Episode #110: Go Get It with Chip Baker
Chip Baker is a fourth-generation educator, a speaker, host of the Success Chronicles Podcast, host of the Radio 111.7 Show, a Coach/Trainer for the John Gordon Power of Positive Leadership, and is the author of multiple books, videos, and resources.
What it was like growing up
I was born in Dallas, Tx. My parents separated when I was five years old and we moved with my mom to Hern, TX, close to Texas A&M University. I played four sports in high school and football at West Texas A&M University. Growing up, I was surrounded by encouragement and lots of love where I learned how education was important.
There were lessons I learned and it made me realize that personally there is a process to achieve growth while going through tough things. I learned early it is not about us, it is about helping others. Then our life takes off and great things happen for it.
I was raised by a Super Hero in my house; my mom. Every day I watched her do heroic things. She created free food programs for kids, and was the first black lady on the City Council in my home town, and taught Special Education. That’s where I became interested in teaching Special Education. I was voluntold to do some things like help out with Special Olympics, I saw the positive difference it made in the lives of others and am a fourth-generation educator after my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. My younger sister is also an educator and both of us have been teachers of the year on our campuses. I’ve been so fortunate to have been raised by my blessed family, church folk, and educators to give a life of service. I’ve had amazing people in my life who have encouraged me. I learned to be a good team player from my mom who gave us transferable skills so we could all work together as a team.
One person in particular who helped me so much is my little league baseball coach who was my elementary school principal, Mr. Norris McDaniel. His son and I were classmates and very close. They were like a second family to me. When I graduated from college, I applied to Conroe School District to a principal who knew Mr. McDaniel that I included as a reference. Mr. McDaniel told him amazing things about me and to hire me. They didn’t even look at my credentials or resume. They hired me for my first just job and opportunity because of Mr. McDaniel.
Being a Coach and Special Education Teacher
This is my twenty-second year in education. I’m a coach and Special Education teacher in Conroe, Texas that is north of Houston. I teach Life Skills for Special Education where there are around 40 students with 5 teachers in our department. We break it down into the core subjects, and I teach the Business, Marketing, and Finance skills and School-based Enterprise. These are the skills they will be able to use on the job and in life.
We have to make sure that every moment of every day we strive to do our best to be the best version of ourselves, work hard, treat people right, and take care of the little things like doing things the right way.
What it is like teaching during a pandemic
When we started school during this pandemic, the district had a ramp-up plan where everyone was virtual. After two weeks, we started gradually bringing in our Special Education students. We’re still in the phase where it is optional for in-person or virtual.