THG interviews guest Brad Washington. Brad is a Columbia-based educator, author, and avid runner. Brad is the author of the social-emotional learning/culture building program and book, The Greenprint.
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Brad Washington | THG Episode #39
[00:00:00] Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Hilltop glove podcast. I'm your host Tamaya as well as my co-host DJ Ann, what? And today we have the pleasure of interviewing Brad Washington. Brad is a Columbia, South Carolina based educator, author, and avid runner. He is also the author of a social emotional learning culture building program in book the green print.
Thank you for joining us today, Brad, how are you? I'm doing good. Tamaya is so good to hear from you and speak to you. I'm doing well. How are y'all doing good. Doing good. So, thanks. Thank you so much for joining us. Of course I know you in Columbia and I have read the green print book and I thought you would be a great host a great guest for this show.
So just for our viewers, can you give us a little bit of background information about your journey as an educator and what are some of your influences growing. I've had what you would call a unorthodox way of becoming an educator. My background really started with boys [00:01:00] and girls club and my number one influence.
I'm glad you asked that. He's actually the director of operations for boys and girls club now, but he was my campus director, Mr. Ken Carner and I worked underneath him for two years, but he's the one that kind of showed me that I was really talented at what. Was doing and what I could do.
And I became a program director with boys and girls club. After two years of working with them. And after about a year of being a program director, I actually started working in the school as a behavior intervention at Wes elementary. While I was also a program director there at the. As well. So I worked at Windsor elementary elementary for five years and did the boys and girls club there as a director for six years.
And I have a lot of influences just from winds elementary alone. Dr. John, Dr. Jonathan avenue one of my best friend, Dr. Tanya Cunningham, Jason Ashley, Terry Johnson. My principal Beth Elliot. [00:02:00] Another, he's a principal now, Killian elementary, Stacy Franklin. There's so many to count, but that's where I got my building blocks to be an educator.
And that's also where, and what influenced my, the green print book where, you know, I wrote it based off my experiences there when I did the program at winds elementary in the afternoon. Okay. Now, was that the school that you went to, did you go to that school? I actually, I actually went to that school.
Okay. And what's funny. What's funny is that school I live in the Wildwood area. It served a lot of the Wildwood kids and, you know, it was a, I would say it was a, an affluent school. And so the Windsor that I went to and the Windsor that I worked at two different winds. Two completely different lenses.
So, but currently I'm a first grade teacher at Newberry elementary and I love it. I love it. And I'm kind of incorporating a lot of the, the green print elements into the classroom and it's been a blast. Oh, that's good. That's good. [00:03:00] So you said you teach first grade now, what grade do you like the best to teach the.
To be honest with you, it's it's a trade off. I would say. I, you know, when I did my afternoon experiences, I worked primarily with the the older kids, the third through fifth grade. And so I can do any grade, but fifth grade, first grade it's gonna require different. Techniques on how to work with them.
So I would say fifth grade, because I mean, you could be quote unquote strict or a disciplinarian, all you want, but if you don't have the relationship with them, then it's not gonna be fruitful is you're not gonna get much out of them. But like with my first graders, you know, they gonna love you no matter what.
But you have to know how to teach them. You have to know how to work with them. So they're gonna love you, whether you mean to them for three days in a row. If you show up with some cupcakes they'll love you again, you know, that trick is not gonna work for fifth [00:04:00] grade. So I, I, I love, I love all of them, but if I had a preference of who to talk to in the building, it would be fifth grade, but I enjoy first grade because it's really more developmental.
You know, you're developing their minds more, you're developing their social skills and they're, they're quicker to buy into what you're trying to do. So I know as an educator, you are responsible for, you know, teaching students, but also molding their ways of thinking. Mm-hmm by facilitating certain discussions and developing, engaging learning techniques, such as the green print, what personality traits do teachers need to be successful?
I think a teacher has to always be a willing student and learner, you know, you can never go in and think that you have all of, all of the answers. You have so many different teachers and education coaches and administrators, of course, in the building. And all of them have different philosophies on how to teach, you know, how to approach things.
And if you just go in [00:05:00] kind of closeminded. And not open, then you're gonna be stuck as an ed, as an educator. You know, every, every day I walk into the building, you know, I've been doing education in the, my 11th year. You know, there's always something new to do something new, to learn, you know, a question to ask, you can even learn from your students.
So just always wanting to be a learner, a student, you know, whether it's reading or researching articles or asking questions or asking to observe someone, you know, talking to the parents, you know, I have, I would say I have a very good relationship with my parents and it is very collaborative, you know, I want what's best for their child.
And so do so do they? And so I never say, you know, well, I'm not gonna listen to you because you're just a parent. You don't know what's going on in the classroom. They also know their child too. And so just being a student being a learner, I think that's the number one thing you have to have to be a successful educator in any.
I agree. I definitely agree. [00:06:00] Now, what traits do you have that you instill in your students to help them progress? Cause I know each teacher is different, so I just wanna know, like, do you have certain techniques that you instill in them? Well, I'm glad you asked that. Well, you know, Tamaya, you know, I've lost over 120 pounds and I think, you know, when you go through that process, it changes you, it changes your mindset, it changes your life.
Now, of course, I can't put my exact techniques on six and seven year olds, or, you know, if I was working in the afternoon, you know, nine, 10 and 11 year olds, but it's really just the mindset of doing. Anything that you want, but it starts with your mind. You know, we control a lot of what we do through our, our brain activity.
And we have more control than what we think. And one of the things that we talk about in my classroom is being a skilled thinker, a skilled thinker knows how to go through their processes. You know, they was doing a math problem instead of you. Asking me. They know if they [00:07:00] have their blocks, they could just pull their blocks out.
If they have a number line, they could just go to their number line. If they have some manipulative, they can go to their manipulative, manipulative, you know, they can use their fingers, they can use their sheet of paper. You know, that's what a skilled thinker, a skilled thinker does that. And we talk about that all the time, every day, you know, whenever they come and say well, Mr.
Washington, I can't do this. Or I think I can't do that. Do this. I always say, well, use your skills. You know, what are your skills? You know, whether it's sounding out a word, you know, at, you know, a is a and T is tip, you know, those are the skills that we teach. And so getting them to really trust their brain process, their thought process has been one of the number, one things that I've been doing, you know, in my classroom.
So. I would say me, I like to say I'm a skilled thinker. And so I want them to have those steps as they move forward in their life. Once they're outta my classroom, the next few months, you know, to be a [00:08:00] skilled thinker, to use their brain, they have the ability to think, like I always say, right, just explore their mind on different levels.
Yeah. Explore their minds on different levels. They, they can do it. We all can do more than what we think we can, you know, mm-hmm so. Use your resources, you know, ask questions. It's okay. You know, even if you get it wrong, that's okay. Now, you know, I know you personally, but how does it feel being such a young educator in the system, in the school system?
You know what I think, I think the young educators are the trailblazers, you know when I did my program, And wrote the book, you know, that was through, you know, a lot of research, but it also kind of came from trial and error. You know, it was really just me you know, trying to organize the day.
But then when I saw that the days was being organized and it was working, then it made me want to continue to, you know, push the envelope and add new things. And then that's how it kind of came out. But I [00:09:00] think that's the advantage to being young. You know, I've seen older educators, they refuse technology technology is great in the classroom.
Just shouldn't overuse it, but it's great in the classroom, they refuse to kind of get help. They kind of get stuck in their ways. And when you're young, you know, like all of us are young here. So, you know, we know that we have a lot of life left. and we want to explore that and we also see the mistakes of maybe other people, and we don't want to go down that path.
So, you know, kind of get back to what you're saying about being a young educator. I think it's a great thing, you know? In the next 10 years, we could really revolutionize it. I think social, emotional learning came from young educators. I think restorative practice came from young educators, you know, school today is not how school was when we went to school to my, yeah, we didn't do social, emotional learning.
We didn't have restorative practices. If, you know, The teacher wasn't a good teacher, [00:10:00] then it just was whatever, you know, the relationship building. Right. So just seeing how far it's come, you know, using those social, emotional learning in the classroom and building relationships with the teachers. Like those are things that are like essential to being a great teacher now.
So I think that's the advantage of being young. You know, you can just do more and you feel like you have more time to do more. You can push that envelope. As far as you know, instead of being an elder teacher that came from that era that we came from when we went to school where they don't wanna push the envelope, you know, I would say that's the advantage of being a young educator.
I mean, that's, that's, that's I like hearing this perspective from somebody like yourself. You're a young educator, you're working here in South Carolina. You're also a black male teacher, which is something I I've only seen. Two of those in my lifetime. One was as a, as a professor actually a college professor.
So mm. [00:11:00] And we all know it's important in children's development to see positive visual representations of themselves in society across all demographics. Because of course, healthy self self image. It affects your behavior, academic, academic, achievement, and cetera. They've done studies that prove that this is a, a, an important thing, but we still have a lack or a dearth of black male educators, especially in elementary school settings.
You do not usually see people like yourself. To Washington. And I know like I Tamaya and I, before we actually got on, we were talking about, we were like, man, cuz we were talking about your green print book. I was like, man, I wish we had educators like this. We didn't get this type of flavor season than when we was in school.
And it would've made it a better experience overall. And part of that is because you aren't part of the normal. Group or class of what we consider educators. So you're bringing in new thinking concepts and et cetera, part of the course being youthful. But man, I, it leads to the question just to ask, like, what do you think causes the lack of [00:12:00] black male educators?
You know, that's I'll say that's a tough question. I think maybe it's kind of going to the point where you said We didn't see too many of them growing up, like in my grade school, in my grade school days, I've only had two and they actually two of my favorite teachers. It's exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
Yeah. My favorite teacher ever is Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Brandon Ferguson. He's a principal down in Louisiana and Mr. Arthur Newton he's I wanna say he's over elementary. Assistant principals in district two, but he was my seventh grade science teacher. We didn't see too many of that. So we didn't, I guess you naturally don't look at education or teaching as a route to go.
So that's why I'm glad to see, you know, programs like call me Mr. Yes, know one of my good friends, Rahe, Rahe, McKinney. He teaches in Blaney at Blaney elementary. He went through that program at Newberry college, you know, I [00:13:00] think that's when we started saying, okay, well maybe we could be an educator, you know, because we have those programs, like call me Mr.
They created a path. Most of you created. Yes. Yeah. So, you know, but I, when I think back on, I I've never heard anyone say like, like an African American male say, Hey, I want to, I want to be an, an educator. I want to be a teacher. Yeah. I've never heard that before. Ah, and, and the only time you would hear it is if it was speaking of it in a higher education realm, somewhere at a university or something like that.
And I'm like, and I would sit here and I remember I went to all, like, basically it was like an all black school and it was really cool school in Mullins, Paul meadow, shout out Paul me school. But they had a. Male principal black female assistant principal, everything. Right. But the funny thing was there weren't many black educators though, like literal like administrative people.
Okay, cool. Cool, cool. But we didn't have like a black male science teacher or a, a black male English [00:14:00] teacher. We only had a black male PE teacher, physical ed. That was it. And one of the, another build on that question is. So how, like, you know, marketing's everything like how, how could we like improve these numbers?
Like, does it, do you think it's gonna be through marketing, ORs exposure? Say it again? say it teachers. Oh, so, but someone popped there. That's what I'm talking about you. Right? I agree. I agree. That's sorry. Oh, that's the thing. No one, I have told one out there. Cause I mean, if you're coming up, like the idea of picking a career that you're not gonna make money at, just seems like not a great choice.
Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm so how do we do that? Like how, how would we raise, pay for teachers, especially to make it enticing? Any ideas? Well, I've actually been watching I watched This video on success academy. I'm actually reading the book on it. Yeah. It's a charter school in New York Uhhuh, but I wanna say they're paying their teachers [00:15:00] $125.
Yes. They're competing. They're competing. Yes. But they're competing. Yes. Yes. And if, and if you're not up to par, then you, you, they can ask you not to come back. They cannot renew your contract. They can fire. So, but do you think unions would go that's part of the issue? I was like, cause I see what you, cause what it is, is like how you would normally do in a business mindset, you would go and try to get the best, the brightest and bring 'em into your institution.
Correct? Correct. What you should do now in order to do that, you know, you have to give them a living wage, something that they can actually survive off of subsist, but not, you know, so they have to be able something, they. This, I'm gonna try to piece this one together. I don't think it's in an economic thing.
I think I think you have to have a trailblazer. Someone has to be a trail blazer in the public school settings. Okay. One that can be innovative in creating programs, you know, to enhance learning, to enhance whole body whole body, whole mind development that can [00:16:00] probably. Enhance black teachers, black male teachers to come in.
You know, we have a lot of great black male teachers, black teachers that I have come across, like Terry Johnson. She teaches at K and I worked with her at win elementary. Alicia, Jordan she she's A educational coach up in North Carolina, but like they were so innovative. They were so pale.
Yes. You know, I think you're gonna have to have someone like that. It can't be really an economic thing. You have to have it be someone that's going to be innovative. That's going to draw people in. It's kind of like music, you know, mm-hmm if you know, the trailblazers in music were the people who were.
Creative geniuses, you know, especially on the black side, Stevie wonder prince, you know, Michael Jackson, you know, they were big in terms of being a persona, but they were so musically talented that they shifted. The music world. And so there were so many people, it came to them, it came to them. I see what you're [00:17:00] saying.
So, you know, you have a lot of, you have a lot of people, you know, when you see, when you think of someone that plays all of their instruments, you think of prince. Yeah. Think of Stevie wonder. So when you see an artist doing that, you know, and they're come, you see a lot of artists coming up, you know, they're trying to, trying to be like prince trying to be like a Stevie wonder.
So it's kind of the same thing in education. It can't be, I don't think it can. It could be, but I think you'll get more. Especially from black males or black educators in general black women. Yeah. If it was someone that looked like us that continued to push the boundaries, because we have a lot of educators that can do that and having they can influence than you just saying that these people have influence.
You're saying it's less about getting a hundred thousand teachers to join all over the country and more about getting a few rock stars that really like, kind of. Push, push it forward and make it be something that people cause, you know, I mean, you don't make money as an artist. I don't make money as an artist, but Nope.
It seemed fun. yeah. like, [00:18:00] I, I know like, and it is funny because like I know someone, one of my good friends named Jason Robinson he's he lives in Greenville and you know, he's he does the after school. Thing. And I've always said, Jason, man, you you're like the best I've ever seen work with kids.
You're the best. But he loves the after school form because, you know, he could do so much, you know, oh, I see. He could do so much there, but in the education system, because it's so rigorous and it's so rigid, you know, it's only but so much he could do. And so he kind of always said, nah, you know, He like Brad, that's your field.
You do, you do that. But if we could get someone like him in, you know, like, Hey Jason, you could still do the things you do is just, you have to teach. You could still do the things you do. I think those are the, those are the type of things that will get more black educators inside. So freedom, freedom, like freedom of how you create your programming.
Yeah. Freedom and how you teach. You know, I, I, that's how I, I approach teaching. I see [00:19:00] teaching like, Andy Reid doing play design, you know, each week is yeah. Each week is something different each week is something different coming up with different lesson plans, different activities, you know, you wanted the kids to be engaged.
You know, I kind of, you know, it was the same thing when I was really doing a lot of the after school workers. Like each week within the green print was something different. Mm-hmm let me try this activity with them. Let see how they like it. You know? I remember we did this activity called the dinner and the groceries and.
I would, you know, if we was doing like a team building activity sometimes I'll see them arguing. And of course, you know, when you're nine, 10 or 11, you're just in the moment. And I said, well, are you bringing the right ingredients? You know, when you are going up to approach someone about a problem, are you coming up with the right ingredients?
Which is like, if you want spaghetti, You can't come back from the store with chocolate, gummy worms and Doritos. You know, you gotta bring the right ingredients. You gotta [00:20:00] bring your noodles, your, your ground beef, your sauce, marinara sauce. You know, you gotta bring those things. If you wanted to make macaroni cheese, you gotta, you need your noodles.
You need your cheese, you need your milk. You butter. Your butter and so that's how it was gonna be made. And so I will get them up on the, I came up with it, I'll get 'em on the board. I say, how we, how do we make macaroni cheese? How do we make spaghetti? And they say, well, we need this, this, this, this, this I say, okay.
So what if I came with sprinkles and chocolate chip cookies and Doritos and Cheetos, like, I mean, can we make it, I mean, you can make it in your mind, but it's not gonna turn out the way it's supposed to. In reality, . And so that was something we did that a couple times a month. And so I would say it's the same thing when you're trying to, you know, discuss a problem with the friend, you know, you have to bring the right ingredients, you have to bring the right tone, the right words, you know, so we would, you know, that's stuff that we would teach.
So it's things like that. [00:21:00] You know, I love doing those things, just coming up with creating new things. And, you know, sometimes, you know, when we're doing a math lesson and I say, well, what are the right ingredients that we need to make this math lesson? The. Gotta pay attention, gotta raise our hand. You know, we gotta come up and work the problem out, you know, the right ingredient.
So the dinner, you know, that was, that was something that we did, but you know, if we keep having programs and being innovative like that, instead of just being so rigorous. Yeah. I think that's what will bring it in. I like that answer, Brad. I really like also brings up that, you know, when you're talking about teachers you know, paying 'em a hundred thousand dollars a year, but then being able to fire them.
You're losing that skill set that they're building every year. So maybe, you know, and I, I, I see that, I see that like late stage capitalism mentality, it's like, well, you pay 'em good. And then you get 'em outta there. If they're not doing what you want but it's, it's almost like you're every year that a teacher's there you're investing in 'em and it's like, you're really like, the key is gotta be like coaching people up to being yes.
The people [00:22:00] that we want. Come on, come on. Yes. Come on. I don't have, y'all been watching Abbott element. Oh, no, I heard of that show. It is good. It is so funny. Yes. But you know, the people on the show I've seen and heard, there are teachers and administrators like that who are not invested into the kids and they're not invested into their teachers.
So yeah. Some people, you know, some people, some people probably are getting administrative jobs because it pays well. Yeah. Not because, you know, they're really investing into the learning process that's going on in the. Yep. Speaking of, for a lot of youth that actions speak louder than words leading by example is often the best way to connect with.
Real life modeling is the most effective method of impacting students while reading green print. And I know this is one thing that I thought was so cool, man, is I like how you emphasize using the, the sports references to, to proper coaching leadership and creating culture, which is the most important thing [00:23:00] I know Kevin and I, we always talk about bad football teams and the fact that they have bad cultures, like what it took to turn the Arizona Cardinals from a horrible team into something that you can actually watch on TV.
It took a long time of changing culture around a place like that. And I guess this also leads into the importance of it when it comes to being an educator, a coach or a mentor, and to properly lead by example, why engage in youth? Like how important is that for you to do when it comes to you? Cause you, you hammer that through about culture.
Could you, could you explain it to our audience? It's it's number one, it's number one, you know, Whether it's the after school setting or in the school setting. It's the number one thing that you have to do because your culture is. The mindset and the expectation of what's to come. So if, even if it was in the afternoon, you know, if we were doing an activity, what is the culture of the activity?
You know the culture, the environment of what we're trying to do, what, what is it, you know, do we come here to play around? Is this [00:24:00] something where we kind of relax on? Is this something where we probably have to take it serious? You know, it starts at the. If the top isn't, you know, emphasizing that, then we can't expect for the kids, or even if it was high school kids or middle school kids to follow, you know, they're following your lead.
And once you kind of set that tone, then it's important to get everyone to buy in because once you have everyone buying in, then they'll be the ones that will set the tone. And they'll be the ones that will reprimand someone. I remember A few years, like, I'd probably say the first year I did the green print, I remember, you know, I was always the one that would get all of the kids that was not doing what they were supposed to do.
and so they problems here. They would, they would come, they would come to our group and, you know, they'll try to do the same stuff, but the, the culture was so set in stone that I didn't have to say anything. They would just say, look, we don't, we don't do that. This is how we act. And when you [00:25:00] get the people, you know, policing other people, that's when the culture is strong and it doesn't, you're a dangerous man, Mr.
Washington. Yeah. A dangerous man. yeah. When you, when you get your students or you're right. If, if you are over a project or, you know, you're a manager at a job, if you get the people policing, that's when the culture is strong. Yeah. And even as a teacher, you know, teaching is really about the thinking.
you know the thinking culture, like how do we operate? You know, once stuff goes on the board, what do we do? Do we play around or do we get straight to work? You know? When we're doing our centers, is this the time to play or is this the time to learn? And that's something that we talk about. And so when you get everybody on board doing that, the, they will, you know, my students are doing a pretty good job, policing others and say, Hey, this is what we're supposed to be doing.
We're supposed to, they have expectations. Yes. Cause if you got one student acting out and you got nine kids following them up, They looking at them, then the culture's not [00:26:00] strong. You know, the culture, the culture is supposed to be stronger than the individual. Jeff Duncan and Tom Brady. Yeah. Like dun and Tom Brady.
Yeah. If Tom, if Tom Brady the best player, is there 30 minutes before practice, then you will see people, other players being 30 minutes early before practice because he's setting the tone. And so that was something. The green print, you know? Yeah. We did, you know, our social, emotional learning. Yes. You know, we did our communication and social skills, but it was the culture that allowed that to happen, you know, get it.
And then after, you know, after a while, you know, once the culture was said, then the fun really, really starts because then they could help me plot plan out some of the things that we were supposed to be doing. And now that's kind of where we are in my classroom, where things that they like. Things they like to do things they like to learn.
They're helping me out with the lessons. So, but the culture has to be, the culture has to be set first. You know, whether it's in sports or [00:27:00] teaching, or if you're a manager over at Walmart, like you have to set the culture, you have to set the culture. So it's very important in any place, you know, culture, as you see with the Rams, you know, they have a great culture over there.
They bringing in players and they're. so that's a reflection of the culture. So very important. So with, with that culture being so important, what are some challenges you experienced or witnessed while attempting to get things that way, like get cha while you're trying to change the culture to make it when that was a good foundation?
Well, usually you're gonna get, you're going to get pushback, you know, if you have people. Well, in my kids, if you have students that are used to one way of doing things, then you know, they're going to probably push back. You know, when I got the group of kids that created the green print, cause I say it was the collaborative effort.
We did that together. You know, they was used to doing kind of doing what they wanted to do. They were used to doing [00:28:00] those things and it took a few months for them to. Kind of really buy in. It was buying in reluctantly because it was me, you know, but once December came around, that's when the buy-in was like, okay, we see what he's saying.
And you know, I think the, the number one challenge is really just knowing how to build those relationships with certain students so that they can buy into. And, you know, you know, you have to, you have to really have that. You. Relationship piece. It's very cliche. Yeah. But it's very true. It's very true. And sometimes, you know, you have about half, that'll just get it over time and you have the other half that they're not getting it for a variety of reasons.
They probably want the old way. Or, you know, you probably remind them of a parent that they have. and they're pushing back on you. You know, I had one student tell me, she said, you know, you remind me [00:29:00] of my dad. Oh, wow. And I don't like him oh, wow. , you know, lost right off that. . Yeah. And so you, you don't, you don't know, but you won't know until you build that relationship with them.
and you have to kind of figure them out, you know, when to talk to them, how to talk to them, what's the best time, you know, what are the things they like? So, but I would say, you know, with building a culture, it starts, you know, it starts of course, with setting the, the tone of how you want things to be done.
But it also on the back end, you have to build it with the students and you have to build it with the parents. Over you, you know, so I would say that's the, the, probably the toughest part, because some days you're gonna say, well, what am I doing? Is it working? Yeah. You know, but you have to keep chipping away at it.
And then usually if you continue to chip away at it, you'll start to see the fruits of your labor. Gotcha. Gotcha. I have a question. So how was the research part of the green print? You know, like trial and error, the experimental part [00:30:00] mm-hmm what was that phase like? Honestly Tamya that was actually, that was actually fun because I like to read so cool.
Just reading up on different classrooms and. Schools and how they're doing things and teams, you know, my favorite basketball team is the golden state warriors, you know, and Steve Kerr has a thing where he talks about being compassionate and also playing with joy. And sometimes, you know black educators, they get stigmatized into just being the disciplinarians and.
You know, well, they only listen to you because you're a black male, you know, I've heard that numerous times scared. Oh yeah. Numerous times it's a backhand compliment. Yeah. And I say, you know what? I don't want my kids to come into the room and, you know, be afraid of me. So I started looking into what Steve Kerr talk about, you know, Clemson, Dabo, Sweeney.
He's kind of the same way. You know, he wants his teams to have fun, but they also work. Yeah. And I said, you know what? I, I, you [00:31:00] know, I don't want. My kids to come into my classroom and into my space and like, oh man, Mr. Mr. Brad, or Mr. Washington. Oh, what's he gonna say today? You know, same way Clemson football players, don't walk into, you know, the facility and say, what's Tabo Sweeney gonna say like, oh man, that's coach that's coach Sweeney.
Or Steph Curry walks in and says, oh, that's just coach cur. You know, we come here to have fun, but we also come to work. And so I kind of started to mold my style into that. Where I wanted them to have fun, but we're also gonna work too, you know, we're going to, you know, represent the school very well. So just, it was it was, you know, fun to read up on those things, different styles, you know, different cultures what's making things work and then say, okay, well let me go try that in the afternoon.
and sometimes it would work and sometimes say, mm let's not do that again. You know? , we would do something on Thursdays you know, like a step to the line [00:32:00] game, and I would ask questions, you know, just to see where they are and if it was true, they would step out. And we came up with something called.
The puddle, the pool or the ocean and the ocean meant that we was gonna go deep. And then I remember one day we went deep and them jokers was crying. Oh, . I said, I can't, I can't do that again. you know, you don't mess up that whole day. Like, nah, I don't wanna do that. So we try to stick to the pool, you know, maybe the puddle in the pool, the pool is the deep as we.
So, but yeah. You know, just doing things like that, you know, I wanted, you know yeah. You know, those are the trial and errors and, you know, but the research part was really fun. And I think reading up on Clemson football and how they're not so like Alabama and Nick Saban is like a professional yeah.
Football factory. Like it's actually a family where the players like to stay and be there. That's what I want. I wanted that experience. And I think we did. Man. That's dope. That's [00:33:00] dope, man. I know this is a Kevin question, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna break it down for his, his perspective, but I know in 2020 he really like started running and doing his best to get, make sure he was getting in shape and, and find himself a constructive outlet for his re his restlessness.
Cuz of course, as know, now he has 80. ADHD, but he, he realized that he could do something. Yeah. See what I'm saying? Look, I can tell, make sense. Don't
me too. But like he would do some of his best thinking while he's running. Like usually he calls me while he's either getting his steps and whatnot anyway. So I'm used to all right. Yeah. He's. Thinking right now, but it helps to declare his mind and, and refocuses creativity. And he just wanna ask, you know, as a fellow runner, how does running affect the ways in which you cope with daily stress of being an educated.
Oh man, running running is the best thing that's has happened to me since the pandemic. I like, you know, I would say like the buildup of running, like, especially in the cold, like actually before I got on, I just [00:34:00] finished a seven mile run Two, seven mile. Ooh. Why not? Yeah. Yeah. Why not? You know I, you know, the build up to it is annoying, but once you throw your headphones on, oh yeah.
And you, and you cue your music of what you're feeling for today, you can just roll and fly and it's the best thing. And it really does help with the stress because, you know, sometimes I have things on my mind, like, you know am I doing this right? Am I doing that right? Or as an educator or as a boyfriend or whatever, and you just throw it on and you just kind of think things through and it's.
Did I do this right today? I probably should have said that next time, I'm gonna say things like this. And so you get that, that 45 minutes or hour really to yourself, which just you and your music and your running and you get to just think and, you know, let all that stuff out. And once you done running, nothing is better than that.
Nothing. Yeah. So the build up to running is annoying sometimes, especially like I said, in the cold, but Once you get going and once you're finished, nothing [00:35:00] is better. Sometimes you say, man, I wish I would've ran a little bit more. So it's definitely helped out with the stress. Definitely. I believe it.
I believe it. And what, what advantages does running give you in your other pursuits? I would say I would say the discipline, you know the discipline of running and getting. Stronger as a runner's the same thing and getting stronger as a teacher and getting strong as a friend as anything that you're trying to do, business person, you know, when I started running, you know, it happened because of the pandemic, you know, I was going to the gym.
I probably run like a mile at the gym, but you know, I live in the Wildwood area. And so I just run down Mallad hill. I would start off doing a mile in two miles and three miles. And then I said, you know what, let me run all the way down. Mallad hill. And come back. And then when I came and did it five, it's like 5.2 miles.
I was exhausted, but I said, let me do it again the next day. And then I would do that for a while and you know, then I'll do six miles. [00:36:00] So it's, it's the same. It, it went from six miles, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15. And you know, You're training yourself. You're training yourself. You're training your mind, training your mind by your soul.
Yeah. Training your you're training, everything. So it is it's. You're not gonna get everything that you wanna do at once. Sometimes it's going to take time. It's going to take effort, discipline, patience. So, you know, when I first started. Working with kids. It, the same thing, I was not good at all. It took time I was not good.
I was not good, but I had, it took time. I had to humble myself and, and look at what other people were doing in boys and girls club. And listen to what my director, Mr. Ken was telling me and read and over time. Things started working out. So it's the same, same thing with running, you know? So it, it, it core, it is definitely has been correlated in the last couple years.[00:37:00]
Mm, would you, do you have any suggestions for somebody that's, that's looking to get into this or start as it start into it? Cause I know as millennials. Yeah, we, we, we need any advice we can get about stuff like this because it's that time for us. We gotta take care of ourselves. Yes. I, I would say however you want to do things with the running.
Just start, you know, some people, you know, start, I saw one of my friends at a riverfront park and she said she was gonna do a 5k in, in March. I said, yeah, I'm gonna do one in March. And she said, well, it took me about 38 minutes. And in my mind, I was like, well, I can do that in 18 minutes. , you know, 18 and 19, but it doesn't matter.
No, it don't, you know, because it is what she wants to do. And so some people will look at like, they'll look at like my time, you know, if I post something, they'll say, oh, he did it in eight minutes or seven minutes. Like, you know, it doesn't matter if it takes 10 minutes to do math or 11. It's the fact that you're doing.
And you conquered it. Yeah. Yeah. You [00:38:00] conquered it. That's the thing, you know, I was doing nine and 10 minute paces at once, you know, so just, I would just say, just get started even if it's a mile a few week, every few weeks. And then after a mile, you say, eh, let me try a mile and a half or let me try two.
And then after a while you say, well me try four, let me try five. You know, just let it be something that you enjoy doing, you know, running is the more you run, the more you'll enjoy doing. And running one of those things that always tell folk it is usually the. Punishment in other sports. So when you run you're, you're doing it for yourself, it is definitely for yourself.
Yes. And that, that's probably why some people are scared off of it. Like when I played lacrosse, like we had to run a mile before and after each practice. Yeah. And I hated it. Exactly. It's punishment. It is punishment. Even with football, it was punishment. Mm-hmm exactly. Go take lap. And so it's very agonizing and you're tired and you.
You don't really wanna do so that's a [00:39:00] very good point. It is. It is, it was punishment. So that's probably what scares people off. They don't wanna do it. No, I don't wanna hurt anymore. Yeah. I don't wanna hurt. I don't wanna be tired. Yeah. So, but the runners highs, one of the best highs you ever had, nothing is that's the best man.
It is the best. That's one thing that keeps me addicted to, to doing it is just the fact that, just that feeling like you said, after you're finished, how many, how many miles do you normally. Man I'm only at three miles. That's good. But, and it's, you know, I just run around my neighborhood. I have a, my, my little.
Path that I have. So I'm trying to get catch up with my brother, cuz he he's always, that's always competitive sports wise and whatnot. Right? I gotta go bust him up as a basketball cause he's been burning me on this distance actually to run. You ran two mile. And track and the 3,200 relay and stuff was always running distance.
And, and I would go we had our, our seven mile practice days and everything like that. I'm used to doing 10, 15, like you get used to that, right? Yes you do. And that's why I tell people it does like you, like [00:40:00] you were saying everything you're saying is very true, your body, it builds itself up. And the cool thing about running.
Unlike other quote, unquote sports activities, is that it builds your entire thing. Your whole body builds up. It's like rowing. Yes. So I always enjoyed it. And then you know, recently being moving from different places, I've had to find different running areas. And so the place I'm in now, I don't say where I'm at place, where I'm at now.
Some of the places don't look that safe. So I have , my specified three mile running area that I get it in end, but yeah man. Yeah. I love it, man. Cause I knew when, when Kevin put this question in here. I know I want the pick your brain about running cetera. What, what's your favorite types of running shoes?
What do you like to, what do you like to wear when you run? I like the Brooks, you know, of course, yeah. The Brooks are the best. And I got, I got some racing, shoot. I don't know the name. I gotta go. I'll probably have to just let you know. But they make you feel like you're like you're walking on air, air, walking, running.
That's what you're looking for. Yeah. Yeah. That's what you're looking for. [00:41:00] Oh man. Because like the, the thing about running is like, you just want to be, wanna feel in stride. Like if you're in stride, Everything is good. And that's when you get to that Z moment where you can like, say clear your mind yes.
And think things through, and it doesn't even matter to you how long you're running anymore. You're just going, your body is like you become a gone. Yes. Yeah. So seriously, I love it. I remember we used to get ding on at all time, like about four form, whether it would be like doing cross country or, or track form form.
And I used to always like, man, come on, come on. I used to actually have somebody that would wait for. Around around about 200 meter mark to remind me form, because it really mattered. Like when you put the form on proper, you were fine. Everything was good. Yes. Pumping your arms. And one thing going, taking those legs up.
My he, he trained me when I did my last half marathon, Kon Wilson. He taught me about like kicking my legs out and, you know, running on my toes. Yep. Yes. [00:42:00] So it makes, it makes it so much easier, but like I said, same the same concepts of discipline and, and culture, et cetera that you talk about in the green print, that if you're a runner, you understand that you understand that.
Cause like you said, you don't always wanna get up and go into the middle of the cold in the morning and go get a runner. You don't. But once you do it, you understand why you're doing. Hm. And you, and you thank yourself later for it. Like thank you. Yes. got out. Wait. Exactly, exactly. But shoot, before we wrap up today, I gotta ask are there any current projects you're working on or is there anything we can look forward from seeing from you in the future?
Well, I actually will. Me and a few students at Newberry elementary and the director, her name is Ms. Christine Aiken. We did a, a project about social media through the eyes of 10 and 11 year olds. And I kind of, you know, I presented, I presented the skeleton. [00:43:00] Yeah. But they took it and ran with it. And so we will actually be on w I S at three o'clock this week on Thursday for real.
Oh shit. Put that on thing. So it's basic. It is it's it's through their eyes and they talked about some really good stuff and we just put it on a poster and they're gonna talk about it. So, you know, I. We got that then I want to have a educator profile that should be coming out through USC by the end of March.
And. Other than that, I think that's it outside of running some races, I think that's it. You know, I probably, I started on the green print volume too last year, but I haven't really picked up on it. So I'll probably pick up on it sometime this year. Mm-hmm so I would say that's probably about it. Is there are there any PLA places you'd want people to be able to follow at any social media tags or [00:44:00] anything?
You'd like people they can, how they could get a copy of the green. They can get the copy of the, of the green print. They can contact me or they can go on Amazon mm-hmm , but I would prefer, they contact me, you know, I got some books that I could still ship out to them or hand to them on my own, you know, and they can follow me on Instagram.
Okay. I have a unique. A unique username that I have never changed ever. And I probably never will. it's T H E M U S E C I a N. It's the musician. Yeah. I was wondering why. Okay. Yes, yes, yes. So is they can follow me on Instagram with that and they can also do the same thing on Twitter, even though I don't tweet.
Cause I hate Twitter. Can't stand it. Oh Lord. I hate it, but you know, it has, it has its crowd, but I don't. It does. And so, and then on Facebook, it's Brad, Brad Washington. So, but I'm most active on Instagram and Facebook. So would it be best for people to contact you on Instagram if they wanted to get a book?
[00:45:00] Okay. Yes. If they would like to get a book, you know, they can need to look my name up Brad Washington, or the musician, T H E M U S E C. I. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Thank you Brad. For this episode, I enjoyed it. Oh, I enjoyed you guys. This was amazing. Oh man. Thank you. This was amazing. So I I'm just glad we got a chance to.
Connect, you know, I'll just know from now on to use my work computer for any podcast. There we go. There we go. It worked, it worked like a charm. I, you know, I text Tamaya last night and I said, I'm getting on. And soon as I plugged this thing in, she said, I hear you. I said, thank goodness. Well, thank you so much.
All your information. Thank y'all. And if we can assist you in any way, just let us know links or references or anybody you think we should interview than that. We'll following you on social media.