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DJ  Batiste

DJ Batiste

Inspirational Student Speaker

Biography

Determined, passionate, motivational! Dewayne “D.J.” Batiste has a story that touches millions of people on a scale from students, teachers, parents and more. D.J. has a passion for reaching out to kids on a level no one can reach them. He gives teachers a different outlook on how to interact and connect with students. Read More >

D.J. states that he liked going to school because that was where everyone was during the day, and he could hang out with his friends and make trouble for teachers. D.J. barely had enough credits to be called a senior for the 2009-10 school year. By this time, D.J. was heavily into gang activities and minor drugs. He says he fully expected to attend graduation at the end of his senior year, but was sure it would be from the stands watching his class graduate.

In early August – on the first day of school – D.J. was excited to be with his friends and see how he could rile up some teachers. When third period rolled around, D.J. saw he was going to class with a teacher he didn’t know, Oral Communication I with Ms. Donna Porter, so he decided that he was going to get a little attention. As he tells it now, the first 90 seconds of this class literally changed his life because of the way the teacher handled him when he entered class late.

Ms. Porter used the concepts of Conscious Discipline in her classroom, and D.J. became an integral part of that lesson. Over the year, D.J. learned new skills and strategies to handle conflict in life at home and in the classroom. About 6 months into the 2009-10 school year, Ms. Porter felt D.J. had turned a corner, and he graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in May 2010. D.J. asked Ms. Porter to walk him, arm-in-arm, into the graduation ceremony to receive his diploma.

D.J. and other students now accompany Ms. Porter and her colleague, Dr. Penny Wallin, to training activities in teaching positive classroom management. All who meet D.J. envision a future teacher, coach and principal who will use his life experiences – coupled with new knowledge and heart – to “pay it forward.” With all the encounters he has faced, he conquered all odds. He uses his life experiences to connect with kids around the world, giving them the chance to excel in life instead of throwing their lives away as he almost did. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Removing Yourself from the Equation

As a teacher, whatever is going on with a student is not happening TO you, it is happening IN FRONT of you. D.J. offers tips on learning to not take bad attitudes personally, and instead, learning to compose yourself.

Power of Encouragement

D.J. challenges the audience to see the good and not bad in others. He shares how his teacher, Donna Porter, could have looked at him as defiant, but instead, she viewed his situation as an opportunity for them both to learn and grow.

Enjoy Why You Do What You Do

Teaching is a job you are called to do. D.J. feels this is the most important job in the world, and early childhood education is crucial because it sets the foundation for life.

Bullying

D.J. shares how bullying is a choice, not something we have to do. He describes the negative effects of bullying.

Making Good Choices

The decisions we make not only affect us, they could also affect the people around us. D.J. talks about why teaching kids how to be mentally strong while under peer pressure is so important.

Importance of Education

Primarily for a student based audience, D.J. believes once you begin to work with a teacher, your whole academic career begins to change. He shares that during a student’s formative years, they should learn the common goal of graduating High School.