Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Relationship Advocate & Inspirational Speaker
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 ^
Power of Encouragement
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.
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.
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.
D.J. shares how bullying is a choice, not something we have to do. He describes the negative effects of bullying.
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.
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.
"D.J. did an outstanding job speaking yesterday at our Readiness Summit. He was truly incredible and he connected with the audience and made us all laugh and cry and left us all reflecting on what we can do differently to support our students and each other. It will be hard to top that experience for our next Summit!"
"DJ was fantastic. Everyone really felt refreshed and appreciated his story. It was a great way to kick off our week."
"Both weeks with DJ went amazingly well! I was absolutely impressed! DJ has the ability to keep the students engaged throughout his speaking, which we all know is not easy to do. His stories kept the students interested and wanting to hear more, and at the same time, they delivered a strong message about determination and dedication. And when he got to the small group structure to speak to the students about their leadership and choices they were making, I was moved to tears. He has a gift of being able to reach inside the minds and hearts of students, and help them see that there are better ways, better choices, and endless possibilities ahead of them. Thank you for everything you did to help us make this event a success!!!"
"It is with a grateful heart that I sit here to compose this email of thanks to you for your support of the Excellence through Equity Conference. Your keynote speech challenged and inspired each attendee to be more and do more for our students who need more. I cannot thank you enough. I have heard nothing but great things about the conference and am convinced that in many classrooms across our county and region—today, this week and this year—things will be different, in a good way, for students. We are on the verge of great outcomes for all students and you helped to inspire us. This was indeed a special conference and I have you to thank for that. Best wishes as you continue changing hearts, minds and lives!"
"A huge 'THANK YOU' to you and your staff for putting on the Excellence through Equity conference. I have been to countless trainings and conferences over my 24 years in education, and none come close to this conference. The quality of speakers was amazing. I have already started adjusting my budget so that both teachers and coaches will attend next year. Your work is changing lives."
"Donna Porter and DJ Batiste have been instrumental in changing the culture in the Petal School District. Last year we invited Donna and DJ to speak to our entire population of school personnel and there was tremendous response to the message they brought that day. The work initiated by Donna and DJ has literally transformed our middle school, and we are excited to report that we have the data to support this statement. Compared to the first nine weeks of the 2014-2015 school year, Petal Middle School reported a 70% decrease in disciplinary referrals for the first nine weeks of 2015-2016 school year. As a team, these two are literally amazing!"
"Donna and DJ delivered a very powerful and inspiring message on how one person can dramatically change the life of a young person. The session received a ringing endorsement from a veteran teacher with more than twenty years in the classroom who proclaimed, "It was the best professional development that I've attended." An uplifting and inspirational time that will be filled with laughter and tears - it was impetus we needed to begin our new school year."
"DJ Batiste and Donna Porter were the guest speakers at Bullard ISD 2015 Convocation and their presentation was nothing short of spectacular. This team provided an electrifying presentation which engaged the audience with sorrow and joy, laughter and a few tears. DJ and Ms. Porter are a dynamic pair whose passion for the subject matter is infectious and draws the audience into their story. Teachers left this presentation ready to change the world, and they will, one DJ at a time."
"From the very first time I heard Donna Porter and DJ Batiste speak about the transformational process that took place in her high school classroom, I was moved and challenged to be the kind of educator that makes a positive difference as Donna did for DJ! They have inspired our staff to develop the skills necessary to reach their full potential as educators and people. They have taught us the incredible power of relationships!"
"DJ and Donna were fabulous! We couldn't be happier with the event. They are both so genuine and passionate about Conscious Discipline and how it changed both their lives. They presented to teachers and administrators at the Early Childhood, elementary, middle and high school levels. ALL were so excited to be a part of the session."
Email Your List
You’ve reached your maximum number of speakers for this list.
Email Your List