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!

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 »

Burnt Out!


Dear Readers,

I am burnt out! I’m fighting, but it’s sooooooooooooooo hard!!! My burn out is taking the form of:

  • going to bed late
  • waking up late (as a result of going to bed late)
  • not being as productive as I can be
  • wasting time at work
  • leaving things at home

I’m going to be Captain Obvious here and say that I don’t like being burnt out. I only have 7 more school days after today. I know I’m going to make it. It’s just hard getting there.

 

Faster or Slower???


Dear Readers,

I’m torn on what to do with my students. For some of my students, this is my third year having them. The problem is that I’ve coddled them for most of the time that I’ve had them. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve started the process of weaning them off of me to steer them towards independence. The only problem is that I feel that I’m pushing them too hard. I’m torn on whether or not I’m pushing them too fast. Should I go at the rate I’ve been going (faster) or should I go at the same pace as I went last year???

CODDLING

Part of my indecision stems from the fact that I’ve always wanted the Resource Lab to be different. I wanted it to be a safe haven- a place where they could feel safe, loved, and fully valued. What I did not intend for it to be was a place for them to give over responsibility for their education to me!

Well, sad to say that that’s where they were last year. So, I decided to change the way I ran the Lab. One of those changes was not giving them as much time to complete their work or telling them that it was okay for them not to do my work in the Resource Lab so they can do their work in their other classes. At the end of the school year I let them know that the Home Office decided that the Resource Lab was to be restructured and that it would no longer be a ‘Homework Lab’. Well, some of them didn’t take kindly to that. There was moaning & groaning, weeping & gnashing of teeth. Ok, that’s a line from the Bible. That didn’t really happen, but they didn’t groan a little. In the end, they accepted the way the new Lab is. They’ve even been getting work completed even without the extra time.

So, I guess I have my answer! I’ll keep you updated!

Putting the Onus on Them!


Dear Readers,

I’m training my students to be more independent. I have to be honest and say that some of it is my fault. When I first started working with them, I wanted them to know that they were loved, so I may have gone overboard on taking care of too much stuff for them. When they needed extra time on an assignment, I talked to the teachers for them. It’s a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember doing for them, but suffice it to say that they became very dependent on me and I was very worn out the past two years. Fast forward to this year and I am recovering from being very worn out.

YOUR LIFE BEGINS TO CHANGE..Last year I was so burnt out, I very nearly quit; I was super stressed. Part of the problem is that if there’s a problem, I usually only have struggles with admin & the students are wonderful. Well, last year I had struggles with admin & students. I had at least five very strong personalities that gave me the blues. So this year I said no more coddling and no more putting up with bullshit from admin or unruly students. Firstly, I’m putting the onus on them. It is now their responsibility to know their assignments, not mine. When they come to me and ask if I can get their assignments from their teachers, I give them two choices- I tell them they can go and ask the teacher themselves or send an email to them or we can go to the teacher together. Usually they choose the second option. However, when we go together I let them do the talking. If they chose the option of going to speak (or email) to the teacher themselves, of course I follow up with the teacher.

So, that’s my plan for this year. I am weaning them off of me, helping them get to know themselves, letting them self-advocate, become more independent, and helping them transition to the young adults they are.

I’ll keep you apprised of their progress. Bye for now!!!

 

Limitation Setting ME!


Dear Readers,

I’m on such a self-improvement tear. Usually after school is out for the summer, I have a chance to absorb & process all of the information I didn’t have time to during the year. I relate it to The Quickening (Click here, here, here, here, & here).

Self-Improvement Project

I’ve recently started studying Anthony Robbins’ philosophy. I really vibe with the ones where he talks about limiting beliefs we place on ourselves. After listening to him, I can see that I’ve set limits on myself because I didn’t think I deserved more.

Since school ended I’ve been in such an introspective mood. I’ve been in such a positive sense of expectancy. I’m happy that this sense of expectancy has returned because I stopped having a positive sense of expectancy after experiencing hard times in life. I can remember having great expectations when I was younger. I would be in such a state because I knew that something good was going to happen. I just didn’t know what. Well, somewhere along the way I stopped being in a state of expectancy and I started being or having a sense of dread because that’s all that seemed to be happening in my life. Instead of continuing with being ME & being in a state of positive expectancy, I sidetracked myself & changed my life and my positive sense of self expectancy for the worse.

However, after listening to Anthony Robbins lately, I’m discovering how to get back to where I came from when I stayed in a state of positive expectancy.

Here are 10 empowering beliefs that will change your life:

  1. The past does not equal the future.
  2. There is always a way if I’m committed.
  3. There are no failures, only outcomes- as long as I learn something, I’m succeeding.
  4. If I can’t, I must. If I must, I can. *
  5. Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves me.
  6. I find great joy in little things…a smile… a flower… a sunset
  7. I give more of myself to others than anyone expects.
  8. I create my own reality and I am responsible for what I create.
  9. If I’m confused, I’m about to learn something.
  10. Everyday above ground is a great day.

I’m going to spend the next year meditating on this! Bye for now!

They Can Barely “Function”?


Dear Readers,

This year, I am really going hard with the metacognitive strategies for my students. I started them out with Learning Styles (Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic/Tactile), Multiple Intelligence Survey (HOW are you smart?), Executive Functioning Skills (8 Key Skills- Impulse Control, Emotional Control, Working Memory, Planning & Prioritization, Organization, Task Initiation, Flexible Thinking, & Self-Monitoring), & Fixed/Growth Mindset.
IMPULSE CONTROL C

I’m working on all of them, but what I’m really working diligently on is impulse control. At least five of my students have weaknesses in the area of impulse control. Let me be real here and say that they are wearing me out. I know that this will be a year-long journey, but it’s a journey I must start if I’m to have any chance of normalcy in my Lab.

Wish me luck on this journey!

Piggy & The Emergency Packet!


Dear Readers,

I have a student that I call Piggy because she loves to eat. Don’t worry, she’s not offended; she actually thinks it’s cute. She is the cutest thing. I’m writing this post about her because how cute she is. All of her life she’s relied on how pretty she is. I sat down and talked to her one day and asked her if she ever thought that she could do “it!” I asked her if she was going to rely on her looks forever.

“Trust me when I say that looks fade, we gain weight, etc., etc.,” I told her.

She looked absolutely horrified when I told her that I wasn’t always a size 12. I took the time to tell her that she doesn’t have to rely only on her looks; that she could do “it.”

“You think I can?,” she asked.

“Yes, Piggy! I know you can!”

During my weekly grade check I told her that I wanted her to actually try in Biology & Math class. She agreed that she would. I told her that I was going to stay on her to make sure she did. She smiled and thanked me.

Well, I had to tell you the story of Piggy to finally get around to the Emergency Packets I made for my students.

1888442_10152314646446335_8088628171617566612_n

Obviously that’s not my hand in the picture, but I digress. This is what was in the packets I made them. It took me a couple of days to assemble the packets, so I didn’t want the students to waste them. I told them to take out the chocolate Kiss if they didn’t want it and return the bag of items to me because others wanted them.

When I got to Piggy, I asked her if she wanted the packet. To my surprise she said that she did. After she ate the Kiss, she read the note and thanked me. This shocked me because at the beginning of the year she would have simply thrown the bag away without a second thought. It said a lot that she actually cared and is starting to believe in herself.

This warmed my heart so much. I really enjoy making a difference in their lives!

What is Your Disability?


What is your disability? That is a question I asked of my students. In my first period class, I have 10 students. Of those 10, only one student knew that he was diagnosed with ADHD. The other ones had no idea what their disability was. So I gave them the assignment that I sussed out over the break. Since I introduced them to jigsawing, I printed articles for the three disabilities in my class- Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Autism.

Here’s the breakdown. Of my 26 students, 1 has Language & Speech Services (LAS), 2 don’t have the lab with me, 4 have autism, and 2 have ADHD, with 16 having SLD. I split them into groups, gave them the articles and the link for the Google sheet to answer the questions they would later transfer to their ppt. or Google slides presentation. I then explained their roles and let them tear apart the article and answer the questions. They were free to research any questions that were not answered by the article. I’ll discuss the outcome in another post. Just color me impressed!

Bye for now!

Techy Me! or Challenge Accepted!


Dear Readers,

I work at a Blended Learning School.barney-stinson-challenge-accepted It’s a format that combines technology with traditional learning. When I took the job I was so out of my league. However I issued myself a challenge to get into that league. CHALLENGE: Learn and incorporate as much technology into the classroom as possible within the next couple of months. At the time I was hired, I hadn’t used much technology in the classroom except my classroom blog and iFilm.

However, I knew at this school I had to step up my game. So, I did! I accepted the challenge. Not only that, I saw the challenge and upped the ante a bit.

Usually, I can’t see my progress as it’s happening. However, in an earlier post, I briefly wrote about my Quickening process (click here). I also wrote about some of the programs I was using (click here). If I can think of anything else, I’ll post it. For now, here are the programs I’ve learned.

  • Kahoot! online quiz program that automatically compiles correct & incorrect answers for me,
  • Edmodo to post my power points, make quizzes, and display instructions,
  • Haiku, used by our SpEd. department,
  • Pinnacle to take roll & track grades,
  • Class Dojo for behavior management,
  • my school website to upload digital agendas,
  • my other school website to download important documents & answer PD surveys,
  • Google docs,
  • Google sheets,
  • Google forms,
  • Google slides
  • Online stopwatch for tracking time,
  • Weebly website to post links and work from core classes.

Not sure, but I think that’s all. One last thing I’m very proud of is how I’m using Google sheets to make my exit slips for the month. I was using Google forms to send them daily, but discovered it was quickly filling up my Google drive and causing too much work for me. I knew I needed to find an easier and more efficient way to get the job done. I played around with Google sheets and figured out how to do it. Happy to say that I’m no longer creating daily exit slips; I’m now creating them monthly. If you’d like to know how, shoot me an email @ specialedandme@gmail.com.

 

 

Myself, as Facilitator!


Dear Readers,

I’ve decided to put the onus on my students, as far as throwing the ball back in their court, in regard to their education. Last semester I was wearing myself out doing the bulk of the work for my students. Well, I went to a charter-wide PD and got some great ideas. One of the ideas was to have extended time on assignments on an as needed basis instead of automatically giving the students extra time.

Facilitator toolkit

photo credit: http://www.masterfulfacilitation.com/admin/userfiles/images/Facilitator%20toolkit.jpg

You see, the proposed change is threefold!

First, as I stated earlier, the onus is on the students. The students have matured so much in the past semester. I’m not sure if I would have tried to implement these changes at the beginning of the school year.

Secondly, the students will take more accountability knowing that they have to meet deadlines. This is actually a life lesson. Although students can take their IEPs with them to college and most colleges do honor them, the fact of the matter, is that they don’t have to. So, the sooner the students learn to stick to deadlines, the better.

Thirdly (I was thinking of this before I went to the PD), having the students take more responsibility frees me up to act as facilitator, further helping them to mature and take responsibility since they are basically in charge of their own learning.

My Threshold!


Dear Readers,

I discovered something about myself last night. It was always my belief that I could take a nap later in the day in order to last long into the night. Well, I discovered that I was wrong. Even though I took a long nap and woke up at 7:30 p.m., I still tapped out about 10:30. I thought I could write and complete other work, but realized that I’d reached my threshold. I was beginning to do Midnight thinking. That’s when I realized that I needed to throw in the towel.

-Signed, No Longer in Denial!

 

***WATCH THE VIDEO from 19:17-19:37- This is what my writing is like when I’ve reached my threshold.***

 

 

So Much To Write About!


Dear Readers,

Usually at the end of the year I have what I call The Quickening. For those of you who are not Syfy fans, that’s a reference to the movie Highlander. In the movie there are beings- Immortals- who are fighting for the right to be “The Only One.” In order to be the only one, the Immortals hunt each other down, fight to the death with swords and chop off the other Immortal’s head in order to claim their knowledge (usually hundreds of years), which comes out in the form of violent lightning that engulfs the victor & literally deposits the knowledge in the victor’s head. Well, I said all that to say that’s how I feel. The only thing is that I usually feel this at the end of the year when I’ve had time to process and sort through everything I’ve learned up until that point. My new job is so intense and so all encompassing that I feel The Quickening now. What’s even stranger is that I felt it as it was happening. I even helped encouraged the process.

At the beginning of the school year I could tell that I was in for quite an experience; I could feel it. There seemed to be magic and a sense of the possibilities in the air. I could feel that this job could be what I needed and more. I have my church’s breakfast banquet to attend, so I will write more later about my Quickening.

 

I Should Have Known!!!


Dear Readers,

As I was pushing into one of the math classes I support, I was taken aback that a student I was helping in 9th grade didn’t know her multiplication tables. Now, this particular student is something. In the beginning of the school year she was constantly being put out of the English class for misbehavior. This goes with my post on the chicken or the egg years ago regarding students who would rather be thought of a “bad” than “stupid.”

I am so mad at myself for not connecting the dots faster. I was so shocked as I had to scaffold lower and lower to accommodate her lack of basic foundational skills. She was just sitting there with a blank look on her face. Once I “really” saw that blank look, I knew that she’d been misbehaving at the beginning of school because she didn’t want anyone to know about her and her lack of knowledge.

I should have known!!!

(Almost) No NPs!!!


Dear Readers,

I’m very happy about my students receiving almost no NP’s! I checked grades last week before report cards were due and last night at parent conferences. Almost all of the parents were happy. Most of all, my students were happy.

After performing grade checks today with my 9th graders, we got down to the nitty gritty- I asked them three questions. I first asked them if they were pleased with their grades. After their response, which were positive by the way, we looked at the grades and the reason for the NP’s. I then asked them if they could have done more to get better grades. They agreed that they could have been more diligent. Lastly, I asked them what their next steps were; moving forward, how were they going to do better and get C’s or better!

I don’t remember all of the grades, but, overall, there were great improvements. One student was happy with receiving 2 NP’s because she was down from 4. We celebrated her success. Another student saw how messing up on one test caused her to get an NP. I told her how I’ve seen her looking at herself in the iPad, combing her hair, talking, and just generally not paying attention or doing her work in class. She nervously smiled and said she would do better. I really hope she meant it. Seeing the grades every week seems to be having a positive effect on them. I’m quite happy with the results, but there is still room for improvement.

We’ll see how things go for the next 5 weeks. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

Terrible Me!!!


Dear Readers,

I feel so bad. Yesterday I cut this student to shreds. I really didn’t mean to. It’s just that she’s so frustrating. She will sit in class and do absolutely nothing. I’ve been dealing with this since the second week of school. Well, today-for my Do Now- the students completed their monthly self-assessment and a quiz I created on Edmodo once they were done. After that, they were to do classwork from other classes, while I performed the weekly grade checks. So, I call on her and ask her what she’s doing and she says, “Nothing, because… (insert lame reason here). Keep in mind that we are about 15 minutes into the class. At this point I asked her what she’s been doing. She gives me a blank stare. I look at her iPad and it’s in the same state as the day before where it’s stuck on iTunes, for some reason.

“Wild Girl, what have you been doing for the entire 15 minutes we’ve been in class?”

Again I get a blank stare. I was going to ask her further questions, but was frustrated at this point, so I told her bye. Next thing I know, I hear the door close. “Where’s Wild Girl,” I ask.

“She just went outside,” my students said.

I was just about to ask my assistant to go and get her when my class was interrupted by the administration for random backpack checks. Once I get out there I see her and talk to her. She starts crying because she says that she thought I put her out when I said bye. I told her that I could understand her thinking that I put her out of the classroom since my words to my students when I put them out is, “Bye Felicia!”

However, this is not the first time this (her doing absolutely nothing) has happened. The other day I found her working on a powerpoint that was due almost 2 weeks ago. She “worked” on it the whole class. I then told her that I did not want to see her pretending to work on that powerpoint again. In addition to doing no work, she’s also ditched 2nd Advisory when she just didn’t feel like being bothered on several occasions. Needless to say, I was not very patient with her. But, I digress.

I go to her and tell her that I am going to call her dad as soon as we are allowed back in the classroom. She was pleading her case to my assistant as I walked back into the classroom to get my phone to give to my assistant to call her dad. Since he speaks Spanish only I asked my assistant to speak with him. He didn’t answer and I got so busy I didn’t call him back. Believe me when I say that I will call him on Monday and use Google translate to communicate with him.

I say that I’m so terrible because I made her cry when I didn’t mean to. I also feel terrible because I had no sympathy for her while she was crying. I simply walked away to let her deal with the consequences. In the past, when someone cried, I would feel so bad. Don’t get me wrong. I would still let them suffer the consequences, but at least I felt bad for them. For Wild Girl, I didn’t feel anything. Does that make a terrible person? Please chime in and let me know your feelings on this. I really don’t want to get to the point where I don’t care about my student’s feelings. Give me some feedback. Please & Thank you!!!

Welcome September!


1919671_807470385941682_6670188739235172187_nDear Readers,

September is upon us. Usually tomorrow would have been my first day of school. However, since I work for a school with an extra month of school, I am already completing report cards. I would have preferred for tomorrow or Wednesday to be my first day of work, but that’s not my reality.

As it stands, I am stretching myself further than I ever have. I am more organized than I’ve ever been, I’m free to use the restroom since I’m walking around a lot, I’m free for 2/3 periods a day for me to push in. Right now, I am loving my job.

I am going to use an old cliche from church- I’m not where I should be, but I’m not where I used to be. I thank God that I have a job that I adore,  I’m getting closer to being the person I want to be, I’m making more money than I’ve ever made, I’ve got a new car (2014 Nissan Altima), and most importantly, I’ve got a new attitude.

I say this because just a couple of minutes ago, before I started writing this post, I began to get overwhelmed because I realized I wasn’t managing my time as wisely as I could have been. Normally it would have made me depressed and/or anxious. However, since I’ve been working on my approach to problem solving, I’m learning to assess the situation and look for a solution. I’m so proud of myself. For this reason, I am happy to welcome September because I am welcoming more than a new month. I am welcoming a new ME!!!

Love is a VERB!!!


This is just a couple of thoughts on my mind.  One thing that’s always on my mind- Love! It’s such a hard thing to “pin” down. Some say that love is a verb, like the song by L. Young:

There are so many kinds. I’m not seeking to explain them. That’s too big a job. What I’m seeking to express, to write about, is the kind of love that grabs hold of you and never lets go. It simply won’t. No matter how you try to rationalize it; no matter how you try to shake it; no matter how you try to tell yourself that you shouldn’t love them, no matter how much pain it’s causing. I’m talking about the kind that embeds itself so deeply within your soul. The kind that gives you butterflies just thinking about the moments spent together that mean so much to you. The kind that simply will NOT let go! It simply won’t!

Can we pinpoint that exact moment when we realized that this was a person who would change our lives so much? Can we remember that exact moment when this feeling- nay, this verb- took hold? What is it that makes this person so important? Why him/her? Was it ordained? Was it pre-determined from time immemorial?Why this person, of all the billions of people in the world? Why can’t you shake this person from your mind? From your heart? From your life? Why? Why? Why?

That’s what’s on my mind today? What’s on yours?

No Sunday Night Blues Today!


Dear Readers,

This time last week, I had the Sunday night blues! BAD!!!! I was so super stressed out that I thought I was going to burst a blood vessel. I’m really not kidding. It was because I didn’t know what to expect, didn’t know if I had enough material. I. JUST. DIDN’T. KNOW!

Now that I have a whole week under my belt, I am much better. I had a very relaxing weekend, went to Lakeshore, finished school shopping with my daughter, visited my sisters and my nieces and their children, relaxed, watched a couple of movies, etc. All things that I couldn’t do last weekend on account of the stress.

I figure I’ll be very comfortable with this whole process in about 2 months. by the time I will not have to bring work home. I will utilize my assistant who’s very efficient. I’m under the gun right now, but I am looking forward to very productive and exciting year. Here’s to expectations!

A Growth Mindset vs. a Fixed Mindset!


Dear Readers,

Have you ever heard of a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset? If you haven’t, then I am about to explain it. A Growth Mindset is a good thing to have. It’s a belief that you can make a difference.

The flip side of this is a Fixed Mindset where you believe that your path is fixed and you cannot make a change.

Here is a Tedx Talk by Edward Briceño. I’m having a little trouble posting it, so just in case it doesn’t show up here’s the website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN34FNbOKXc

The Real Reason why children fidget! by Angela Hanscom


Dear Readers,

I found this excellent article that purports to explain why children fidget. Read this and see if you agree. Enjoy!

WHY CHILDREN FIDGET: And what we can do about it
Angela Hanscom – Thursday, June 05, 2014

A perfect stranger pours her heart out to me over the phone. She complains that her six-year-old son is unable to sit still in the classroom. The school wants to test him for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This sounds familiar, I think to myself. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’ve noticed that this is a fairly common problem today.

The mother goes on to explain how her son comes home every day with a yellow smiley face. The rest of his class goes home with green smiley faces for good behavior. Every day this child is reminded that his behavior is unacceptable, simply because he can’t sit still for long periods of time.

The mother starts crying. “He is starting to say things like, ‘I hate myself’ and ‘I’m no good at anything.’” This young boy’s self-esteem is plummeting all because he needs to move more often.Read More »

My Voice!


Dear Readers,

Isn’t it funny how certain events in our life seem to correlate with one another. I’m talking about my voice, literally and figuratively. For the longest time I’ve felt as if my voice hasn’t been heard; in my personal life, at work, at church, etc. Well, once my church got it’s new pastor, I decided to go to work. I joined the Praise team (choir), started going to Bible study, and teaching the little children at Bible study.

Even though the problem was there beforehand, I only noticed and began piecing things together during choir rehearsal. Since I am soprano, I naturally sing high. However, if I am forced to sing low, my voice virtually disappears. It seems really tiny. But my voice didn’t just seem like that in choir rehearsal. It was like that in almost every aspect of my life. At work, in my relationships, etc.

I actually had a disturbing dream the other day where I was running from an attacker and couldn’t call for help. I was opening my mouth but nothing would come out. I was so puzzled because I knew that I should have been able to voice my concerns, but strangely unable to. Once I woke up and calmed down, I knew perfectly well what my subconscious was trying to tell me.

I vowed to myself to get myself heard. I’ll say that it’s worked because now that I’ve been singing in the choir for a couple of months my voice is stronger. I noticed that my voice is not only stronger in choir, but at work and my everyday life.

Since I prize my voice so highly, no one is happier than I am with the new developments. I will continue to speak up for myself and let my voice be heard. Thank you for listening!

Bye for now!

Troubled, Not Dangerous???


Dear Readers,

I’ve been meaning to write everyday, but have been so beat when I get home. All I want to do is sleep because my students are so exhausting. I am excited to be writing again even though it’s not as often as I’d like. Today, I’d like to write about my students, who my director says are troubled, but not dangerous. Well, I beg differ. Two of them have brought knives in the last month. One student had 6 fights in one day. While two of my other students jumped another student in class. Initially I was shielding the student that got jumped but had to move out of the way to call for help because they were going to get to him whether I was there or not.

Well, as I wrote in my earlier post, it’s no longer my problem as I am moving to Elementary where the students are much calmer. Also, I will have two assistants that come to work on a daily basis that have the students under control. I’ll let you know how things work out. Bye for now!

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly!


Dear Readers,

I’ve been reading my last couple of posts and it feels as if I haven’t been completely honest with you. I’ve only written about the good part of working with children in an NPS (Seeing results). Well, if any of you know anything about working in an NPS, it is that it is not pretty. I hadn’t written about it because I didn’t want to throw a pity party of one for myself. So, what I’m going to do is get out what I think and try not to revisit it. I can’t make any promises though.

Here’s what’s good:

  • The food in the cafeteria is fantastic.
  • I see my hard work paying off with a couple of students.
  • Students leaving and returning to public school.
  • Keeping hope alive.
  • NPS almost always get out earlier than public school.
  • They have many enrichment activities.
  • Some kids do appreciate me.
  • Some kids do have my back.
  • I have and will do my best for those who want the help.
  • I make way more money here than I did at my other job.
  • It’s closer to my house.
  • I can sometimes pick up my son & daughter.
  • I don’t bring work home because of my prep periods.
  • I love the staff.

Here is the bad & the ugly:Read More »

A Long (But Good) Week!


Dear Readers,

This week seemed to be an especially long week. I had a couple of moments when I wished that Calgon would take me away. However, I also had some incredibly fantastic moments. The tough moments were frustrating, but I made it through. So, I will just concentrate on the incredibly fantastic moments.

Here are the incredibly fantastic moments:

  • One student who’s known for stealing gave my scissors back to me,
  • A student that’s been absent for almost 2 weeks returned to school,
  • A student gave me a hug,
  • Only 3/12 students were sent out of the class all week, as opposed to 6 students on one day during my first week,
  • All of my students love my classroom economy system and have bought into it ,
  • Three students apologized for their behaviour,
  • All of my students “got” division,
  • Last, but definitely not least) My toughest student came to school in a foul mood, accepted a hug when I offered it to him, and didn’t disrupt the class as much as he used to.
  • He then sat down and completed all of his work. He wasn’t sent out of the class once. In fact, he was the only one that was well behaved enough to buy from the classroom store.

That’s all I can think of for now, but that’s plenty. All in all, I guess the good trumped the bad. I’ll keep you updated! Bye for now!

The Best Complaint Ever, Part 2


Dear Readers,

Do you remember last week when I wrote about one of my students who was upset and complained to the Director of the school because I was trying to teach them & reading to them? Well, today, as I was writing the agenda on the board, he asked about Story time.

“Miss, how come you don’t read to us any more?,” he asked.

I told him that the class is too rowdy and noisy and no one  can hear me read.

“Okay, so if we’re quiet, you’ll read to us?,” he asked.

I told him that I would, so he proceeded to shush the students. Now, let me make it clear. This “kid” is the tough guy of Middle School. For him to shush the kids so that I could read Lulu’s Hat by Susan Meddaugh was really saying something. So, although I wasn’t planning on reading it, he shushed the class and got them quiet, so I read two chapters to them. Guess what? They were actually quiet.

How’s that for progress?

Learning Formula


Dear Readers, I was talking to my husband today about learning and if there’s a formula for it. That’s what jogged my memory regarding a formula I came up with. It’s pretty simple & straightforward.

Here it is: Learning the information + Making a connection with the information + Application of the information= Synthesis of information.

If you’re a teacher, have you found this to be true? Let me know what you think!

Happy September!!!


Oh, yeah!!! School has started. That means 3 out of 4 of my children are in school. My oldest son is wandering. I’m going to go talk to him about his plans. I understand trying to find yourself, but you have to “find” yourself on your own dime. Sorry if anyone thinks that’s harsh, but he will be 24 years old in October. So, either he needs to go to the service, get a job, or go to school.

That’s that & I’ll deal with it accordingly. I am writing because I am so happy the summer is over. It was one of the toughest summers of my life. I hope to never have a hard summer like this past one. However, I digress. I made it and that’s what’s important.

So, I’ll be writing more now that I am not so preoccupied. Here’s to more posts!

Bye for now!!!

25 Things Successful Educators Do by Julie DeNeen (21-25)


Dear Readers,

Here are the last 5 parts:

21. Successful educators bring fun into the classroom

Don’t be too serious. Some days, “fun” should be the goal. When students feel and see your humanness, it builds a foundation of trust and respect. Fun and educational aren’t mutually exclusive either. Using humor can make even the most mundane topic more interesting.

22. Successful educators teach holistically

Learning does not happen in a vacuum. Depression, anxiety, and mental stress have a severe impact on the educational process. It’s crucial that educators (and the educational model) take the whole person into account. You can have the funniest and most innovative lesson on algebra, but if your student has just been told his parents are getting a divorce, you will not reach him.

23. Successful educators never stop learning

Good teachers find time in their schedule to learn themselves. Not only does it help bolster your knowledge in a certain subject matter, it also puts you in the position of student. This gives you a perspective about the learning process that you can easily forget when you’re always in teaching mode.

24. Successful educators break out of the box

It may be a self-made box. “Oh I could never do that,” you say to yourself. Perhaps you promised you’d never become the teacher who would let the students grade each other (maybe you had a bad experience as a kid). Sometimes the biggest obstacle to growth is us. Have you built a box around your teaching methods? Good teachers know when it’s time to break out of it.

25. Successful educators are masters of their subject

Good teachers need to know their craft. In addition to the methodology of “teaching”, you need to master your subject area. Learn, learn, and never stop learning. Successful educators stay curious.

About

Julie DeNeen has her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Haven. She spent several years working for a local Connecticut school at the district level, implementing new technologies to help students and teachers in the classroom. She also taught workshops to teachers about the importance of digital student management software, designed to keep students, parents, and teachers connected to the learning process.

25 Things Successful Educators Do by Julie DeNeen (16-20)


Dear Readers,

Here are the next 5:

16. Successful educators welcome change in the classroom

This relates to the above tip, but in a slightly different way. Have you ever been so bored with your house or your bedroom, only to rearrange it and have it feel like a new room? Change ignites the brain with excitement and adventure. Change your classroom to keep your students on their toes. Simple changes like rearranging desks and routines can breathe new life in the middle of a long year.

17. Successful educators take time to explore new tools

With the advance of technology, there are fresh new resources and tools that can add great functionality to your classroom and curriculum. There is no doubt that the students you are teaching (far younger than you) probably already have a pulse on technologies you haven’t tapped into yet. Don’t be afraid to push for technology in the classroom. It is often an underfunded area but in this current world and climate, your students will be growing up in a world where technology is everywhere. Give them a headstart and use technology in your classroom.

18. Successful educators give their students emotional support

There are days when your students will need your emotional support more than a piece of information. Connecting to your students on an emotional level makes it more likely that they will listen to your counsel and take your advice to heart. Students need mentors as much as they need teachers.

19. Successful educators are comfortable with the unknown

It’s difficult to teach in an environment where you don’t know the future of your classroom budget, the involvement of your student’s parents, or the outcome of all your hard work. On a more philosophical level, educators who teach the higher grades are tasked with teaching students principles that have a lot of unknowns (i.e. physics). How comfortable are you with not having all the answers? Good teachers are able to function without everything tied up neatly in a bow.

20. Successful educators are not threatened by parent advocacy

Unfortunately, parents and teachers are sometimes threatened by one another. A teacher who is insecure will see parent advocacy as a threat. While there are plenty of over-involved helicopter parents waiting to point out a teacher’s mistakes, most parents just want what’s best for their child. Successful educators are confident in their abilities and not threatened when parents want to get into the classroom and make their opinions known. Good teachers also know they don’t have to follow what the parent recommends!

25 Things Successful Educators Do by Julie DeNeen (11-15)


Dear Readers,

Here are the next 5:

11. Successful educators are reflective

In order to avoid becoming the stuck and stubborn teacher, successful educators take time to reflect on their methods, their delivery, and the way they connect with their students. Reflection is necessary to uncover those weaknesses that can be strengthened with a bit of resolve and understanding.

12. Successful educators seek out a mentor for themselves

Reflective teachers can easily get disheartened if they don’t have someone a bit older and wiser offering support. You are never too old or wise for a mentor. Mentors can be that voice that says, “Yes your reflections are correct,” or “No, you are off because….” and provide you with a different perspective.

13. Successful educators communicate with parents

Collaboration between parents and teachers is absolutely crucial to a student’s success. Create an open path of communication so parents can come to you with concerns and you can do the same. When a teacher and parents present a united front, there is a lower chance that your student will fall through the cracks.

14. Successful educators enjoy their work

It is easy to spot a teacher who loves their work. They seem to emanate contagious energy. Even if it on a subject like advanced calculus, the subject comes alive. If you don’t love your work or your subject, it will come through in your teaching. Try to figure out why you feel so unmotivated and uninspired. It might have nothing to do with the subject, but your expectations. Adjust them a bit and you might find your love of teaching come flooding back.

15. Successful educators adapt to student needs

Classrooms are like an ever-evolving dynamic organism. Depending on the day, the attendance roster, and the phase of the moon, you might have to change up your plans or your schedule to accommodate your students. As they grow and change, your methods might have to as well. If your goal is to promote a curriculum or method, it will feel like a personal insult when you have to modify it. Make connecting with your student your goal and you’ll have no trouble changing it up as time moves on.

25 Things Successful Educators Do by Julie DeNeen (6-10)


Dear Readers,

Here are the next 5:

6. Successful educators expect their students to succeed

This concept is similar for parents as well. Students need someone to believe in them. They need a wiser and older person to put stock in their abilities. Set the bar high and then create an environment where it’s okay to fail. This will motivate your students to keep trying until they reach the expectation you’ve set for them.

7. Successful educators have a sense of humor

Humor and wit make a lasting impression. It reduces stress and frustration, and gives people a chance to look at their circumstances from another point of view. If you interviewed 1000 students about their favorite teacher, I’ll bet 95% of them were hysterical.

8. Successful educators use praise smartly

Students need encouragement yes, but real encouragement. It does no good to praise their work when you know it is only 50% of what they are capable of. You don’t want to create an environment where there is no praise or recognition; you want to create one where the praise that you offer is valuable BECAUSE you use it judiciously.

9. Successful educators know how to take risks

There is a wise saying that reads, “Those who go just a little bit too far are the ones who know just how far one can go.” Risk-taking is a part of the successful formula. Your students need to see you try new things in the classroom and they will watch closely how you handle failure in your risk-taking. This is as important as what you are teaching.

10. Successful educators are consistent

Consistency is not to be confused with “stuck”. Consistency means that you do what you say you will do, you don’t change your rules based on your mood, and your students can rely on you when they are in need. Teachers who are stuck in their outdated methods may boast consistency, when in fact it is cleverly masked stubbornness.

25 Things Successful Educators Do by Julie DeNeen (1-5)


Dear Readers,

Since I have the time in summer, I read, read, and read some more. That’s how I found this little gem by Julie DeNeen of inform(ED). To make it easier to digest, piece by piece, I will break it into five parts. Here are the first five:

1. Successful educators have clear objectives

How do you know if you are driving the right way when you are traveling somewhere new? You use the road signs and a map (although nowadays it might be SIRI or a GPS). In the world of education, your objectives for your students act as road signs to your destination. Your plan is the map. Making a plan does not suggest a lack of creativity in your curriculum but rather, gives creativity a framework in which to flourish.Read More »

We Are Family???? Part 3


Ok, Dear Readers,

I’m back. I’ve been so underwhelmed this year by my passion for teaching. It just wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened, but I just didn’t have it. It seems like I was only able to bring my “B” game this year. Not bad, but not good. It’s barely above average, and average is not an adjective I want to ascribe to myself.

So, I’ve had a little time to think about this “being a family thing” that I’ve been wrestling with. My philosophy has been to make my class a family, so they will love and respect each other, stick together; especially since Special Education students are usually outcasts. I wanted them to always feel safe in my class. That’s why I instill confidence in my students. No students come into my classroom and leave the same way. Only two times has it been bad, and both times have been this year.

Let me explain, two of my students, who I’ll call Rachel & Lorena, have been more than a handful all year. One student, Rachel, has been my student since last year. She was the sweetest little girl. Now, this year, she’s been quite mean; so unlike herself. Last year she didn’t speak English really well and was a little self-conscious. I kept working with her and built up her confidence. She made friends with the other girls who didn’t accept her, at first, and absolutely blossomed. Her English improved and her people skills, arguably, got better also.

All of this made me upset. Here I am trying to help her and she turns around and bites my hand. So, I was talking to my friend, Danika, and she made me feel better. She said that you can only know what people show you. Apparently, it took her a while to show her true colors. When she did, she did.

I have since stopped beating myself up about this. I will meet my new students & decide what to do from there. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

How to get students to follow directions the first time


Dear Readers,

I came across this very nice post, written by Angela Watson. It’s nine tips to get your students to follow directions the first time. I’m going to use them. Here’s her entire article. However, if you’d like a look-see, here’s the link:

How to get students to listen to and follow directions the FIRST time!

Since this is the beginning of the school year, I know you haven’t reached the point in the school year where you’re having some moments when you feel like you’ll lose your mind if you have to repeat yourself one. more. time. And that’s perfectly normal. A big part of a teacher’s job is teaching students to listen, follow directions, and be self-directed and independent in their work, and that means LOTS of repetition and reinforcement. It can be exhausting, for sure, so here are some tips to help kids listen to your directions and follow them the first time:Read More »

Happy Mother’s Day & Graduation to ME!


leilacover

Dear Readers,

Today, I have at least three great things going for me. First, I am a mother, and have been for over 23 years. My children range in age from 11-23. So, HAPPY, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to me!

Secondly, I walked across the stage today at LMU for my Master’s in Special Education and my Education Specialist teaching credential. YAY ME!!! It was a struggle, but it’s done. Next step is Ph.D when Phillise graduates from high school in 8 years!

Lastly, I’ve been blogging for 6 years now! I can’t believe it. The time has simply flown by. I sometimes look back on my posts and see how far I’ve come. Lately, I’ve been a little discouraged. I’ve gotten better though. I was only looking at the negative and not the positive. I’ve been meditating and reading Iyanla & keeping my thoughts positive. I just might make it. I’M GOING TO MAKE IT!!!

I am the little engine that could. I’ve progress from I think I can to I know I can and will!

Thank you for being there Dear Readers. Here’s some pictures of me on my special day today!

Self-portraits @ 42, almost 43 years old!

photo(16)      photo(13)

My husband and my four children relaxing after graduation!

photo(12)

Burned Up Me!!!


Dear Readers,

I am so very, very grateful for God having his hands on me. I say this because a couple of weeks ago as I was driving home, I noticed that someone’s car was smoking. As I looked into the rear view mirror, lo and behold, I discovered it was, in fact, my car that was doing the smoking. You could have knocked me over with a feather!

Once I noticed, I attempted to slow down, but couldn’t. Why? Well, it was because I had no brakes. Quite odd since I had brakes just two minutes before that. I didn’t panic though. I was very calm. It was like a supernatural calm. (My best friend, Danika, didn’t even realize how bad the situation was because I was so calm.)

I managed to pull the emergency brake and pull over. I thank God that nothing happened. I didn’t hit any cars, parked or otherwise; I didn’t hit any people. I didn’t hit any buildings or destroy anyone’s property. The fact that I didn’t was a minor miracle.

Once I pulled over, I gathered myself and called my husband to call AAA. Then I called 911 who dispatched a fire truck. They were very nice as they put the fire out. They believe it was the brake line that caught fire!

Looking at my car and thinking about the accident I was in last year, on Valentine’s Day, I thank God that he has he hand on me. I was slightly shaken but not bruised.

The accident yesterday makes two potentially fatal accidents I could have been in in less than a year’s time, that I walked away from without so much of a scratch. I feel very blessed this morning. I feel like screaming and shouting from the rooftops.

Once I was safely in the rental car, the song My Soul Looks Back came to mind because I truly wonder how I’ve made it through the past couple of years. God has truly been good to me!

Too Successful???


***Warning- This post is a little wordy!***

Dear Readers,

I find myself with quite an unusual situation of being too successful! Is there such a thing? Apparently there is. Let me explain.

Yesterday I was the representative of my school for Coaster’s initial I.E.P. It was relatively small. It consisted of the Assistant Principal (who’s in charge of Special Education-A.P.E.I.S. or A.P. for short), the school psychologist, the RSP teacher, Coaster’s mom, and I. It was held in the A.P.’s office; really small and cozy. Very nice, not intimidating at all. Not only that, but the school goes to the 6th grade, which would give Coaster an additional year in elementary school. The only thing I disagreed with was the psychologist’s use of jargon that was not explained to Coaster’s mom. Other than that the meeting went very smoothly.

The reason I say that I was too successful is because Coaster qualified for Specific Learning Disability (SLD) instead of Autism (Aut). I asked the school psychologist about it and she said that she wanted to observe him more because she didn’t see as many of the behaviors usually prevalent with children with autism.

I was thinking, “Boy, she should have seen him last year before I started working with him!”

Coaster’s mom told them that Coaster is a different person thanks to me. After I detailed the various behavior modification techniques I used with Coaster, the School Psychologist said she now understood why she didn’t see some of the behaviors she was expecting.

I was happy on one hand, but not so happy on the other. On one hand I am happy for Coaster that his behavior has improved so much, to the point of his behaviors upgrading from severe to moderately low; which means a better of quality for life for him. On the other hand I am unhappy because it was my hope that Coaster’s offer of a Free & Appropriate Public Education (F.A.P.E.) would be placement in a class specifically for students with Autism. However, his offer of F.A.P.E. was an hour of Resource class 1-2/week.

I then asked if the offer of a Special Day Class/Program (SDC/P) was even an option because the 6th grade class size is 30 students. There is no way that Coaster will be able to cope with 30 students. He would positively have a meltdown on the first day of school. The AP said that the F.A.P.E. offer would was his Least Restrictive Environment (L.R.E.) and that he needed to be placed in his L.R.E. first. She was correct, but I am still worried about his mental well-being should his mom choose to put him in that school next year.

FINAL OUTCOME: His mom, as I expected, rejected the F.A.P.E. offer because she didn’t want him to leave our school. I understand that. He does NOT adapt to change well. So, he will finish out the remainder of the school year at our school and hopefully be placed in his school of residence next year. Even though his mother rejected the F.A.P.E. offer that was offered to her, some services were offered. The services offered will be in the form of 12 hours of training for me to learn more strategies to deal with Coaster. It wasn’t the best case scenario but at least his mother now has a clearer picture of his disability.

Although I am really sad that he will be leaving at the end of the school year, it is for the best. It really makes me wonder how many students with disabilities drop out of high school because of the low chances for success. I know the number is high. Too high!

Although I can’t save them all, it is my desire to work on those students one at a time! Imagine if more and more people did that? Everyone can contribute just a little. Bye for now Dear Readers!

Half Full? or Half Empty? (or All About the Solutions!!!)


To quote Adrian Monk, “It’s a gift and a curse!”

Is the glass half full or is it half empty? It all depends on how you look at it. I’ve always had the ability to identify problems. This can be seen as a negative or a positive. In my life, it’s mostly been a negative. However, in the classroom, it’s definitely a positive. I can spend 5-10 minutes with a child and be able to tell you so much about them. People wonder how I’m able to do that! Well, it’s amazingly simple- Just listen! Children are amazingly self-aware. If you ask them, 9/10 times they will tell you what you want to know.

Since I’m tired, I will not write a long drawn out post. I will simply wind this up. Being able to identify problems is a good skill to have, but it’s only half the battle. Now, since I’m the Inclusion Specialist at my school, I’m the one responsible for finding solutions. Believe me when I say that I’ve been working overtime doing just that. I’m all about the solutions.

Now, in addition to finding problems, I’ve found that I also have the ability for finding solutions. It’s funny what you learn about yourself when you’re under pressure or you have to do what you have to do. One other problem I have the answer to is…Sleep! I’m on my way to bed! Goodnight!

How Far I’ve Come!


One of my favorite songs is, “Come This Far by Faith.” I’m not sure if that’s actually the name of the song, but that’s what I know it by. The words go:

We’ve come this far by faith,

Oooh, yeah, leaning on the Lord,

Trusting in his holy word,

He’s never failed me yet,

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, Can’t turn around. We’ve come this far by faith!

Let me tell you something, Dear Reader, I have come this far by faith. Even though I had to reach deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, deep down, I did manage to Hold On For One More Day.

I’ve been reflecting on the past couple of years and cannot believe I made it through. Although there were more than enough times when I didn’t think that I would, I did! You know what, I embrace it all; all of the hard times, suicidal times, even the  times when I reached rock bottom. ALL of it!!!

Recently, I read something that sums it up perfectly. Like to hear it, here it goes:

Pain makes you STRONGER,

Tears make you BRAVER,

Heartbreak makes you WISER,

So, thank the past for a better future.

I could not agree more. During the time when I was going through some of the worst times of my life, I did not and could not  appreciate what this little poem is expressing. To me, life was just too hard and I was tired of living. Now that I’m “out of the fire” I see things differently. I can appreciate that Pain has made me stronger and that my Tears have made me braver, and that Heartbreak has made me wiser. I would like to take time to thank my past for the future I’ve been prepared for. I could not have imagined doing this even 6 months ago.

Yes, Dear Readers, I have come very far. I’m so proud of myself for having the wherewithal to reflect even when I felt like I simply could not take anymore; when I felt like I wanted to curse the day for waking up. I can’t lie, some days I did curse the day. However, once those days became fewer and farther in between, I knew I was at the end of my trial.

If you would like some encouragement, look back on my posts from October 2009 and you will see how far I’ve come. I was so at the end of my rope, I did NOT think I would make it. But, I did!!!

So, if at all possible, I would like to encourage you if you are at the end of your rope. Don’t let go. Hang on!! Even though it may not seem like it, things will get better. JUST HOLD ON!

Journey 2 the Center of…ME!!!


I’ve been on a quest to conquer my laziness this summer. But, with a limited budget since I don’t get paid in the summer, I’ve been searching out free activities in the surrounding cities. Some of the activities I’ve found:

  • free movies at the local Rave theaters. They’re old, but still relevant.
  • LAPL has book clubs with free crafts on different days,
  • LACMA’s Friday night Jazz,
  • the Howard Hughes Promenade jazz on Saturday nights,
  • Baldwin Hills Crenshaw plaza free concerts.Read More »

Lakeshore’s People Colored Crayons & Loving Yourself!


This is just a observation of mine I discovered regarding students who are insecure in themselves. I actually begin the school year using this as a test. It’s not foolproof though, since there are some students who aren’t aware of their skin tone, but I use it anyway. That’s one of the reasons I love, love, love Lakeshore’s people-colored-crayons and what they represent. It helps me know which students I need to work with on their self-esteem. At the beginning of the school year I make it a point to have my students pick the color closest to their skin color. The students who aren’t secure with themselves or who don’t like their color invariably pick a color nowhere near their own skin tone. It’ usually about two shades lighter than their actual skin tone. Imagine my surprise when the same thing happened with Hispanic students. I thought this was a phenomenon exclusive to black children. Has this happened in your class or with someone else you know? What say you?

The Meaning of Life…


***WARNING- I RAMBLE A LOT IN THIS POST. I MEAN IT. THIS POST IS ALL OVER THE PLACE.***

Does anyone remember the show Step by Step? There was this really air-headed character by the name of Cody. Cody & the other characters on the show had a contest to see who could stay up the longest? Well, the longer they were woke, the smarter and less air-headed Cody became. He was just about to discover the meaning of life when he passed out from delirium and lack of sleep.

Well, my experience is the exact opposite. When I am not getting enough sleep, I get delirious, but not smarter. In fact, I do what I call Midnight Thinking. It’s the time when you think you are putting out brilliant thought after thought, when, in fact, you are actually kickin’ kaknowledge.

So, I said/wrote all that to say that I have been having mind-blowing revelations lately. With a little downtime, I’ve been able to clear my mind & come up with some badly needed answers in my personal & professional life.

I was also thinking about how this blog never fully recovered after I posted about losing faith a couple of years ago when I was having such a hard, hard time in my life. I was expressing my disillusionment & loss of faith. I was having trouble with the saying, “God never puts more on you than you can bare!” I took issue with that because I felt like I did have more on me than I could bare. I simply shut down. I haven’t fully recovered, partially because nothing has really changed. But, since this blog cannot take another hit like I did a couple of years ago, I will simply keep it to myself.

I was also thinking about attraction between two people. What makes one person believe they have to have that one special person?

I was also thinking about my plans for next year. This, as per the last couple of years, has been a hard year for me, both personally & professionally. I can only hope that the next school year will be better.

I have so many, many thoughts in my head that need to come out. However, I can’t seem to organize them. When I can’t, I get a post like this. I’ll try to keep it together.

After You’ve Done All You Can…


Right now I am listening to one of my favorite songs of all time- Stand by Donnie McClurkin. This song has gotten me through so many different situations. I’m listening to it because, even though there are only about 5 weeks left in the school year, I still have parents complaining left & right. One I’m so through with I don’t know what to do. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a back stabber. I would really much rather have someone punch me in my face that stab me in the back. But I guess that’s not how the world works now, is it?

I’m not going to make this a long post. I will simple say that I will listen to stand before I go to school, while I’m at school, and after I get home. I have an early morning meeting called by the Title I teacher to address two of my student’s deficits. I’m glad she called it because I was not going to call it. The mother of the two students has a problem twisting my words. That, however, is a story for tomorrow. I’ll write all about it tomorrow because for some people, your all just doesn’t seem to be enough. So, until then, Dear Readers, have a great night!

Validating Me in the Wrong Way?


Today, I was talking to a popular sub @ my school who has the same teaching style I do. She’s tough! well, I was talking to her about my class’ behavior and she totally validated me.

“Yeah, they”re a little rambunctious!” she said.

“Ok,” I thought. She validated my thoughts on them…but in the wrong way!