Kranz Students and Parents Inspired by Motivational Speaker

Kranz Students and Parents Inspired by Motivational Speaker

      Kranz Intermediate School students and parents were treated to a presentation by Tyler Durman, a motivational speaker, author and giver of hope who encouraged the students to live better stories by caring for each other, making better choices and becoming positive leaders.  Best known for his ability to offer wisdom through laughter and storytelling, Durman had the full attention of the 7th and 8th graders as he shared humorous and heartfelt stories of students who triumphed over adversity. 

      The story of Joe he shared had the students laughing and thinking of how they handle difficult situations. 

      “If you are hurting or going through a tough time you don’t need to feel alone,” said Durman.  “Reach out to a teacher, coach, friend or family member and share your feelings.  Don’t bury your pain.  If you do it will eat you up and ruin your life.  We all want to feel loved and safe and there is a fear of rejection so sometimes we pretend everything is OK on the outside but on the inside we are a mess,” he added.

      That’s how it was for Joe, he kept the pain of losing his mother inside and ended up making bad choices and ruining all the good things in his life.  Durman shared that of the millions of students he’s met over the years, Joe was the most popular kid and also the loneliest kid he ever met because he did not talk about his pain.

       Reinforcing that we all need each other, Durman reminded the students that they are surrounded by caring teachers and staff members at Kranz who want what’s best for them. 

    “Ohana is Hawaiian for family and that’s what you have here at Kranz – an Ohana.  No one is perfect so we truly do need each other,” he said.

       Acting out a stereotypical teenage bully, Durman assured the students that people bully others because they think it makes them look cool.

     “If you see someone being bullied, you need to step in.  It takes real strength to intervene but it is the right thing to do,” he said.  “You need to take care of each other.  The experiences you have in intermediate school depend on the relationships you make, so make sure they are positive ones.”

       Through Durman’s presentation students learned that if they are going through a hard time it’s not the end of their story.  They need to open up and talk to someone so they can get on their way back to feeling good.

        “After hitting rock bottom, Joe finally reached out and got back on track.  He finished high school, joined the Army and trained with the Special Forces.  Today he is a Green Beret, and one of the most elite fighters on the face of the planet,” said Durman.  “If there’s trouble in your life right now you are not alone.  Talk to someone and let them help you.  Joe wanted me to tell you that even though you might have had a bad beginning you don’t have to have a bad ending.  Your choices dictate your story and you can make it better.”

      Along with the students, Kranz staff members found Durman’s message dynamic and impactful.

      “I believe Mr. Durman's message resonated so greatly with our students due to his ability to lower their affective filters through humor,” said Dr. Kenny Bowman, Kranz teacher.  “Once they were receptive he keenly showed them connections between making choices and being agents for positive change.  He was amazing!” 

         In addition to the student assemblies, a parent assembly was held in the evening, with over 220 parents and family members attending. 

      “We had a fantastic turnout for our parent assembly and I’m so happy our parents were able to hear Mr. Durman’s important message,” said Sean Grycel, Kranz principal. 

       Focusing on the importance of communication and the different ways males and females communicate, Durman shared a Stanford University study which shows males like to communicate shoulder to shoulder, while females prefer more face to face communication.  He also noted that females tend to talk more and share their feelings while males tend to be more closed off.

        “These are important tips to remember as you moms talk with your sons and you dads talk with your daughters,” said Durman.   “Moms, getting in your son’s face won’t go over too well and Dads be sure to face your daughter when communicating with her and be sure to let her talk and express her feelings.”

      Durman also encouraged the parents to let their teen children have freedom and be able to earn their freedom back if they mess up. 

      “Freedom for our kids is like a gate – it can open when it is earned and close when the trust is broken.   We are all human and make mistakes and life is a learning process so it’s important to let our kids earn their freedom back by making better choices.”

     At the conclusion of the parent meeting many parents lined up to purchase Durman’s book Counterintuitive, What 4 Million Teenagers Wish We Knew (for parents and teachers).          

     “Mr. Durman did a great job of tying in the message he gave to our students to what he shared with our parents and he really drove home the important point of making good choices and taking care of each other,” said Grycel.  “He also reinforced the fact that if you have a bad beginning or a bad season you don’t have to have a bad ending, your situation can change if you reach out to others when you are in need.  We are a family at Kranz and we care deeply about our students and want them to be happy and successful now, and in the future.  I know Mr. Durman’s powerful message had a tremendous impact on our students and will influence them throughout the years,” Grycel added. 

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