136. Define YOU and Ask Why with Lindsay Titus

Lindsay LyonsTime for Teachership Podcast, timeforteachership

“I just had an educator reach out the other day and she's like it was one of my most challenging days as an educator and I still left work with a smile on my face because I knew I did my best, i knew I'm learning the lesson and I… Click To Tweet

Lindsay and I explore the significant impact of connecting with students on a personal level, engaging in empowering conversations, and making education relevant to their lives. We also delve into the role mindset plays in creating a thriving educational environment. Join us as Lindsay Titus shares tips on how to incorporate this approach in our everyday interactions with young people, and discuss how to empower students (and ourselves) through self-reflection and action.


Lindsay Titus has been in the field of education for 17 years and specializes in the study of behavior analysis. She is passionate about helping educators create a mindset that allows them to live a life of purpose and passion inside and outside of the school setting! In this episode, we talk about getting to be humans first, defining who we are, and the power of asking why…all in service of creating curricula and pedagogy that honors the humanity of students and makes class relevant to who they are right now. 


The Big Dream 


To create a thriving educational environment where students are treated as people first, and curriculum and instruction are connected to who students are now, not who we think they should be or will be or could be. 


Alignment to the 4 Stages: Mindset, Pedagogy, Assessment, and Content


Mindset is the foundation for creating a thriving educational environment. Aligning our beliefs with our actions will better support students and foster meaningful connections in the classroom.


“We often use the house analogy…I can bring in the greatest windows and doors and paint and things like that. So I can have really good assessments that are actually helping us move the needle forward…I can be teaching content that is relevant to now, but if I don’t have the belief or the mindset that this is important…there’s a disconnect, and so I truly believe that [mindset] has to be the foundation.”


“That’s really what I help educators do. It’s like here’s the situation we have. Let’s unpack it and we’re going to go deep…to figure out what’s the barrier. And then, how do we…create new habits, new standards, new boundaries, new values, so that this now just becomes our new foundation?”


Mindset Shifts Required


Educators need to understand that they have the power to create change within themselves. Many say “if my leader changes, if my admin changes, if my school policy changes, if I change schools, if something else changes, then I’ll change.” That’s what Lindsay Titus calls “the chase.” Chasing a dream or chasing a change isn’t the fix because we keep experiencing the same things. 


We are never doing anything new. We’re building on from experience that we have, and that doesn’t mean we have to keep doing what we’ve always done. 


Draw Your Ideal Self Triangle


Step 1: Draw your ideal self triangle. On a perfect day, how will you show up? At one point of the triangle, write or draw what you look like. At another point, what you sound like. At the final point, what you feel like. 


Step 2: Then, on a day where you’re not finding the joy, refer to this “anchor document.” Notice things like “my ideal self speaks gratitude, not complaints,” and try to find gratitude. 


Step 3: Repeat this ideal self triangle description/drawing every 4-6 months. 


Two Steps to Get Started 


Start with gratitude – Set aside three minutes each day to focus on things you are grateful for. Connect gratitude to something you see all the time, like mirrors. Every time you pass by a mirror, remind yourself of something you are grateful for.


Ask: What is one thing I can do today? What is one step, one small, simple step I can take to build that momentum? 


Stay Connected


You can find this week’s guest on her website, DefineYOUniversity.com. She’s also on Facebook and Instagram


To help you define your ideal self, deeply reflect, and practice gratitude, Lindsay is sharing her 7-Day Journal with you for free. And, if you’re looking for more details on the ideas in this blog post, listen to episode 136 of the Time for Teachership podcast. If you’re unable to listen or you prefer to read the full episode, you can find the transcript here. 



  • “Why do I do the things that I do? And they always connect to, ultimately, childhood…a belief…or something that we learn.”
  • “I’m like, no, I don’t love good. I want great. I want phenomenal. I want amazing, and that’s an ongoing process.”
  • “I just had an educator reach out the other day and she’s like it was one of my most challenging days as an educator and I still left work with a smile on my face because I knew I did my best, i knew I’m learning the lesson and I knew that whatever happened that day did not define me.”
  • “[My one-year-old] is still not sleeping through the night…as I’m rocking her, I am just spewing out gratitude because my otherwise my mind is going to go. ‘Why do I have to do this? I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow. This is so frustrating.’…So, instead it’s, ‘I’m so grateful I get to be here for her. I’m so grateful I get to hold her, i’m so grateful she’s telling me what she needs right now,’ and that just makes everything change.”


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