SABOTAGE FORMULA, Part I


Dear Readers,

REFLECTION PERSON

Lately, I’ve been in a deeply reflective mood. I’m trying to figure myself and my patterns out. The problem: I’ve quit my second job in less than one year. I’m almost never one to blame someone else for my problems. I like to take full responsibility for my troubles. So, it’s only natural that I look to myself in order to solve what’s wrong with me.

So, I came up with a sabotage formula. I thought of all the ways I’ve been sabotaging myself. Let me just say that I’m so good at sabotaging myself. That’s something I don’t want to be good at. So, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to stop myself from doing it.  Keep in mind, they are a little rough and I will refine them, but this is what I’m working with.

Tentatively making a start (read: half-ass) + giving it my all for a short amount of time + sabotaging myself + not treating myself right + feeling like a victim + taking too long to follow through= FAILURE

On the flip side, it stands to reason that, if I want to be successful, that I would have a formula for success. Here it is:

Make a plan + Follow through on the plan + encourage myself + love myself unconditionally + surround myself with a great circle/tribe= SUCCESS

For most of my life, I have not been good to myself. That changes now. I refuse to not realize my potential. I am more than unrealized potential. I have to, have to get better on follow through. This is what is killing my dreams.

So, today, this is my declaration:

I DECLARE that I will put actions behind my faith. I will not be passive or indifferent. I will demonstrate my faith by taking bold steps to move toward what God has put in my heart. My faith will not be hidden; it will be seen. I know when God sees my faith, HE will show up and do amazing things.

This is MY DECLARATION!!

I’m Back (I Mean, Really Back!)


Dear Readers,

I’m back. I honestly did not realize it’d been so long since I’d written on here. So, as a welcome back, I’m going to update you on my life. Like to hear it, here it goes:

Once this COVID lockdown/quarantine is over, I’m going back to teaching. I was actually interviewing before the lockdown. I’m sad that school will not resume until September. But once it does, I’ll be back to teaching. I really did miss it.

I’m divorcing and discovering a whole new side of myself. Somewhere along the line of raising children and being someone’s wife, I lost myself. Now, I am actively discovering myself. I’ll be posting about that. So, be on the lookout!

As I’ve written here before, writing is my outlet- my happy place. So, I’m going to be writing here more and in other outlets, as well.

I’m going to be posting book reviews of some cute little books I bought at this open air flea market that I frequent. The first book I will be reviewing is Ralph Tells A Story by Abby Hanlon.

Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry


Dear Readers,

Marshmallow

I’m going to review this wonderful little book. It’s a Caldecott award winning book, entitled Marshmallow by Clare Turlay. I’m so happy with this book. I found it in a thrift store for .10 cents. I didn’t know what it was, but there was no way I was going to pass up a book for .10 cents.

I got it with the intention of passing it on to one of my great nieces or nephews. I’m not sure. I still may. For now, though, I’m keeping it because I love it so.

Summary: Oliver is a tabby cat who is always the center of attention. Marshmallow is a baby rabbit who moves into Oliver’s home. At first Oliver does not welcome Marshmallow, but the little bunny’s charms are impossible to resist. This is the true story of how Oliver and Marshmallow become friends.

Lesson to be learned: Even if someone is not exactly the same as you, it doesn’t matter. Love is love and it can overcome all differences.

Recommendation: Yes, I highly recommend this book.

Self-Impression by C.Leila Cramer-Banks


Dear Readers,

Here’s a poem I wrote when I was at the height of my depression. So, I have to warn you that it’s pretty depressing.

Self-Impression

Ugly. Stupid. Unsuccessful. Chaotic. Loser. Nothing!

Original poetry by Carole Leila Cramer-Banks

I admit that this poem may not be for everyone. However, for those that will understand this, I’m truly sorry that you do. I really just wanted to get it out when I was feeling like this. I was hoping, that by writing it out, that the feelings would magically go away. They didn’t, but I am learning how to deal with them. I hope reading this doesn’t trigger any old or new feelings for you.

Let me know what you think, in the comments!

Anxiety & Depression!


Hello Dear Readers,

I was in a bad state last year. I was in a battle with anxiety and depression that I did not think that I could win. But, I did! Hello, Healthy Mind!

It was a struggle, but one strategy I used to combat anxiety and depression was positive self-talk. I’m usually pretty confident, but this battle had me questioning my confidence and competence. I started a new job that I just could not get the hang of.

I found this pic that explained why I was having so much trouble with 
anxiety and depression and is one of the reasons that I tendered my
resignation. 

I and my energy were spent. I had nothing to give. I was overwhelmed, burnt out, and tired. It was so many different areas of my life that were not going well. It was way too much to contend with.

There were no roots. However, now, I have roots growing again. With the help of my support system, I am on the mend and digging deep, once again.

I have started my publishing company. I’ll write more about it later. Just suffice it to say that I am healed and moving on to greater things. Here’s to self-publishing my own and other’s books!

Making New Moves!


Dear Readers,

I have made a bold move- I quit teaching. I’m not sure if I’m going to return. I promised myself that if I got to the point that I did not enjoy teaching, that I would quit. Well, I was no longer enjoying. Not only that, I began experiencing anxiety and depression again. I had no peace. It just wasn’t worth it to me anymore.

The only problem is that I looooooovvvvvveeee teaching, if I can actually just teach. I don’t want to deal with administration, I don’t want to deal with parents from hell, I don’t want to deal with students cursing me out… I mean, you get the picture.

As I was looking for the perfect pic to put into this post, I actually came across a teacher resignation template. If you’re also thinking about quitting, here’s a link to the Teacher Resignation Template.

Let me know your thoughts. Have you quit teaching or are you thinking about teaching? Stay tuned for my next article on reasons why I quit teaching and what I’m doing next!

Been So Long!


Hi, Dear Readers! It’s been awhile. I promise to write more often. I am doing all I can to conquer anxiety and depression. My number one outlet is writing; followed closely by walking. It’s a park near my house where my husband and I walk for at least an hour on the weekends. My school site is so big that I log at least 3,500-4,300 steps per day. So, I’ve been getting in exercise.

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON WITH ME?

So, I’ve been battling depression and anxiety so hard. I’ve battled with both of them before. However, I’ve been battling both of them for the past couple months. I have to tell you that they very nearly took me out.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I honestly did not think that I would make it this time. There were days when I didn’t make it out of my pajamas, didn’t brush my teeth, wash my face, or eat. I just sat in a stupor, staring at the wall, wondering why I was on this earth.

TIRED OF BEING TIRED!

But, I got tired of being tired, so I decided to use writing therapy. That’s one good thing that has come out of this battle. I got another book out of it. When I’ve shared them with friends and family, some have cried and written very heartfelt notes to me because I managed to capture the spirit of depression. When I first wrote some of the poems, they were hard to read because I was still experiencing the situation. Now, that I’m getting a firmer grip on the situation, it’s not as hard to go back and read the poems.

THERAPY

I’ve been using various strategies (as mentioned above) to help. My next step is therapy. Although therapy is sometimes seen as a bad thing among Black people, it is not! Basically, my mind is sick, so I’m taking it to the mind doctor to get it ‘looked at’!

FUTURE PLANS

So, I’m currently researching what I need to know so I can start my own publishing company and self-publish my own books.

CURRENT BOOKS

Last year was a busy year for me. I wrote a chapter in two award-winning teacher anthologies. The first one was, “The Whole Truth & Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me Teacher! Part I with Lead Author Vicki Kirk-Mays. The second one was The Mediocre Teacher Project with Lead Author Marquita Smith Blades.

UPCOMING BOOKS

My upcoming book is called The Ebb & Flow of Life: Stages of Walking in My Power. It’s a collection of poetry. The book is divided into three sections/chapters. The first section/chapter is called Bitter, Hurt, Angry, & Afraid. The second section/chapter is called Realizations. The third and final section/chapter is called Walking in My Power.

In the book, I take you through times when I was down and out to the times when I began to realize that I don’t have to stay down forever, to the times when I was beginning to awaken to my potential. During those times, you couldn’t tell me nothing.

It will be released by March 2019 at the latest. After that, I plan to finish the book that I wrote when I was really battling anxiety & depression.

MOVING FORWARD!

Moving forward, I will not shut down and stop writing on here, because writing is my lifeblood. I cannot go a day without writing or listening to music.

ON THAT NOTE!

On that note, here’s a little music by Anita Baker to carry you out of this post!

Been So Long by Anita Baker

Enjoy! I’ll see you next time!

I’m Baaacccckkkk!!!!


Hello Dear Readers,

Did ya’ miss me? I haven’t written on this blog for quite some time. What can I say? I’ve been busy writing another chapter in an anthology and a book of poetry that’s due out next month, called, “The Ebb & Flow of Life: Stages of Walking in My Power”. I’m super excited about it; even more so than the anthology. It’s because the book is all of me. Sink or swim, it’s me- all of me! I poured my heart and soul into this book. I’ll post more as the day approaches. For now, I just want to get back to writing on here on a regular basis!

Get prepared!

Diving Deep into Learning Differences


Learning Differences

Dear Readers,

I’ve re-thought my way of thinking about the term “learning disabilities.” I wish I thought this way when I first started teaching. I kinda’ feel bad for all the years that I’ve been telling students that they have disabilities. It’s so funny (not haha! funny, but ironic) that I’ve come to this conclusion because I feel that having students accept that they have a disability led to them becoming a better version of themselves.  It’s nothing I can do about the past though. However, moving forward,  I’m not going to tell my students that they have learning disabilities, I’m going to tell them that they have learning differences.

Every year, in the Resource Lab, I teach the students “how” they’re smart with the Multiple Intelligence Survey. I then give them several surveys and questionnaires. I will post a link late to the worksheets I created.

Trust Circle


Dear Readers,

Early in the school year I was out on sick leave. I thought about my reason for being on  leave- stress! The problem was that I didn’t ask for help. I thought that my students could possibly be experiencing the same thing. That’s when I got the idea to give my students an outlet to express their feelings before they go crazy.

We established some Vegas rules!

They were:

  1. What happens/is discussed during trust circle, stays in trust circle.
  2. It has to be student led.
  3. I can’t do any teaching that day.
  4. Everyone has to participate.
  5. Only the person with the talking stick can speak.

Here’s a picture of the talking stick I bought. A leader is chosen the week before, while the topic is decided the day of.  I had three “enforcers”  who keep the students quiet and get them to participate. It worked out well because the students were able to let off some steam and have fun at the same time. This is something I’ll be doing from years to come. I’ll keep you updated!

It Happens Every time!


***WARNING- This post is a little long!***

Dear Readers,

Without fail, whenever I am on a high from something wonderful, something happens immediately afterwards to knock me down a peg or two. Just when I think that I have this teaching thing in a bag and I’m not on the fence anymore about wanting to quit, I will have an unusually bad day. This happened a couple of months ago with two students who I’ll call Jean Luc & Chet.

It was a regular Friday morning with my 2nd period, which I classify as my easy class since I only have seven students. Per usual, I broke the class into three groups, with two groups having two students (10th), and one group having three students (9th). I was super excited because I prepared a Shakespeare lesson for the ninth graders who are reading Romeo & Juliet. I was going to have them watch a video on TEDx Talk with MC Lars, a Stanford educated rapper who produces comical edutainment videos while rapping about Shakespearean lyrics, Edgar Allan Poe, and other literary topics.

The first video is entitled “The hip-hop of Shakespeare” (click here for video). The second video (my favorite) is, “Flow Like Poe!”(click here for video). In the video, he explains iambic pentameter, a trochee, and a host of other Shakespearean terms. The video is seriously goofy, but contains so much useful information. When I put it on, my students usually half-heartedly groan when I put it on the first time, but after I’ve played it and they “get” iambic pentameter, they usually request it.

I wrote/said that to say that, instead of the usual groaning, I got complaints that were above and beyond; they were actually mean. They were doing extras, as the kids say. I have to explain that one student has to something to say about everything; I mean everything. I don’t like his constant complaining, but I’m used to it. However, on Friday, I was not patient with him.

I had to call in the 9th grade counselor for help for Chet because he would not stop talking as I was talking to him. This particular student has made me call my desire to teach into question because I used to be patient with students like him. I used to want to reach them. Now, I do not have the patience nor a desire to reach this particular student.

I feel really bad because I was trying to be patient with Chet because he’s recently had a personal tragedy, but I am at my wits end. I have tried everything that I know and he’s taking advantage of my kindness at this point.

As for Jean Luc, I called his parents and gave him Reflection Hour (detention).

I was so exhausted that I went home and went to bed at 7 p.m. I kept trying to get up to do some work, but I was absolutely exhausted.

The next day, I didn’t have a lot of time and patience to handle the situation again today with the same students.

But, through it all, I had to remind myself that it was a bad day and not a bad career.

bad day 4

The Act of Creation…


So many times as I’ve been about to embark on a great journey, it’s been started by a quote. Well, this quote by Pablo Picasso is no different. Here’s the quote: Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”

This is so apropos because I feel like my life has been torn down and is currently in the process of being restructured and rebuilt. I’m on medical leave from work and don’t know what my next steps are. I thought by this time in my life that I’d know for sure what path I’d like to take. Wrong!

Image result for painting showing confusion←I feel like this lady right here. I know that something good is on the horizon because my career is in shambles. I’ve been trying to get my resume together but just can’t seem to get it together. I tell ya’, one of these years I’m going to get it together!

Taking a Risk!


Dear Readers,

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.    ~Anaïs Nin~

Anais Nin quote

I’m not altogether sure if I wrote something about this before since this isn’t the first time I’ve come across this quote. Now, I just felt like I had to write something. For the longest time I’ve been wrapped tightly in a bud. Now, I am blossoming. I am becoming the ME I’ve always been meant to be.

Public Crying Undiagnosed Autistic Me!


***WARNING- This post is long ***

Dear Readers,

crying face (KimK)

Yeah, about that title! I’m sure that I shared this before, but I’m going to share it again- I don’t like crying in public. Well, let me correct that. I didn’t used to like crying in public. After today, it doesn’t bother me. Part of what changed is that I’m coming into my own. I’ve been going through an awakening. I see more, I feel more, and I have been sharing more. I’ve gotten more in touch with my feelings. So, things that used to bother me, don’t bother me anymore.

Related imageRead More »

It Takes Courage…


Dear Readers,

It’s synchronicity that I found this quote by e.e. cummings because this year has been all about me becoming the ME I intended to be when I was younger. It seems that when you state your intentions and decide to become who you were meant to be, then things begin to happen.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

~e.e. cummings~

Tough Love


Dear Readers,

It’s that time of year again when I have downtime and really reflect on my school year.

Have you ever had a problem with your students becoming too comfortable in your class? Well, I have! You know what- the fault is all mine. I became too comfortable with them. I would talk to them throughout class; I would accept their excuses; I would get mad at the other teachers for holding them to a higher standard!

Now that I look back on it, I can see where I failed. I had to reflect on their behaviors as I reflected on mine. Going into the next school year, I am going to set boundaries and enforce them religiously. I’m the one who controls my life by making decisions that lead me to being my best self.

If it’s to be, it’s up to me!

Changing My Playlist!


Dear Readers,

For as long as I can remember, I’ve listened to really sad songs. I think it was because I was afraid to be happy. I didn’t even realize they were really sad until one of my students told me that the song that I loved was really depressing. Depressing?!?! Until then I didn’t connect the two.

After she said that, I started paying attention to my song choices. Sure enough, they were mostly sad and depressing. Almost all of them.

Do you think I changed my playlist then? Nope, I didn’t. Wanna’ know why! I hadn’t changed my way of thinking. Until now!

A couple of months ago, I attended an event through L.A.U.S.D. with Siedah Garrett (writer of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” & “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) as one of the featured performers. She told the story of how she came to write the song, “Answer’s Always Love”.

I know that I keep using this phrase, but I vibed with her explanation and her song so much. I paid full attention to the song as she sang. I was mesmerized. Right then and there, I decided to change my playlist to suit my changed  mindset.

As an added bonus, here’s a poem I wrote in my upcoming book of poetry. Like to hear it, hear it goes:

I Changed My Playlist

My playlist, once so full of sad songs

used to depress me.

But those songs do not represent me 

or my way of thinking anymore.

My way of looking at things shifted.

I’m no longer sad, bitter, hurt, or afraid.

While Keyshia Cole’s “Let It Go”

And Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon’ Cry”

used to be on repeat,

Now, the lyrics to Frankie Beverly’s “We Are One”

and Siedah Garrett’s “The Answer’s Always Love!”

Speaks to me.

Of necessity, I chose to limit my exposure to songs that kept me

angry, bitter, hurt, & afraid. 

While listening to sad songs.

 I was perpetually in an unproductive state of mind

that did not serve my desire to move forward

and heal. 

When your mindset shifts

and you’re ready to move on and

become a better you,

the way out can be as simple 

as changing your playlist!

© Original poetry by Carole L. Banks

Guest Post by Bea Burgess


Dear Readers,

Today’s post is written by Bea Burgess of http://www.abclawcenter.com. I usually don’t post articles that link back to businesses, but this one was quite informative. The article is short, sweet, and to the point. I enjoyed it. Check it out, you might enjoy it, as well! Here’s the title that caught my attention-

Students with Disabilities More Likely to Be Punished in Schools- Especially If They Are Black

Recent reports have indicated that disabled students, and especially black students with disabilities, face inequitable disciplinary action in schools. Here, we’ll first discuss how schools punish students with disabilities at much higher rates than their non-disabled peers. We’ll then examine the intersectionality of disability and race as they pertain to school suspensions and lost instruction.

Across The United States, Students With Disabilities Are Disciplined InequitablyStudents with Disabilities More Likely to Be Punished in School – Especially If They Are Black

About 25 percent of students who are suspended, referred to law enforcement, or arrested while at school have a disability, even though students with disabilities comprise only about 12 percent of all public school students. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that students with disabilities are over-represented by 13 percent for suspensions and 15.5 percent for law enforcement referrals and arrests. There was a substantial disparity in all types of public school, including charters, magnets, alternative schools, and special education programs. Affluent schools were not immune; in fact, there was an over-representation of 20 percent in suspensions (1).

A study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights revealed similar trends. They found that children with disabilities made up 28 percent of school-related arrests, 26 percent of out-of-school suspensions, and 24 percent of expulsions. Moreover, those served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) accounted for 71 percent of students restrained and 66 percent secluded. These conclusions come from a dataset that includes over 50 million students at more than 96,000 schools.

The executive director of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Denise Marshall, told Disability Scoop that she was concerned about these findings:

“Our kids continue to be harmed by the failure of the Department (of Education) to take action to address the gross inequities and disparity in treatment. How many more generations will it take?” (2).

Racial Disparities In School Discipline And Lost Instruction

Researchers from Harvard University and UCLA recently collaborated on a study examining how lost instruction due to discipline varies based on disability and race. Their report is called “Disabling Punishment: The Need for Remedies to the Disparate Loss of Instruction Experience by Black Students with Disabilities.”

They found that black students with disabilities are suspended much more frequently than white students with disabilities – they have on average 77 more days of lost instruction. Of course, this greatly affects how much they learn.

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, told Harvard Law Today that “Far too many school districts are punishing and pushing out black students with disabilities.”

Under IDEA, states must review racial disparities in discipline at the district level, and address the underlying issues.

The Trump administration has made moves toward rescinding certain IDEA regulations, including guidance aimed at reducing disparities in school discipline; this is what prompted the Harvard/UCLA study. Author of the Disabling Punishment report, Daniel J. Losen, told Harvard Law Today that, “We hope the information in this report will serve as a call to action to educators and advocates in every state.”

The report contains recommendations for education policymakers, civil rights advocates, teachers’ unions, and other groups involved in the education system (3).

Conclusions: An Intersectional Approach To Combating Inequality In Our Schools

The high rates of disciplinary action for students with disabilities are fairly distressing even withoutaccounting for racial differences, but when considering the intersectionality between disability and race, the numbers are even more shocking. To promote change, disability rights organizations should collaborate with racial justice advocates. The issues experienced by students with disabilities are not identical to those experienced by racial minorities, but there is certainly a lot of overlap. And for students who are disabled and black, the problem of inequitable punishment must be understood and addressed from both angles.

 

Here’s the link: https://www.abclawcenters.com/blog/2018/05/07/students-with-disabilities-more-likely-to-be-punished-in-schools-especially-if-they-are-black/ 

Me, As A Reporter! Part 2


Dear Readers,

Do you remember when I posted a couple of weeks ago that I can see myself as a reporter?!?! Well, that was so crazy of me to post. I thought that was a really, really lofty goal. However, I put it out there in the wind. Well, guess what? A friend of mine, Quanda, posted a job on Facebook for a reporter.

WHAT!!!

 

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I proceeded to apply for it and am now waiting on the response. I hope I get it. However, if I do not, then there’s another position ready and waiting for me!

As always, I’ll keep you updated!

Walking In My Power! Part 2


Dear Readers,

My apologies! Yesterday I wrote a post entitled, Walking in Your Power! I thought I explained what walking in your power is, but apparently I did not. Well, for those of you who don’t have me on Facebook, it must have seemed that it came out of the blue. So, although this post should have been part 1 of Walking in Your Power, it is Part 2.

Here is my Facebook post explaining what walking in your power is:

I have one question for you, Are you walking in your power?!?!
I ask this because there was a time when I thought I was broken and would never be fixed. I thought that no one could possibly really love this broken, disheveled mess that I called ME! I was so wrong. I love ME; this formerly broken mess of a woman who learned who I am, who doesn’t accept SH*T from anyone, who realizes her worth, who walks in her own power!
I am finally beginning to walk in my power. I was up, around 4 a.m., watching various motivational videos and reading anything I could find about walking in my power. One of the simplest ones I read was on Huffington Post entitled, “Why Aren’t You Walking in Your Power?”
It wasn’t a long article. It was very simple and to the point. I recommend it.

Check it out @ https://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/mindfulness-practice_b_420…

You’ll see from reading the Huffington Post article that walking in your power is you being your best self, it’s owning your truth, it’s realizing your true purpose and who you really are! 

In the words of Vicki Kirk-May, “It’s time to dominate!” It’s time to SHINE!!!

It’s time to become the real ME. I feel like I’ve only been a facsimile of who I can and am supposed to be. This quote, down below, by Anaïs Nin, perfectly symbolizes my situation. I can no longer remain tight in a bud. It’s too painful. I’m ready to be and embrace the new me; the ME that is my best self; the one who owns my truth- ALL OF IT. I accept all of me, the good and the bad. I accept and own everything I’ve done, up until now.

IT’S TIME TO REALLY LIVE!

 

As always, I’ll keep you updated on the happenings in my life!

Walking in My Power!


Dear Readers,

cropped-self-improvement-project.jpg

Here’s my post from Facebook, April 14, 2011:

This year I have learned to Accept, Embrace, & Stand. I’ve learned to accept what I cannot change; embrace the lessons I need to learn, embrace the pain, embrace what is and what is to come; stand on the promises of God, stand on my own two feet (which I didn’t know I could do), stand when I thought I would fall, just stand!

As I wrote on another post (click here), I’ve discovered that I go through the same thing around the same time of year. So, I’ve decided to read back on this blog and my Facebook page so that I can kinda’ predict what’s about to happen. It’s not foolproof, but it’s all I got right now.

As I read my Facebook memory, I began thinking about my current situation. I didn’t realize that my awakening began about 7 years ago. Currently, I’m experiencing what I wrote about in my Facebook memory to the 10th power. At that time, I had no name for what I was experiencing. I just knew that I was not doing all that I’m called to do and that I was not being my best self.

The-Secret-Code-is-Levnow

Everything began with the above quote from Marianne Williamson- “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Can I just tell you that I am vibin’ so much with this quote!?!?

I read it over and over and over. I went to sleep and meditated on it; I woke up and meditated on it. Thinking on this quote has sent my mind into overdrive. Because of all that I’ve been experiencing, I am becoming a better version of ME. I have learned to embrace ALL of me.  Because of all of my experiences, the meditating, and thinking, right now, I’m in a growth stage. I’m prepping myself to be my best self, and am beginning to walk in my power.

I’m about to:

  • start my educational consulting firm,
  • finish up a chapter for another anthology I’m writing for,
  • finish my first book of poetry,
  • complete my children’s book- the first in the series.

In the words of Cardi B., “I make money moves!”

As always, I will keep you updated on the happenings in my life!

Bye for now!

 

Me, as a Reporter?!?!


Dear Readers,

I’ve been thinking about my next step once I leave the classroom. I thought about becoming a reporter; not as a mandated one, but a real-life reporter. I’d even like to do internet reporting.

If you know me, then you know that this is a big step for me because I was not allowed to ask questions as a child. My father was truly old school. He thought that kids should be seen and not heard. When my parents had company over, my siblings and I were not even allowed in the living room.

This affected so many aspects of my life. I never spoke up in class. If I had questions, I waited until after class; I always waited to speak up, never voicing my opinion, unless someone specifically asked for it; not being confident enough to make friends, etc…

Fast forward to 2018 and I am a totally different person now. I ask questions and make friends quite easily now (When I want to). It’s almost like a game. So much so, that I’ve turned meeting new people into a sort of interview process. As I was interviewing (making friends) with someone, I thought that I could totally turn this into something I’d enjoy doing.

Chalk this up to another thing I never thought I’d want to do!

 

CEC Shoutout!


Dear Readers,

I was wondering why my blog has had an increase in traffic. Well, the mystery has been solved. I was shouted out by The Pennsylvania Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) @ http://community.cec.sped.org/pa/home. I found the link by looking at my Referrer links.

I feel so honored!

I was also shouted out by The Edvocate in an article entitled 10 Must Read Special Education Blogs @ http://www.theedadvocate.org/10-must-read-special-education-blogs/

I feel so loved. Thanks to The Advocate & The Pennsylvania branch of the CEC!

DIGITAL VISION BOARD- My Enrichment Lesson


Dear Readers,

The teachers at my school decided to let our students have a break from the rigorous work they’re required to do in a college ready school. For the first semester, I had Homework Club, but that bored me to tears. So, I decided to have some fun. This time around I chose Arts n’ Crafts. For our first project, I wanted to have the students create a vision board, but the cost was prohibitive. The next best thing was a digital vision board. And the research began…

My research took me to a couple of sites that required some downloading and payment. Since I was not planning on paying for 25 students to use a pay site, I knew that I had to look around for a free site.

Alas, I couldn’t find one, but my husband did. He’d previously used it- PIXLR. He showed me enough to get it done, and I was off to the races.

I wrote down every step while creating my own. Satisfied with the results, I printed my results, uploaded the directions to my Google Classroom I created for the class, and prepared to teach my students how to create a digital vision board.

How’d it go? Why, thank you for asking! It went very well. Of the 25 students, 15 of them completed it within the allotted time. Others e-mailed me.

Here’s my completed digital vision board:

LEILAB

I played around with it a little more and learned how to create small effects around the edges of the pictures. I’m not finished yet. I’m going to create more; one for each area of my life.

If you’d like to create your own, here’s a link to the directions: https://tinyurl.com/y7pqad7v

Let me know what you think!

Teacher Truth #7 (The Whole Truth Anthology)


Dear Readers,

The online book launch is tomorrow, January 15, 2018. In order to launch this book onto the #1 Best Seller list, there will be a one-day only special price of $2.99 for the e-book. Please support this project.

So, without further ado, here’s my 7th Teacher Truth:

 

Teacher Truth #5 (The Whole Truth Anthology)


Dear Readers,

Here’s my Teacher Truth #5:

A SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER IS NOT..

#TheWholeTruth

I’m a Special Education Teacher, not a baby sitter. For some reason, because I have the title, Special Education, in front of my title, some people, unreasonably believe, that I’m not a ‘real’ teacher. WHAT?!?! HUH?!?!
So not the truth! I’m a Special Education teacher extraordinaire and I earned my degrees just like everyone else!!!

cropped-personalized-book-jacket3.jpg

#AndtheTruthShallmakeyouFree
What’s your TRUTH?
Online book launch January 15, 2018
Book signing February 3, 2018
Bessemer Civic Center 2 p.m
1130 9th Ave. Bessemer, AL
Join the WHOLE TRUTH MOVEMENT!

Teacher Truth #4 (The Whole Truth Anthology)


Dear Readers,
Teacher Truth #4: Teachers have to be politically correct all the time. If not, people complain; if the parent is truly ignorant, they want to fight.
We use euphemisms like, “He/She doesn’t have the greatest work ethic.           TRANSLATION: They’re lazy!
or
He/She’s very friendly & social during class time.                                                           TRANSLATION: He/She talks too much and disrupts my class! ALL.THE.TIME!!!

POLITICALLY INCORRECT

Sometimes we’d like to actually tell the parent that they need to actually be a parent, create & enforce some rules, and not buy them the latest everything.
How have you bitten your tongue?

What’s your truth?!?!

cropped-personalized-book-jacket3.jpg

THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME TEACHER!
11 educators tell their TRUTH like no one else can in the anthology The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth So HELP ME TEACHERS!
Online book launch & book release January 15, 2018!
Book signing February 3, 2018
Bessemer Civic Center 2 p.m
1130 9th Ave. Bessemer, AL
Join the WHOLE TRUTH MOVEMENT!

Ask me about pre-order! Get your copy!
#WholeTruthAnthology#andtheTRUTHshallmakeyouFREE
Tag and share with an educator

Teacher Truth #3 (The Whole Truth Anthology)


Dear Readers,

Here’s my third truth!

Teacher Truth #3: I’m on a three week break. I’ve earned every single minute of this three week break!

cropped-personalized-book-jacket3.jpg

What’s your truth?!?!
THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME TEACHER!
11 educators tell their TRUTH like no one else can in the anthology The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth So HELP ME TEACHERS! 
Book release January 15th get your copy! #WholeTruthAnthology#andtheTRUTHshallmakeyouFREE
Tag and share with an educator

Teacher Truth #2 (The Whole Truth Anthology)


Dear Readers,

Here’s my second teacher truth:

Teacher Truth #2: Even though teaching is the hardest job I’ve ever had, it’s sometimes thankless, and I feel like screaming and running out of the building sometimes, I LOVE IT!

cropped-personalized-book-jacket3.jpg

What’s your truth?!?!
THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME TEACHER!
11 educators tell their TRUTH like no one else can in the anthology The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth So HELP ME TEACHERS! 

Once my Amazon author page is up and running, I’ll post it.
Book release January 15th get your copy!

 #WholeTruthAnthology

#andtheTRUTHshallmakeyouFREE
Tag and share with an educator

Teacher Truth #1 (The Whole Truth Anthology)


Dear Readers,

I’m so excited about my book launch on January 15, 2018. In order to promote the book, I and my fellow authors, are telling our truths. Down below is my Truth #1. I’ll post one per day, everyday, leading up to the book launch. Enjoy and stay tuned!

cropped-personalized-book-jacket3.jpg

Teacher Truth #1: There are some students I hate to see coming!
What’s your truth?!?!
THE WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME TEACHER!

11 educators tell their TRUTH like no one else can in the anthology The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth So HELP ME TEACHERS! 
Book release January 15th get your copy! #WholeTruthAnthology#andtheTRUTHshallmakeyouFREE
Tag and share with an educator

Got Respect? — Little Red Survivor


 

Dear Readers,

This wonderful post had to be reposted. It’s a long read, but worth it. Thanks Little Red Survivor!

Tessa was an accomplished chef and wonderful hostess, but her sisters in law and mother in law did not appreciate her. They simply believed her husband should have married someone else. No matter how beautifully she set the table or how delicious the food, the conversation with her in-laws was always strained. No one complimented […]

via Got Respect? — Little Red Survivor

One Day She…


Dear Readers,                                                                                                                                  After writing a post on Facebook yesterday and then seeing this memory today, I realized that I was wrestling with finding my voice. The beauty (and synchronicity) of all this is that I actually wrote this post three years on my Facebook page in response to rediscovering my voice. While looking back, I realized that I deal with the same things around the same time. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how knowing this information can be used to my advantage.

Below, is what I wrote in response to this pic:

ONE DAY..

I am enjoying being me and loving EVERY single minute of it. I’ve rediscovered that I have a voice. I’m not talking about my singing voice. I’m talking about ME! MY VOICE! My voice that I’ve recently discovered after years of having lost it. The voice that says I CAN & believes it; knows it with my whole being. The voice that knows you can’t and shouldn’t try to please everyone. The voice that knows I AM THE BEST ME I CAN BE; the voice that has decided to be ME, no matter who likes it!Read More »

I Like Having Bad Days!


Dear Readers,

I know this this may sound weird to say, but I like having BAD days! They always build better days!

bad daysI remember the first time I realized that having a bad was a really good thing. It was my first or second year of teaching. Actually, my sister-friend, Danika, pointed it out to me. I was telling her how I had had a bad day. She told me that I always figured out a solution, so it was okay that I had a bad day. I am so very grateful to her because, before she told me that, I hadn’t thought of it like that. She made me think of my bad days in a whole new way.

So, now when I’m having a bad day, I’m not thinking of it as a bad day. I’m thinking of it as a building day.

Bad day 2 bad day 5bad day 4

Just remember these when you have a bad day!

Afraid To Be Myself…


Dear Readers,

I’m kinda’ ashamed of myself because I bowed to pressure of being someone other than myself. You see, my co-teacher in the Resource Lab is kinda’ laid back. He’s really not big on discipline, so it naturally defers to me. So much so, that I used to feel like the odd man out when I would really tear into a student to bring them into line.

When I had my own classroom, I was able to be pretty true to my way of discipline. However, now that we share the Resource Lab and teach together, it’s gotten harder to always be the bad cop. However, I had a bad day yesterday. Give me a second and I’ll tell you what that has to do with being afraid to be myself.

Good Cop:Bad cop

So, yesterday, my students in Advisory were talking and laughing really loud for the whole period. Not only that, but they left my classroom messy. Now, you may be saying to yourself that that’s not a big deal. Well, in my way of thinking, it is a very big deal. From my observations through the years, I’ve discovered that a one of the worst ways that a student disrespects a teacher is by doing all that my students did yesterday. I thought about their disrespect all throughout the day and came up with a solution. I gave them the same RESPECT worksheet they’d completed at the beginning of the year.

Before they came in the class and before they could ask, I told them,Read More »

THE WHOLE TRUTH & NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, SO HELP ME TEACHER ANTHOLOGY!!!


Dear Readers,

I am very excited to share with you my new book that’s coming out in January ’18! The title is, “The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me Teacher.” I, and ten other teachers, wrote two chapters each, in the anthology.  I will be in Atlanta, GA on January 15th to promote. I’ll keep you in the loop on all the happenings regarding the book.

Here’s my pic: leilaprofile1

PERSONALIZED BOOK JACKET

This is the picture that will be on my book jacket cover. Although I don’t usually wear make-up on a daily basis, in this pic, I have on some foundation, eye shadow, and eyeliner. Can you believe I’m 47?!?!

Let me know if you live in Atlanta or the surrounding area!

#WholeTruthAnthology

 

Teaching a Plot Diagram in a Weird Way…


Dear Readers,

Today, I needed to reinforce the lesson taught by the 10th grade English teacher (literary devices). I did the usual and defined them and gave examples. I even read the 10th graders a very simple story- The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. I wanted them to complete a plot diagram like the one below:

They weren’t quite understanding it, so I decided to try a different approach. I asked them about a television show they watched. One student told me about an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. We discussed it and I showed her where the each part of the diagram was happening as she described it to me. She didn’t believe me when I told her that the plot diagram plays out in every day life; she thought it was some kind of trick. So, I took her through a fight just to really prove it to her. She laughed. That’s when I gave her a homework assignment to watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and report back to me tomorrow. She said that it wouldn’t be fun. I told her that I beg to differ, that it can be fun to see what we’re learning in everyday life come to life, so to speak. I don’t think she quite believed me, but she agreed to do it. I’ll report her findings back to you.

Today’s Observation


Dear Readers,

Today, one month into the new school year, I had my first of 4 observations. My organization decided to split it up into four bite-sized observations instead of two major ones. I actually like this way better than the old way because I feel like the observer can get a better picture of how I teach.

Here’s a technique I learned in the summer regarding how to gather evidence from a video.

Students pick a side. For this video, they were looking for evidence to support Beyonce being weak or Beyonce being strong in the IRREPLACEABLE video.

For the sake of brevity and chaos, I put the students in a group.

Students watch the video one time just to get a feel for it and collect 1-2 pieces of evidence.

Students then watch it a second time to gather more evidence. At this point the student should have at least 3-5 pieces of evidence. If you, as a teacher, feel that your students need to watch it again, play the video a third time.

Write your evidence down

We’ll watch it a third time to gather even more evidence

Write even more evidence down

Here’s a link to my lesson:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1YA-7oGbkK03Fi82ILbX_fkAgttiasfOWM8-AWAgzy_A/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

 

Emotional Turmoil


Dear Readers,

I’ve been going through much emotional turmoil lately. So, I’ve been researching ways to help me through it all. In my research, I happened upon these little tidbits of information.

crying face (KimK)

  • Always remember that emotions come and go, rise and fall.
  • Resistance is the cause of every form of emotional pain.
  • When you stop refusing, defying and fighting against yourself, other people and life, you stop suffering.
  • Honor your emotions for the lessons they bring you in the moment.

I had to write this because I broke down at work today and cried. I didn’t even realize that I was as stressed as I was. I really don’t like crying at work. I think previously thought that it showed weakness. After today I don’t think that anymore. When I cried, members of my team rallied around me, gave me a pep talk, and offered their help.

I guess you learn something new everyday!

As I Went Along…


Dear Readers,

Yesterday, the first day of school, I did something I’ve never done before. I completed the day’s ppt. as I went along. The problem was that I had to unexpectedly do my braids. Usually my sister braids my hair, but she was really tired and I didn’t want to burden her. The problem is that it took about 6.5 hours to complete. After I finished braiding my hair, I still had to complete my powerpoint. Another problem was that I did not have it in me to complete any ‘real’ work. I was trying, but it just wasn’t happening. So, what I did was complete the first half of the presentation and went to bed at 2:30 a.m.

This is how it all went down. I planned for the students to complete:

  • a Silent First 5ive (It’s basically a MUST DO)
  • agenda & objective review,
  • Syllabus review,
  • Resource Lab Mission Statement, Purpose, Structure, & Focus
  • Learning Styles Survey
  • S.M.A.R.T. Goals video & worksheet
  • 3 Reasons for Plan Failure (No plan, No follow through, Taking too long to follow through)

I knew that I had the information on one of my previous power points, but was out of time and too tired to look for them. So, I made the power point with the Silent First 5ive handout, readied the syllabus, learning style survey, smart goals, & 3 Reasons for Plan Failure for printing the next morning, I cut and pasted the Resource Lab Mission Statement, asked the question: What is the purpose of Resource Lab, the new structure & focus of the Resource Lab. I did not have the S.M.A.R.T. goals video or a real plan for 3 Reasons for Plan Failure. As the students completed the activities, I disconnected my laptop from the projector, went to my desk and finished and/or refined the presentation.

I’m not sure if this would have been stressful for you, but it was stressful for me. I like to have everything completed before I step into the class. As a matter of fact, I like to plan at least 2 weeks ahead of time. Here’s a link to my Weekly Focus Plan (click here).

I will NOT be doing this again anytime soon. As I type this, I’m finishing up my lesson plans for the next 3 weeks.

I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

You Know You’re A Teacher On Summer Vacation If… by Melanin Kidz


Hey Dear Readers,

I read this post on Melaninkidz. Here it is:

You Know You’re A Teacher On Summer Vacation If…

Monday, June 26, 2017

During the school year, you’re standing and raising your voice much more often than you would at home. Bathroom breaks are few and far in between and when you finally coerce a fellow teacher to watch your class while you sprint to the restroom, the chances of you coming back to a chaotic classroom are much exponentially higher.

If you work in a special education classroom like I do, strong vocal chords are imperative to restoring order when Maria decides to mercilessly taunt Joshua for all to hear when they’re supposed to be doing a quiet activity. However, this is June and you’ve gone back to civilian life where you can sip on your coffee in complete serenity right? Well here are 17 off-the-clock teacher moments that haunt Sped and Gen Ed teachers alike:

1. You’ve gotten used to fighting the urge to use the restroom so you sometimes still hold it while you’re at home.

2. You’ve organized all your summer plans in your calendar down to the hour.

3. If you don’t eat lunch during your school’s lunch time, you feel like you’re starving to death.

4. You wake up at 6:30 am every day because your body’s natural clock won’t update

5. You are extremely tired around 9:30 PM.

6. You’re directing your significant other/spouse around to do tasks around the house as if you were delegating tasks out to your students.

7. You begin to feel so unproductive and restless that you start lesson planning two months in advance.

8. You read books focused on teaching/education in the summer because you can’t help it (if you’re lucky they’re mandatory reading from your principals lol).

9. You see kids misbehaving in public and get sudden urges to give them consequences.

10. You refuse to go to any event that may have a lecture/Q&A because of the trauma you’ve experienced from attending too many PD’s.

11. You aren’t obsessed with using as much Lysol and other germ prevention chemicals.

12. Unless you have children, you rather not go to any event that has too many kids in one place.

13. After you’ve been on your laptop for about 15 minutes at home, you still expect a child to tap you on your shoulder and ask you to tell Jonathan to give her her pencil box back.

14. You’re overprepared for every single summer event you go to.

15. You catch yourself laughing out loud at something funny a student said to you during the school year while in the car by yourself.

16. You eat painfully slow and stretch out your lunches to 1 hour and a half or more because you can since you can finally taste your food.

17. You finally come to terms with that fact you’ve worked hard all year and summer vacation is one of the best perks of the profession.

Happy Summer!

 

As always, here’s the link: http://www.melaninkidz.com/2017/06/you-know-youre-teacher-on-summer.html