
When you feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or burnt out, here are a few tips for education leaders from Emmylou:
- Know your village. You need people in your inner circle you can trust, who genuinely care about you, and appreciate your commitment to your career. The key to this is trusting these people enough to hear what they have to say, and respecting them enough to realize it might not be what you want to hear.
- Remember – you’ve got this. In education, we have to honor our value. We have to continue to build each other up and remind ourselves what we bring to the table.
- Focus on the big picture, and take care of yourself. It’s ok to be overwhelmed, but it’s important to take a break. Acknowledge and establish rapport with each student in your class or teacher in your school so you can understand their needs. And don’t forget to rest and recharge yourself so you can meet each day, student, and colleague with your whole and best self.
The next class of the Education Leaders Experience will convene this summer. Read Emmylou’s full ELE experience in the University of South Carolina’s Educator Stories.