Tony Hernandez

Creative Partner, Reflective Wisdom

“Amazing!  The program and Tony’s facilitation of it are amazing.  I’ve attended two different sessions with him and both times were so enlightening and so impactful to me both personally and professionally.  The first session I attended was in February and I still have my card hanging at my desk to keep me on track toward my goal. The most recent session was such an ‘a ha!’ moment for me. I’ve already taken steps to improve my situation based on my ‘bridge’ card.  I recommend this for anyone personally and professionally.  Thank you Tony!”

~ Jenny Fedullo, Manager, Learning Solutions, d’Vinci

Hello, I’m here to tell you about how I went from a burnt-out teacher to creative partner with Leadership Arts Associates. Back in 2015, I was working as a second-grade teacher at a private school and felt completely empty and hollow. I had lost all my drive and excitement when I first got into the teaching profession. I heavily leaned on a close mentor of mine at the time and she extended an invitation for me to attend an institute for teachers. She believed I would find value in the experience. I agreed to go knowing that I wasn’t ever returning to the classroom again.

Now here’s the thing! A series of unexpected and yet precise events happened when I made the decision to attend the Equity Exchange July 2015. I knew that my time as an educator in the traditional sense was over. I had been teaching already for 21 years by that point. What was bothering me was my struggle with creating a brave space where my colleagues wanted to be vulnerable about sharing their triumphs and challenges in their work as educators. I was extending a lot of emotional currency to create that type of environment for my students. And yet, I desperately wanted a way to also create this type of nourishing environment for my fellow colleagues. Unfortunately, they resisted. The more I pushed, the more they resisted and in turn I felt more depleted. Attending the Equity Exchange was my last-ditch effort in filling my depleted emotional back account.

The first day of the institute, Caroline Blackwell who happen to be one of the lead facilitators for the Equity Exchange invited us to peruse through a set of picture cards she had placed out on two tables. She informed us that this opening exercise would allow us to introduce ourselves to the whole group and share with others two aspects of ourselves.

  • First, what will we offer to the other members of the group during the six days we’re together.
  • And, second, what are we going to take with us from this experience when we leave.

She instructed us to pick two picture cards that would help us share these aspects with the whole group. I was completely blown away with what unfolded during this introduction exercise. Here we were a bunch of teachers from all over the United States, complete strangers really, sharing very deep stuff about ourselves! At the end of the experience, I approached Caroline and asked her,

“Where did you gets these cards and how can I get a set of my own?” In true Caroline fashion, she smoothly replied, “I received these from a training I attended a while ago.”

I knew that one way or another I would find a way to get my hands on my own set. After my experience, I knew that this tool would help me bridge better interactions with fellow teachers who felt like me. And I knew that this tool would serve as the gateway for people to connect and foster better relationships with each other too. I immediately checked out the Points of You™ website once I returned home from the institute. I once again had the initiative, excitement and driving force to affect change in people!

So when people ask me, “What do you do?” Rather than tell the person what I do, I share WHY. Everyday, I get to inspire people to claim their distinct story so they brave connecting with themselves and with others when making meaning of their place in the world. As the Founder of Reflective Wisdom, I use creative tools and methods to guide individuals, non-profits and schools to invest in relationships. You’re probably wondering, “How does he do that?”

A year ago, I became a certified Points of You™ Trainer. I use the Points of You™ tools and methodology to facilitate individual coaching session or group sessions where participants are invited to shift their familiar way thinking and consider new viewpoints. This is done using games that provide people the opportunity to explore facets of their life in a fun yet powerful way.

Soon after I completed my training, I met Samm at an event where we invite to present. I was pulling out my Coaching Game Deck and she happen to notice it. Interestingly enough, that initial connection happened in July 2016. Since then, Samm and I have been collaborating ever since!

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