We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Singh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
At seven years old, I learned to spell “anxious” (with an x). I was electrified and couldn’t wait to share this new knowledge; so, I lined up my teddy bears and dolls so they could attentively listen to me teach them how to spell this tricky word. I remember this anecdote most vividly because it left a powerful impression —at that early age, I was preparing for my life’s calling: to teach and learn.
Teaching has always been my dream job. Teaching is my God-given gift. My joy comes from sharing knowledge with others that will result in change. I did that in the classroom for over a decade with my teenage students. I did that as a leader in my school district, working with educators and administrators. I did that as a professor with my college students. And I do that now with the educators I coach and consult as Founder and CEO of LCT-E Learning Solutions. Every day, I share stories with educators all over the world. Every day, I give them the tools and strategies they can use to see the true value in their students. My work empowers and energizes educators to see precisely who their students are.
But it was not always this way. Before July 19, 2019, I thought there was only one way to be a teacher, so I dedicated 15 years to one of the largest school districts in the USA. I gave it my all and worked my way up until I became a leader in the district. I had finally made it to a position that would afford me access to impact more students outside of the ones who were in my class. I grew as a leader and expert in the field, but I also grew weary. Although I was living the educational dream, I was not complete. I knew there was more out there for me to do, especially when it came to certain types of students, students who looked like me. When I think back to the students I had in my classes, students like Donnie, I am felt in my gut that there was just more I needed to do, especially with the unique set of skills I had developed over my career. Students like Donnie and myself were typically the only black students in advanced classes. In this case, Donnie was the only black boy in my class of gifted students. In the beginning, he seldom spoke during class. It was not until one day, when we had a poetry project called Open Mic Night, that a switch turned on in Donnie. He wrote a beautiful and powerful poem for Open Mic Night. He also gave an earthshattering spoken-word performance of that poem, confidently and boldly, to a packed house of students, teachers, and other adults. He broke out of his shell and shined for all to see!
I saw many black and brown students like Donnie in the schools I taught and visited. They sat in the back, lowered their heads, and did their work. I observed my own daughter, who wants to be a civil rights attorney, doing this in her AP classes when I visited her school. But this was not who she was, much like it was not who Donnie was. Black and brown students like Donnie and my daughter, and even I clam up to feel safe and secure in educational settings that do not see them for who they are. Students like these have strong, powerful voices that never get heard; they even slip through the cracks and get left behind. This does not have to be the reality for these students. And this is the drive behind the work I do with schools and schools districts. I help students achieve learning gains through equitable teaching, technology transformation, and higher-order thinking skills infusion. I ultimately create systems, services, and solutions to help educators see who students like Donnie and Chanda really are and not just see the quiet kid sitting in the back of the classroom with their heads down.
What should our readers know about your business?
LCT-E Learning Solutions works with educators and administrators in the K-12 educational space. As a result of working with our company, teachers help their students achieve learning gains through equitable teaching, technology transformation, and higher-order thinking skills infusion. We specialize in culturally responsive pedagogy with technology integration.
We take pride in addressing and supporting the diverse needs of our clients (adults and children alike) as we listen to them, learn from them, create for and with them, and teach them. This is what makes us unique. We use our expertise, experience, and research to package plans, programs, and positive outcomes for our clients. We create engaging experiences for our clients where they see the joy in leading, creating, and teaching to EMPOWER.
We lead, listen, and learn. As leaders in our field, we understand what the research says about how adults and children learn. Therefore, we listen carefully to our clients and what matters most to them, learn about their unique needs, and align them with research-based practices. We then apply this to the content we create, the training we provide, and consulting we offer our clients.
We create, coach, and cultivate. We are small but mighty, and we do more and come up with creative solutions for problems. We also help our clients understand their role as creators and not consumers. We create for and with our clients, as well. Next, we coach them to be leaders who build capacity and empower. And, we cultivate high-quality, job-embedded training experiences that have positive outcomes for our clients.
We teach, train, and tailor. We know the learning theories and take pride in addressing and supporting the diverse needs of our clients when we train them. We also teach and share best practices with them based on our expertise, experience, and research. Our unique approach helps us to tailor packages, plans, and programs that are innovative and impactful.
Above all, we empower, elevate, and engage. We empower our clients to do more, care more, impact more. We elevate them with the solutions we provide for the content and training they receive. Last but not least, we engage our clients with the right resources and structures for success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It just so happens that many of my best friends no longer live in Miami. Since our childhood and teenage years of living in Miami and Homestead, the areas have indeed transformed. I would make sure they see some of the places on their trip back home like “Roberts is Here.” First, we would go there to get some soursop shakes and jackfruit. Then we would drive over to “Knausberry Farm” to pick up some of those sugary, delicious cinnamon buns. Our next stop would be just a quick drive-by down Campbell Drive. This area now has a hospital, nursing home, shopping center, chain restaurants, and much more. It’s nothing like the farmland we used to see when we were younger. Next, we would cross US1 to catch a movie at the new ShowBiz Cinemas in Downtown Homestead. Who would have thought Homestead would have not one but two theaters! As we made our way north, I would take toward Overtown.
Before getting that far north, we would do a quick stop off Colonial Drive and US1 to our favorite childhood Jamaican spot, “Sangos Jamaican Restaurant.” Then, we would grab some Kola Champagnes and Irish Moss for the road. Next, we would make the trip to “Red Rooster Overtown” for dinner to enjoy the lively, urban music and delectable southern dishes. My favorite is shrimp and grits. Finally, if it is a weekend, we will end the evening with a walk through Wynwood where we would grab dessert from 1800 Lucky or visit one of the Social Xchange parties like De La Soul that takes us back to the 90s and 2000s with the music selections.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this to God, first and foremost. My mindset and focus are a result of the Word I read daily. I also want to shout out my husband and daughter, my biggest fans (outside of my four dogs :). My family supports my long workdays and nights in whatever way I ask them to.
Now, to dive a little deeper. There are a few resources that have been quite beneficial in my entrepreneurial journey. First, Lisa Nichols, her book “Abundant Life,” her YouTube videos and series, and her conferences planted the business seed in me years ago. I go back to her for vision, motivation, and encouragement to keep pressing in my business. Another invaluable resource is the coaching I received from Nicole Roberts Jones. She has taught me to restructure my business. She has seen my blindspots and turned them into opportunities for revenue. These resources from Lisa Nichols and Nicole Roberts Jones have transformed my business.