Let go of the "Past" Bomb, Spirit of Anti-Progress

The Spirit of Anti-Progress: It is Within Your Control

Have you ever felt as though there were something sinister working against every plan and goal you have set for your life? Does it ever feel like you have gained a step, only to fall two steps backwards?

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These circumstances remind me of an article I’ve read that spoke about the spirit of anti-progress. The article discussed how anti-progress could make a person feel as though their past happenings were better than their present. It is for this (deceptive) reason one must carefully monitor their thoughts, especially when the “past” attempts to make a cameo appearance in their present.

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Examples of “glorying” in the past

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Anti-progress example 1 – Attempting to rekindle a past relationship or friendship that have had a negative impact on your life; your mind usually continues to replay all of the “good times” and “good traits” of that person, while ignoring the bad. If these thoughts are permitted, sooner or later you will began to search out the person, which is quite an easy feat in our digital world. This is an example of anti-progress and will usually cause a serious setback in your life because if the relationship/friendship ended, do your best to remember WHY because surely it was for a reason.

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It is best to leave things in the past and look forward. So please ignore those “Good Times” and remind yourself of the “Real Times.

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Anti-progress example 2 –  Wasted efforts are a huge setback! It consists of wanting something and continuing to do all you can to achieve it, even though it keeps falling apart or not coming into fruition. Eventually this will result in delayed accomplishments, and perpetual stagnation. This is a difficult example to digest because it usually includes our personal goals and can be hurtful when we do not see them come to pass. I am a believer in Christ and in the providence of God, so I know in the bible when someone did not receive some they have been desiring or could not go in a direction they wanted to go, it was because God had a better plan for them. This brings me comfort because I can have faith to wait on His plan for my path instead of trying to forge my own.

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Anti-progress example 3 – Chronic Procrastination! Another example of anti-progress is procrastination. This one may show up in different areas of life: making appointments, turning in school work, meeting major/minor deadlines in a professional setting, signing up to volunteer or making it to church. Whenever there is something that needs to be completed but you keep putting it off to do something else, procrastination is at work!

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Although we are all guilty of putting things off from time to time; the concern arises when procrastination becomes a chronic habit and things start piling up. So when this enemy of progress rears its ugly head, deal with it straight away by conditioning yourself to push forward to complete things on time.

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Anti-progress example 4 – Participating in mindless activities!

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There is not much to say here except that it is quite easy to participate in our fair share of mindless activities especially in this day and age. We live in a digital world, and with that comes a price. We have distractions at our fingers tips, and distraction is an enemy of progress. I have known people to lose their jobs and marriages over their addictions to video games, television and the internet.

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Heaven help us when we talk about cellular devices! Phones have not only ruined relationships, they have also been known to have a negative affect on the health of our eyes from the blue light.

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So take inventory of all of the mindless activities you participate in, and if it ends up being more than the task you need to complete, start reorganizing your priorities.

Anti-progress example 5 – Continual exposure to toxicity. Toxic music, movies, games, peoples and books all create an unpleasant climate. Start being mindful of what you are filling your eye, ears, mouth and heart with, they are the gates to your soul. 

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Toxic People – if you are occasionally around a person and they are being negative because they had a bad day or just went through a tough situation, that is not so bad. If you are around a person and they consistently exude a negative spirit, knowingly or unknowingly, they will began to drag you down. (Refer to my Emotional Vampire post https://schoolspiration.blog/2018/09/21/identify-the-emotional-vampires-in-your-life/)

Toxic Movies/Games/Music/Reading Material – It is NOT just entertainment, these items are essentially feeding your ideas, molding your way of thinking and shaping your world view. After working with people professionally and personally, I have seen a lot of toxic behavioral responses from both children and adults. I cannot tell you how often the poor decisions made, stemmed from the ingenious lyrics of a song, the shocking scene from a movie/book, or a gory video game. This why people must recognized the powerful  influence of these tools and filter them.

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There is a wonderful website that allows you to check your books, movies, and games. It is called Plugged In. It shares the ratings. https://www.pluggedin.com

If you have been feeling like you have not been able to move forward, take out a notebook or digital notepad, and write down if you have been plague with any of the examples above, and make conscious decision to start dealing with it!

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Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the spirit of anti-progress.

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Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

 

No Zero Grading Policy

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?

In a few states, the no zero grading policy has been making some tremendous waves.

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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”. 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

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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?

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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
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Dangers of Vaping

VAPE Education: Is Your Child Vaping?

Although Vaping is considered a recent trend, it definitely is not new. Vaping began in Ancient Egypt when they used hot stones to vape herbs, and later evolved into the first “shisha” when introduced in India. (Also known as Hookah)

These practices led to the invention of vaping as we know it today. In 1927, Joseph Robinson came up with the idea of e-cigarettes but later in 1963, Herbert Gilbert made vaping popular with his “non-tobacco smokeless” cigarette.

The Chinese Firm, Hon Lik, created the first e-cigarette in the mid-2000s. While this may of sounded like a great alternative to smoking regular tobacco products, it was not. And as the ole adage says, when something seems too good to be true it usually is.

I would like to share Seven Truths about vaping that I learned from HopkinsMedicine.org as well as from my experience as a high school educator.

TRUTH #1 There are Vape Products that look like Flash-drives

Parents, Teachers and Guardians, please be aware that there are vape devices that go undetected because they look like flash-drives, lighters, and other regular items. These vapes can be charged in a computer and can appear as a flash-drive. If unsure of what to look for, do a quick search on vape devices like Juul and other vape alternatives. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/1/17286638/juul-vaping-e-cigarette

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TRUTH #2 Vaping exposes you to fewer toxins than regular cigarettes.

Now, this does not mean to run out and start “vaping-it-up” it simply means there are “less” toxins, but not toxin-free. It’s like deciding between 1 cup of strychnine or a pinch of strychnine, neither one is a good idea.

TRUTH #3 Vaping is not good for your health

Nicotine is the primary agent in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes and is highly addictive. It causes users to crave smoking and suffer withdrawals if they do not smoke. Nicotine also spikes adrenaline and raises blood pressure, increasing the likelihood of having a heart attack.

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TRUTH #4 The Chemicals that make up the Vapes are Unknown

There are many unknowns when it comes to vaping. Most importantly, it is unknown how it will affect physical health over a long term period of time. It is still modern so those utilizing it currently are the guinea pigs.

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TRUTH #5 E-cigarettes are just as Addictive as Traditional Cigarettes

E-cigarettes still contain Nicotine just like the regular cigarettes and has been described as addictive as heroine or cocaine. Also smokers have the option to purchase extra-strength cartridges, which contain a high concentration of nicotine. The voltage on the e-cigarette can also increase the amount of substance smoked as well.

Truth #6 Electronic Cigarettes are not the best tool to use to quit Smoking

While e-cigarettes have been marketed as a way to quit smoking, it has not yet received the Food and Drug Administration approval as a smoking cessation device. A study by Smokefree.gov has found that e-cigarettes lead to continuing to smoke both electronic and regular cigarettes. Does not this defeat the original purpose?

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TRUTH #7 A new Generation is Getting Hooked on Nicotine

Among the youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than traditional tobacco products. Back in 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General reported that e-cigarettes had increased by 900 percent and 40 percent of the young users had never tried traditional tobacco products. Imagine how much that has increased since then.

As an educator in the high school setting, I can verify this claim is true. Back in 2015, most students were curious about vaping because it was marketed as tobacco free and “safe” to use. Since that time, high schoolers have started carrying vapes around that look like flash-drives and other regular items. I posted a picture of these in TRUTH #1.

For this reason parents and guardians must be proactive by not being afraid to check your child’s book-bags, dressers and so on; there is no such thing as “privacy” when it comes to your child’s well-being. Since this smoking phenomenal, I have seen a lot of high school athletes experiencing heart attacks related to smoking (vapes, cigarettes, weed etc…) and it is disheartening because they were so young. There is a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular health, and smoking and cancer. The sooner it is discovered that a child has a habit, the sooner they can receive the help they need. Do not let this happen, be a snoop.

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Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

EOG, EOC, Advice, Parent, Teacher, Students

Teacher and Parents: What to do when Instructional Time is lost.

Teachers and Parents: What to do when Instructional Time is lost.

Teachers: Create a plan to strategically cover material student are weak in (based on data) and/or material that is high priority that you have not had an opportunity to cover.

Parents: Provide support by making sure students are taking at least fifteen minutes a day or so, to read over review material.

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When time is loss, I suggest first, going to the test specs for the state course exams and identifying the highest priority, priority and low priority standards. Test specs typically list these by percentage.

English III Example:

English III Test Specs

If this is your test specs, the highest priority would be Reading for Literature, priority would be Reading for Informational Text and Language would be a low priority. Next to the domain is the standards. If you have a short time to cover a lot of material, you would need to go to your testing bank, and select ALL of the questions from the “Standards” listed next to the domain/topic.

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The Review Assignment 

Using the Highest Priority, and Priority framework, go into your test bank, it will vary depending on where you live, and chose the specific standards that were represented, and create an assessment.

Save the assessment as a PDF or Word Document, then highlight the correct answers.

Next, provide instructions at the top of the sheet for students stating they have to complete two items per question in order to receive full credit for each question.

The Two Items

First, they had to identify and define any key term/person/event listed in the question.

Second, they needed to give a brief explanation on why the answer is correct, based on the concept of the question.

Example:

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**Again, this review could take up to three class days depending on the amount of questions you choose but you would be able to cover a lot of material while providing students with a study guide! 

It is a little rigorous but will allow students to read through and research the standards that have not covered. During the time in class, teacher would be free to catch up on things while being available for any questions students may have in case they come across something they don’t understand.

In conclusion, parents, if a teacher should send material home over break, it would be great if you could make sure your precious child is reviewing the material, so that it would remain fresh in their minds!

Merry Christmas!

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
The Beginning...

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce