Categories
Raising Responsible Students

The Controversy of the No Zero Grading Policy

Essential Question: Does giving learners no lower than a 50 percent as an overall grade, even when they have not done anything, helping or hurting the learner?

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In a few states, the no zero grading policy has been making some tremendous waves. Teachers and parents have been wondering if this policy really helps the child or does it hinder. The district leaders have said it gives students “a chance” to succeed but does it really?  Hmmm, inquiring minds would like to know.

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I think the grievance that teachers have, is if a student does absolutely nothing in their classes, the student would still receive a 50 percent as an overall grade instead of what they truly deserved. This further supports their argument that if a student receives a 50 percent first quarter, then does enough in class to earn at least a “C” second quarter, and receives a passing grade on the final exam, they could still pass the class with at least a “C”.

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This fact enrages some teachers for many different reasons.

Reason 1 – Students are receiving credit for doing absolutely nothing.

Reason 2 – This is not preparing students for reality because community colleges, and universities STILL give students what they really earn, not a 50 percent for doing nothing.  

Reason 3 – When a student enters the workplace, they will receive feedback based on their work performance and will not be given anything other than their work performance.

Reason 4 – How would it appear if teachers decided to work 50 percent of the day but STILL expected 100 percent pay? It would be safe to assume they would not have a career in their professional for very long.

            The other thing to consider is that there are cases where students still do not pass the class after receiving a 50 percent, so the no-zero policy is not always a win-win situation for learners. In retrospect, it is about principle.

            Giving a grade without having to earn it is an ethical issue because it essentially is saying that it is ok to do nothing and still receive something. For example, a student that earns a 53 percent by actually turning in work, while another does nothing and earns a 50 percent. Does this seem ethical? By doing this, is our educational system preparing learners to go as further or preparing them to only go as far as their true intellect?

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As education moves forward, what will happen if this no zero grading policy continues? Will it help or hurt our learners? Will it create the Dunning-Kruger Effect in some of these students, where they feel more qualified than they really are?

Giving a grade without expecting work, is like giving a cart without wheels. The cart itself may seem like a beneficial resource at the time, but without the wheels it will become more difficult to use as it becomes full.

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So, does giving learners no lower than a 50 percent as an overall grade, even when they have not done anything, helping or hurting the learner? Just food for thought.

Wellness Tip: Healthy Smile. Schedule a dental exam or cleaning and stick to it.

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” ~Malcolm X

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Resources

https://www.wflx.com/2018/09/24/teacher-upset-about-no-zero-grading-policy/

https://www.fox5dc.com/news/no-zero-policy-at-maryland-school-draws-scrutiny

Categories
Letting go of the Past

Letting go of the Past Bomb

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I was reflecting on a book I read over 17 years ago about getting people, past events and regrets out and making room for the right things instead. How often are people living a low quality of life because they choose to live in the past by allowing something or someone the permission to have a “seat” in their lives, who should have been asked to “please get up and leave,” a long time ago?

The good news is, that there is a thing called choice, and we all have access to it.

We can choose to continue providing a seat for past regrets, situations, humiliations, and toxic people; or we could choose to ask them to “please get up and leave,” so that we can make room for the present and the future.

I want to preface this by saying I am not only referring to people. I am also referring to habits, occupations and organizations we belong to. Some of us are still working in positions that we should have left a long time ago, but because of job security, decided not to step out on faith.

Some of us have habits that are unhealthy, unproductive and/or expensive, that we need to give up so that we can make room for something better. Some of us are a part of organizations (civic, volunteer, congregations, frat/soro, etc…) that have run their course in our lives, but because of a sense of cause, duty, or validation, continue on in them. This is not to say, do not belong to any organizations, it is to make sure you are a part of the right organization; one in which you are a proper fit.

We have to be willing to let go of the wrong placement, in order to make room for where we are supposed to be. Otherwise, you will look like the illustration below.

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From this day forth, view the bad parts of your past; and all that encompass as a ticking time bomb that will soon explode, and end up destroying your present and future. This may seem a bit melodramatic, but what else will it take to finally decide on letting go?

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Some of us are collectors of useless things, and eventually, if we continue to take care of those “useless unproductive things,” our energy, time and most importantly space will be unavailable when something better is introduced and what happens when you are looking for a seat, and all are taken? You keep moving. This is what good things that are supposed to be in our lives will do if we stay full of rubbish, it will keep moving.

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Reflection

Get a notebook, iPad, or Notepad on your phone. Write down these categories:

  1. People
  2. Organizations I belong to
  3. Habits
  4. Hobbies

Underneath each category, write down The Three P’s:

  1. Productive
  2. Positivity
  3. Passionate

At this point, I would personally choose to pray about this, but overall the objective is to evaluate the categories and see if the items in them should continue having a seat in your life. If you find you are no longer passionate, productive and it no longer brings positivity into your life; then I suggest asking it to “please get up and leave.”

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After doing this exercise you will free up time, energy and space for something better to come into your life and you will appreciate it, when “something better” comes along.

            You may actually be the person holding yourself up, you may be your worst enemy, so don’t be afraid to “Let go of the Past Bomb.”

Wellness Tip: Stretch more often and be mindful of your posture.

“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.” ~Josef Albers

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Categories
purpose

Double-Minded Island

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I am back from my hiatus on Double-Minded Island. Double-Minded Island is an Island shaped like a hand and is a place people end up who are in the valley of decisions.

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On the island, as I was reflecting about life and where I wanted to go from this point, a memory of a time come to mind. It was a little over 12 years ago when I had been applying to different alternative teaching programs around the U.S. and internationally. It was a very confusing time. I had been praying for clarification because every opportunity that came appeared to be a good idea, but as we know, not everything that is “good” is of “God.”

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One day, I was visiting an old building that I used to rent for a business I owned. The new owners had made the building into a used bookstore that I frequented from time to time. As I stood in line to purchase a book, a man came behind me that looked like a character from a Canterbury Tales novel, beard and all.

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As I was standing in line, taking my wallet out for payment, the gentleman behind me asked about a picture in my wallet of a family member. After providing some insight about that family member, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision about moving lately? I was surprised because I had been trying to decide on whether or not to move. He told me to hold out my hand, he wanted to use it as an analogy. He held up my pointer finger and said, “This is your who, the middle finger is your what, the ring finger is your when, the pinky finger is your where and your thumb finger is your why.” He went on to say, “Never make a decision to do anything, unless the why makes sense. The why functions like your thumb and without it, you won’t grip very well, or hold on to anything for long.” He told me praying about it will help me make sound decisions.” Afterwards I thanked him, and he mentioned he had to go walk to the store up the road to get medicine for his wife. It was super cold outside that day, as it was mid-October, so I was surprised he was walking. After I paid, I went outside to make sure he was ok and there was no sign of him anywhere.

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I got into my car and sat there thinking at how much God must really care to send a stranger to tell me something like that when I really needed hear it. As I prayed and reflected on the positions I vacillated between, I thought about my hands, my fingers and my why. As I did this, things became much clearer. I began to ask myself, “Why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why behind me going was not for me, but for others.

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We end up on Double-Minded Island because of discontentment. Discontentment usually comes from comparing ourselves to others. It can start small, walking by someone and noticing their designer watch or bag. Surfing through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, waterskiing and so on. It could even come from chatting with a friend and hearing about a really great experience they’ve recently had. All of these happenings could lead to discontentment and unhappiness in our own lives.

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I am glad I had that memory after my hiatus to Double-Minded Island because it reminded me the importance of knowing my why behind each decision I make. If you are trying to decide between a decision, and end up on Double-Minded Island and remember:

Pointer Finger – Who

Middle Finger – What

Ring Finger – When

Pinky Finger – Where

Thumb Finger – WHY

This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place. I leave you with these last words of encouragement.

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Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Wellness Tip:  Take vitamins. If you feel like you aren’t getting the nutrition you need from your diet, don’t hesitate to supplement it with specific vitamins to stay healthy and illness free.

Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one.” ~Dr. Kamina Fitzgerald

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Categories
Choosing Friends in Adulthood

The Playground Effect: Choosing Friends in Adulthood

         The school bell has rung, class is in now session

Do you remember the time in elementary school when you got the opportunity to go outside for recess? You were probably filled with the anticipation of meeting a new friend or two. As you approached the playground and saw a group of children, some questions may have begun to fill your mind. You may have wondered, “How will I make friends? How do I know which person would be a good friend?” It is interesting how similar choosing friends during adulthood, is to choosing friends as children. Of course, as an adult, we are not usually meeting our friends on the playground, but anytime we are placed in the position of interacting with new people as adults, it could feel as though we are being transported back to that very time.

The playground helped us chart our leisure connection with different individuals over the years, while being exposed to a variety of negative and positive personality traits. The very skills we gain on the playground can transcend to the workplace and friendships as adults. I would like to identify the concept I regard as The Playground Effect. The Playground Effect is a concept I came up with that explains how meeting people in adulthood, is not much different from meeting them as children. Some of us were able to learn from those experiences by being able to recognize toxic personality traits in people more readily; while others continue to ignore red flags and fall into the same traps over and over again.

In order to help you avoid the quicksand, I plan to discuss at least seven personality types you have encountered in the past, and still encounter today as “adults.” Being mindful of these past transactions will help identify personality traits and people you should embrace or avoid.

Let’s talk about the group of 7 people/personalities to avoid according to The Playground Effect.

     1. The Mean Girls (or Guys)

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This group consist of people who typically judge others by what they wear, and the material things they have. They usually lack substance, and cannot be depended on, unless of course it is beneficial for them. The Mean Girl or Guy personality type will like you as long as you are in agreement with them, but as soon as you think differently from the “clique” you may become ostracized. It will be subtle at first, you will begin to notice little behavior changes like being left off the group chat, not being invited along to certain events, etc… Be aware of The Mean Girls (or Guys).

  1. The Sour ‘ole Gossips

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I do not know how many of you have seen one of my favorite movies of all time, Anne of Green Gables, but there was a neighbor name Rachel Lynde who loved to talk about people, and sometimes would be downright insulting. This is a person you may want to steer clear of unless they start to truly change. The sour ole gossip typically talks about other people in order to avoid recognizing or dealing with their own weaknesses. I know it is natural to share common news, but it is unnatural to be hurtful when doing so. The rule of thumb is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you would not want it said about you, then by all means; avoid saying it about others. Be aware of the Sour ‘ole Gossips.

  1. The Back Stabbers 

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The O’Jays said it best, “The smile in your face, all the time they want to take your place those back stabbers, back stabbers!” This is a group or person who will act like they are “with you” but in their heart they do not like you, nor want you succeed. A backstabber may or may not reveal their true intentions aloud, but their actions will usually tell on them every time. Pay very close attention to who you confide in, not everyone who say they are “for you” has your best interest at heart. Be aware of the Back Stabbers.

  1. Fair-Weathered Friends

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A Fair-Weathered Friend is a person who is there during the good times but are rarely there when you need them. In other words, they are not dependable. Fair-Weathered Friends are usually self-centered and only care about something when it is convenient for them. These people are typically easy to spot after a short period of time. Be aware of the Fair-Weathered Friend.

  1. The Emotional Vampire

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This type of person drains people of their energy with their excessive need for help, or expression of constant negativity. This person typically does not like to hear solutions to their problems but would prefer to continue talking about the problem while countering solutions with excuses. If this personality is around you too much, you will start to feel depressed and not realize the culprit. Evaluate your circle of people and pay attention to how you feel after spending time with certain people. It’s ok for people to vent, but if they are venting 98 percent of the time you are around them, it may be high time to separate yourself. Your sanity depends it. Be Aware of the Emotional Vampire.

  1. The Narcissist

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This personality type would take weeks to discuss, but in a nutshell; they only love themselves and none other, so do not take it personal. They do not notice how full of themselves they are, so being a true friend with this person is typically not going to work unless you are willing to be a “fan” instead of a “friend.” This person can only act like a friend to you, when it will benefit them.  So, ask yourself, “is this friendship truly worth it?” Be aware of the Narcissist.

  1. The (Negative) Influencer  

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These are some of the most dangerous friends to have because they can lead you to do things that can change your life forever. If you know right from wrong, it is best not to second guess yourself, and go in the opposite direction. These types of friends will not support you thinking for yourself and will usually try to convince you to do wrong. They are not reliable and are around during “fun times” but will leave you holding the bags when things go south. Be aware of The Negative Influencer.

We first recognized these personality traits at a young age, and even as adults they can still plague us. The good news is that the next time you are at an event and you meet a person, think back to when you were on the playground and the kids you chose to play with versus the kids you ended up leaving behind on the monkey bars; and go with that gut instinct. You can use those same skills today. The interesting thing I have found is if you can remember back to those times, your friend choices have not changed very much.

Take time to reflect, if you have a history of befriending negative people, it is time to make a change. I challenge you to start evaluating your friendships and cutting off the ones who fall into one of the seven categories above and make it your mission to become friends with the opposite of those people. If you use The Playground Effect when meeting new people, you may be able to avoid carrying negative “friend weight” around with you repeatedly. Life is too short to surround yourself with mean-spirited people, there are too many nice guys out there!

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            Wellness Tip: Don’t drink sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are among the most fattening items you can put into your body. This is because your brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does for solid food. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

The school bell has rung, class is dismissed

Categories
Ed.D. or Ph.D.

The Crossroads Between the Ed.D. and Ph. D. Program

The school bell has rung and class is now in session

Good day or evening, depending on your time-zone. I just wanted to write a blog about Ed.D.’s and Ph.D.’s because I have had a few people, who do not have either degree, ask about the differences or whether one is better than the other.

Let me preface this by saying, years ago I started an online Ph.D. in Business Administration program but stopped after two classes because the online format was not conducive to learning for me at that time.

A few years afterwards, I applied for two other doctoral programs: an Ed.D. and D.Min.. I was accepted to both but chose the Ed.D. because it seemed to fit my career path and would allow me to teach at a university which is my second career goal. I researched and saw that the D.Min. degree did not typically secure adjunct or full-time positions in higher education because it was mostly for people working in full-time ministry. The person could teach within ministry but are not often seen teaching in universities. This may vary because they may be hired to teach in some seminary programs. Instead of pursuing the D.Min., I decided to complete a Ministerial Training Program through church, in order to increase learning in that area.

After being in the Ed.D. program for a year, I was volunteering in a Youth Entrepreneur Program through a nonprofit and University School of Business Department. I was able to work with the Dean of the School of Business and some of other professors.

My background as a teacher consisted of teaching high school business courses 9 of my 12 years in education. I taught Accounting, Personal Finance, Computer Applications, Business Management, Career Management, and Technical Math. My undergraduate and graduate degree is in Business Administration, but I also obtained a Master’s in School Administration with a principal’s license which I decided to pursue once I made Education my career choice. While conversing with the Dean, she told me if I planned to teach in a School of Business at the university level, I should consider switching from the Ed.D. to a Ph.D. in Business. I told her that I thought I could still teach in the School of Business since I had a Master’s in Business Administration. She told me that I could but would have a better chance if I had a Ph.D. in Business.

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I went on a quest, looking up Schools of Business state and nation wide just to get a marginal figure of how many of the professors had Ed.D.’s or Ph.D.’s. While there were quite a few with Ph.D.’s there were also some Ed.D.’s. The interesting thing I noted was that Ed.D.’s were in other departments as well as long as those who had a Masters in the subject they were teaching. For example, a person with a Master’s in Science or Business with an Ed.D. could also teach in the School of Science or School of Business or the School of Education.

A person with their Ph.D. would normally be placed in a department based on their subject-matter expertise. For example, if a person has a Master’s in Business or Science with a Ph.D. in Nutrition, they would normally be placed in the Nutrition Department. While this individual could still work in the School of Business or the School of Science, they typically would go into the Nutrition Department; whereas I have seen people with their Ed.D. more readily spread throughout other departments based on the majors in their Master’s Program.

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Listening to the Dean of the School of Business, I decided to apply to UNC Greensboro’s School of Business because they had a really interesting program called “Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies.” The curriculum was fascinating and the amount of research their faculty had conducted was phenomenal, so I was excited to apply. Long story short, I applied and got accepted. I was at a crossroad. One year and foot into my Ed.D. program and the other foot aching to be in the Ph.D. program. What was a girl to do? I had to make a decision and had three months to do it.

I did some soul-searching and prayed for clarification. I decided to write down some goals which at the time was:

#1 Professional goal was to reach the School Superintendent level

#2 Professional goal is to become an adjunct and/or full-time professor

If you research Ed.D. degrees, they were made for serving the K-12 grade level. It teaches the candidate the ins and out of a school system, and how to bring it together within the community it serves.  A school district is not an organization but a living organism that consist of a lot of different functions that depend on one another. It is a challenging but rewarding career and is the kind of work that never gets boring.

I asked myself this question, if I were to receive my Ph.D. from the School of Business, would I remain in the K-12 school system or would I resign and pursue something in the business field? After looking in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (shout out to my former business students) I saw that the job availability in Business was slower than average and that it would be a challenge due to lack of positions so more than likely I would have chosen to stay in education even if I were to pursue the Ph.D. in Business.

When I looked up the job availability for principal and/or school superintendent positions, it listed faster than average because of the amount of people who would be retiring in the near future.

Remaining in the Ed.D. program was beginning to look more appealing. I also sought the advice from my mentor (a retired Assistant School Superintendent/Current full-time professor) and he mentioned that if I was going to remain in K-12, the Ed.D. was a better fit with the added perk that after I retire; I could still pursue an adjunct and/or full time professorship in the School of Education or School of Business.

In conclusion, I personally do not think one degree is better than the other because it honestly depends on what your future plans are. It is pure ignorance to make a blanket statement that one-degree program is better than the other, just “because it is” without knowing the person’s career aspirations. I feel I can say this because I have experienced both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. I was accepted into an online Ph.D., an in-person, brick and mortar, Ed.D. and Ph.D. program. I am coming from a place of understanding. I made a decision based on my research interest, current and future career goals. All of which are in accordance to personal preference.

Just remember that at the end of the day, Ed.D.’s and Ph.D.’s, will be both be called, Doctor So-And-So in the end.

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If you have any questions about Ed.D. or Ph.D. programs or need advice on any other graduate programs, leave a comment or email me on the contact page and I would be happy to get back to you. Happy Soul-Searching!

The school bell has rung, class dismissed

Wellness Tip: Clean out the pantry. Choose more natural foods and less processed foods.

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” ~Bruce Lee

Categories
Raising Responsible Students

Discipline: Shouldn’t the Home and School Environment be Equal?

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

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I was reading that a lot of virtual schools have been arriving on the scene lately and are geared towards students who cannot seem to function well in a structured classroom setting, or may have an attendance issue, and/or discipline problem. In these virtual schools, a teacher could have up to 400 students because statistically, all the students have not “shown up” for classes anyway; so, it is believed the teacher should be able to handle his or her class-load. I know some colleagues who teach in virtual schools, and honestly most students are not learning but simply working on modules and getting a mark for completion. How can they truly learn in this setting when they are in a “virtual” classroom full of 400 students and one teacher? Not to mention the majority of virtual school have an “F” report card. Check out the following article when given a chance, but please continue reading. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/virtual-schools/

This type of school has a market because there are so many students no longer being able or willing to obey school rules. So, after either being suspended, expelled or dropped for too many absences, their parents seek out a place their child can attend, and this usually results in either alternative school or a virtual school.

This type of disruptive behavior has also been tied to the reason many of the public-school teachers are no longer remaining in Education. One of the number one reasons teachers leave is because they do not receive adequate support from parents and/or administration when it comes to disciplining disruptive students. I personally have worked in schools that were super structured and implemented consistent discipline, and other schools, where the worst behaved students only got a slap on the wrist from administration and/or parents. So, put yourself in the mindset of a schoolteacher; which should not be hard because most, if not all of us, have attended school before.

teacher has the responsibility to give, share, explain knowledge (also known as curriculum/subject matter) to students. It is also their responsibility to uphold a certain code of ethics, while also being available to answer any questions the students may have in order to increase understanding.

student has the responsibility to learn, obtain, take notes, study, review the material/knowledge that the teacher has taught. Why? So that they can learn different skills they can later utilize in the workplace. Skills such as working in groups, note-taking, presenting, writing, typing, listening, and obtaining new knowledge of different subject matter (while also being able to review prior material learned). The way the school measures whether the student “has learned” is by providing formative assessments (homework, asking and answering questions in class, poster board, presentations, etc…) and summative assessments (unit test, chapter test, benchmarks, end of course or end of grade exams).

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A parent/guardian has the responsibility to ensure they are aware of what “The Teacher” is teaching and if their child appears to be learning the information or not. The sooner “learning or failing” is identified, the quicker the child’s lack of progress can be addressed. Don’t be like this parent:

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It is also the parent/guardian’s responsibility to ensure the child is going to bed on time, and yes this applies to high school children as well because there is a direct link between academic performance and adequate sleep. Let’s be honest, this applies to adults as well.

The way to assess if your child needs to go to bed earlier is by asking the teacher if he or she sleeps in class. (Yes, it is ok for the parent to reach out to the teacher about their child, as a matter of fact, the teachers prefer it because when I was in the classroom, there were times when I had a total of 90 students to contend with, even though they were broken up into three classes.)

So, if the parent inquires if their child is sleeping in class and the answer is yes, then the child needs to go to sleep earlier and a bedtime should be established for their own good.

It would also help your child if consistent disciplinary actions are utilized in the home. This is VERY important. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard students snicker and shrug their shoulders after they were told by a school official, “We are going to call your parents.”

If there is trouble establishing consistent consequences for negative behavior, all sorts of resources are available! Do not be ashamed to ask or look for them. I have access to some and would love to share. Just email me on my contact page or leave a comment below and maybe everyone can share what they do in their home that works.

In my dissertation, The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness and the Ill-Prepared Workforce: A Study of the Perceptions of Community College Administrators and Instructors; District High School Administrators, and Guidance Counselors, and CTE Department; and a Workforce Employer in North Carolina, every group named in my title, listed “parents and guardians” as the top influencer in their lives, and career or lack of career decisions made. This surprised me but explains why so many past students have become disengaged adults today. Parents, this proves just how much You and Your Presence, matters the most in your child’s life. And if you are not present, your child may experience some of the same behaviors that other abusive-type behaviors produce.

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Students will usually reflect what have been projected on them. Think of a flower, if it is neglected and left to itself, it withers and eventually dies. If a child is neglected, which could include but is not limited to: lack of consistent discipline, rewarding negative behavior, leaving them alone for extended periods of time, not caring who they communicate with online or in person, allowing them over to homes in which you do not really know they parents lifestyle, not caring if they are failing, or not showing intentional “interest” in every aspect of their lives. They will produce an unruly OR uninterested student at school because no one from home will be making sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. This type of student will either be consistently disruptive or become invisible in their classrooms, never reaching their fullest potential. They will end up either dropping out, failing, repeating courses, hanging out with others like them and/or doing some type of virtual school/course in which they just complete a checklist of modules and are PASSED along without learning much, if anything at all. They could end up like the student below:

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I know this is not what any parent would want for their child, and believe it or not, school personnel do not want to see it either but sometimes it just happens because the school can only do so much without the consistent support of the parent/guardian. So, rise up parents, and take your rightful place as the superhero in your child’s life! FYI, Middle and High School students NEED you the most, so please do not slack off once your child reaches these grade levels. I cannot tell you how many high school and middle school students I have counseled from making life-altering decisions, even though some of them still chose to do the opposite because no one at home was monitoring them.

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I spoke to a woman who works in the North Carolina Attorney General’s office and she showed me all of the sneaky APPs available for any child with a smartphone and how deceptive they are. It was super scary. So, the first thing I would do is educate yourselves on those and consider giving your child a phone that does not allow these types of access to strangers. I will share a few TRUE/REAL life human trafficking stories on another blog if you need further convincing on why your teens and younger students should not have access to these APPs. Boys are not exempt either, they have also been victims. If you need me to send you more details about these APPs, email me.

Take an active role in your child’s life because even when they display an attitude, deep down they truly want your involvement and will develop resentment towards you when they don’t receive it.

Lastly, do not reward bad behavior EVER, period. This sets many students up to be lawless in school because they think they can do whatever they want without any consequences. This will usually lead to a life of imprisonment and self-destruction. So never reward evil or bad behavior, with good. It just is not sustainable.

In conclusion:

  1. Teachers do not give up; the world needs you! If you are not getting the support you need, try transferring to another school or school district. They all can’t be bad. It would be worth it to be able to make a difference in a students’ life.
  2. Students enjoy being a kid as long as you can and do not try to grow up so quickly. Watch out for bad influences! This could include but is not limited to people, movies, music, books and games. You will reflect what and who you listen to.
  3. Parents, I hope this has been helpful, you truly have more influence and power than you realize, so make sure you are using your power for good.

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Wellness Tip: Choose more natural cleaning and skin products.

“What greater joy can a teacher feel than to witness a child’s success.” ~Michelle L. Graham

The school bell has rung, class dismissed

Categories
Consumer Uncertainty

Virtual Conference May 7

Register here – https://hopin.to/events/consumer-uncertainty-amongst-covid-19?ref=cf575e0c7265

Consumer Uncertainty - Fitzgerald

Categories
purpose

Purpose = מטרה =Σκοπός

The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I recently decided to do a Word Study on the word “purpose” because it has been a buzz word going around lately. It is also one of the most talked about words in regard to finding out one’s purpose and reason for being here on this Earth. Sometimes people feel like they are just here without reason, or they feel useless or displaced, but I have come here to tell you that YOU are most certainly on this Earth for a reason.

 

     Let’s proceed with the Word Study and at the end I will bring it all together. So first I will give the English definition of the word purpose, then the Hebrew and Greek definition.

English definition

 

Purpose – The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
By intent (Kavana): Intentionally. Having as one’s intention or object.
Hebrew definition
Purpose – That which a person sets before himself as an object, goal to be reached or accomplished; the end or aim to which the view is directed in any plan, measure or exertion. Intention; design, includes the end in view. Mission. Completeness.

Greek definition

Purpose – A setting forth of a thing, placing it into plain view. Predestined, foreordination, destiny, scope, train on, drive at, intention, aim.

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Right now, you may feel like the guy above, standing in the middle of a maze wondering which direction to go. Some of you may feel like you have been racing face forward down the “correct” pathway for years, aiming for purpose, only to realize that you made the wrong choice, have a setback or have wasted valuable time. Others of you may feel like you would rather avoid this mistake but sitting idled, and playing it safe, in fear of choosing the “wrong” way.

 

     So, who is right? The person who chooses to keep moving forward, not knowing if they are actually walking “in their purpose” or the person just standing still and waiting until purpose hits them in the head?

The answer solely depends on who you believe is behind your purpose. If it is driven by your human wants and desires, then you will probably change courses at will and seek out things simply to make you happy. If you are a believer, you believe your purpose is designed by God and carried out through faith in Christ.

Yes, purpose should drive you and according to the definitions above, is
also designed specifically for you, but if your faith is in your own choices, you will
become your own designer of purpose for yourself. If you are tired of steering your own ship, and are feeling lost, it is time to cast your cares on Christ. Honestly, what do you have to lose?

You may be saying, “no thanks” or “I don’t know”, but either way, the choice is yours to make. If by any chance this blog is speaking to your heart, you could turn to the Purpose Giver by a) Believing His Son died & rose b) repenting of being a sinner by realizing that redemption is impossible without Him.

After doing this, Romans 8: 28, 29a holds the key to your true God-given Purpose.
Romans 8: 28, 29a And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son.

There is a perfect plan, purpose for your life, and even though you may feel you
have wasted a lot of time, God’s plan is perfect, and intentional. So much so that ALL things (the good, the bad and the ugly) will work together for good if you choose for Him to be your Designer. Otherwise, you will have to make your own way and depend on your own intellect. Be blessed.

 

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Wellness Tip: Sanitation. Wash your hands often with soap and water.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Categories
The Why behind your career

Are you Currently in the Right Position?

     The school bell has rung, class is now in session

I was listening to a lecture last night and the speaker was sharing a story of when he was the President of a University and was about to leave his position. The Academic Dean who worked for him, told him that he was interested in applying for his position and to please recommend him to the board. The speaker’s response to the Academic Dean is what sparked this post. The speaker, who happened to be the President of the university at the time, told the Academic Dean, “Please don’t take a step down to become President. You are in your anointing (your skillset and niche) as an Academic Dean, if you stepped out of that, you would be out of line with what you have been gifted to do.” As you can imagine, the Academic Dean got upset but I personally found wisdom in the speaker’s words. He told the audience if he was an Academic Dean instead of a President, he could not have done nearly as fantastic of a job as the current one because of how his skillset worked. He went on to give an illustration of his meaning.

 

The Hierarchy of a Ship

In our humanistic minds, if asked which position we would like to strive for, we always mention the top job position. If asked which job we would like on the ship, typically we would aim to be the Captain so that we could be “large and in charge,” but have you ever considered that it may not be your calling? What if you were called to support position instead of being solely in charge? Does that make you less than a person?

In most of our eyes it may appear less than because we have been conditioned to try and make it to the top. We encourage our children and students to graduate, go out there and become in charge. This is poor advice because if the person is not anointed (gifted or have that skillset) to do that; they will not have the human capital (tools) needed to succeed in those positions. This reminds me of two psychological concepts I covered in another story titled, “The No Zero Grading Policy.”

The Dunning Kruger Effect and the Peter Principle

Let’s discuss the first one, The Dunning Kruger Effect, when a person has the confidence, they can work in a higher capacity but lack the expertise to do so.

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      There are a lot of leaders operating in workplaces, churches, and volunteer organizations that are working under capacity all because they desired to be a leader and never challenged that desire. This can be combated when you have good mentors in your life, people who would encourage you to self-reflect and/or consider interning in a position in order to see if you truly have the expertise and cognitive fortitude to be in those positions.

 

Here is an illustration of the Dunning-Kruger Effect

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     The second psychological concept is The Peter Principle which simply demonstrates
that promotion for some people is actually a demotion. This is because when a person is promoted to a level in which they lack the expertise, they are essentially being promoted to a level of incompetence and will not be successful. This is what the speaker meant by telling the Academic Dean, “Please don’t step down by becoming a President.” He was talking about staying in the anointing, the skillset naturally given and not stepping outside of that area.

The opposite is The Roger Principle, which is when a person actually performs better when being challenged. This is the type of person to promote because they will flourish as the work gains more responsibility. If this type of person is not promoted, they will become stagnate and no longer work as well because the task will become mundane.

Some of you may have never heard of any of these concepts before but hopefully it will help you as you go forward and pursue what you have been purposed to do. Stop living by the world’s standards to “climb the ladder” or “reach the top” if that is not truly what is for you. Start being real with yourself by working in areas that compliment your expertise, whether you are a Peter or a Roger; you will be happier and less stressed in the long run. I recommend reading my story titled, “Purpose” it touches on this topic as well. https://schoolspiration.com/2020/05/06/purpose-מטרה-σκοπός/

Wellness Tip: Change. Let go of the past, focus on what you can do to improve your present and future.

“If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.” ~Jim Rohn

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Categories
Career Choices

Career Destination, Stage Left

This is a personal story but thought it would be beneficial to share. One of my former high school students recently accepted a teaching position and before he did, he asked me how I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Instead of answering the question straight away, I gave him a story instead. So, sit back and relax.

The school bell has just rung and class is in session

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My summer before entering university was filled with private cheerleading and tumbling classes in order to prepare for my first college cheer camp and practices, which were intense. It was safe to say, declaring a major was NOT in the forefront of my mind. Honestly, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be at that time, I would have said either a Dance Studio Owner or an Archeologist, yet I attended an Undergraduate Institution noted for their PGM Golf Program.

So, when I met with my freshman Advisor and told her I wanted to be an Archeologist, she sweetly informed me that there were no such majors at the college but could try “Geology” instead. After taking my first class on rocks, I considered changing to Education. Only one other girl on my cheer team was an Education Major and she was always teased that teachers did not make any money. (Newsflash: she was from Jersey, where teachers made a lot of money because they had a Union) either way, peer pressure got to me and I decided to switch my major to Psychology instead.

As I sat in Dr. Campbell’s psych class and listened to him drone on and on about the history of Psychology, I decided to schedule another meeting with my Advisor. The poor woman was always so kind, but I bet she was getting tired of me. I told her that I wanted to be a Psychologist, but the class was not interesting to me. She nicely informed me that I would need at least a master’s degree in order to practice Psychology, so if the classes where not interesting, I may want to consider changing my major to something else.   One of my friends told me maybe I should consider Business Administration. (Are you all noticing how “my friends” were guiding my career decisions? eye roll) So I decided to switch to Business Administration, but I had to declare a minor, in which I decided on Health Care Administration. I was then placed with the Health Care Advisor and I clicked with him instantly. He told me how I had the option to Teach business at the middle and high school level if I should decide to get a teaching certificate and could also work in hospitals and clinics. I did not get the teaching certificate but performed exceptionally well in Business and Health Care courses. Once I reached my senior year, completed my internships; one at hospital and another at a private imaging clinic, I felt this sinking feeling I had made a mistake.

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I digress by saying throughout undergrad, I always kept a part-time position even though I was a full-time student and, on the cheer, and dance team. I mostly worked with children in After School Programs/Childcare Centers. I even worked at Circuit City (r.i.p. Circuit City) during my last semester in school. When it was nearly time for me to graduate, and I had my first job offer in my major, a nagging question entered my mind, “How on earth did the Childcare Center and Circuit City pay more than what was offered to me by the Private Health Care Imaging Practice?” I was extremely insulted that I had spent four years plus an arm and a leg in school, only to be offered a part-time position, working from 7pm to 11pm, making less than I was already making!

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I didn’t even ENJOY working at the Private Health Care Imaging Company. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not trying to sound like an entitled spoiled brat; I am making a point that I was sold a bill of goods in college, that choosing a certain major will PAY WELL instead of choosing what you truly wanted to do. Because I chose something I thought “paid well”, I ended up spending the following two years after undergrad in an MBA Program, working in group homes and childcare facilities. It was during the time I was working in a Childcare Center that my former cheerleading coach from high school saw me (her son was attending there). She told me the high school I graduated from was in dire need of a Business Teacher. She mentioned that four Teachers had quit during the first semester and they needed someone to start January. I was a little frighten to hear this, but she told me she thought I could do it. So, she set up an interview with the Principal (who ironically happened to be her former high school cheer coach) and I was offered the position.

Let me tell you, as I sip my tea, the salary was way more than what any of the health care facilities were posting at that time and was more than what I was making and on top of that; I would have the holidays off. This was huge because in childcare, there were hardly any days off. I was ecstatic! I started teaching high school and coaching cheerleading and I must say, it felt really organic. I have always loved working with young people (in church, group homes, babysitting, and in childcare), so I had finally found my niche!

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Do you know, if I had stuck to majoring in Education during undergrad, I would have found a position right after graduation. This means I would have been able to start paying my students loans and establishing myself straight away. Because I did not do this, I had to put my loans in deferment. For those of you who do not have experience in this area, your loans will indefinitely capitalize during this time period. Which is why I am paying more now, in order to pay it off quickly.

In Conclusion after getting my second Masters in School Administration and Ed.D. at Gardner-Webb University, located in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. I was blessed with professors who retired as Instructional Leaders, Principals, Directors, Assistant Superintendents and Superintendents. They taught us that you can make a good living in Education, but it was not about chasing money, it was about doing what you loved. Because when you chase money, it will run from you, but when you do what you love, money will follow.

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Now back to what I was originally talking about, my former student asked me how I knew which career I wanted to do, and it seem that knew all along I wanted to work with children, especially based on my interest throughout time, unfortunately I took the “Career Scenic Route” to get to my Career Destination. I am so glad I did.

            Moral of the Story: Do not listen to your peers, or to other people about certain positions not bringing in any money, it simply is not true. What sense did it make for me to be jobless and have to work odd jobs making less, all because I chose a major in which I thought would bring me more money, when in reality I would have been better off in the long run with the major presumed to bring in less? If I had majored in Education, I would have found a teaching position right out of college which is the norm compared to majors “rumored” to be more lucrative. In these cases, student loan companies do not care whether you find a position or not. They will defer your loan but at your expense. I will talk more about student loans in the future because I have experience in that area and would like to help others avoid the mistakes I have made. If you have questions about student loans, feel free to contact me. The school bell has rung, class is dismissed!

            Wellness Tip: Avoid artificial sweeteners (saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, sucrose, neotame, high fructose corn syrup, and sucralose). Sweet and Low, and Splenda are artificial sweeteners and also contains some of these ingredients. This should be avoided because it can cause weight gain, increase desire for sweeter foods, induce blood sugar disturbance potentially leading to chronic disease, decrease good gut bacteria and immune response, has been linked to some cancers and is not found in nature.

“A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.” ~Max Lucado

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To learn more, go to https://kaminafitzgerald.com