return from hiatus

The Hiatus on Double-Minded Island

Good day mate!

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 11 years ago and 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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So one day, I was in an old building I used to rent for a business we owned. The new owners had made the building into a used book store 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.

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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 person, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision lately about moving? 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 circa October 2007, 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 man 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 more clear. I began to ask myself, “Self why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why was not for me per say, but for the opinions of 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. Trolling through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, water skying and such. 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.

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I am so 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

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This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place.

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I leave you with these last word of encouragement.

Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

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. 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. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book! It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

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
Journey, Blogging, Be Inspired, story time

SOS, Abandon the Flaky-Ship!

I randomly decided to look up what “SOS” stood for and was surprised to find that it did not stand for anything at all. It simply was chosen as a signal because it could be easily transmitted in Morse Code during distress. So that’s what it is, a signal.

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Some of us right now are knowingly or unknowingly sending out distress signals. We could do this by having a short temper, crying a lot, not eating or eating too much, losing interest in a thing called “life” and becoming reclusive to name a few. We may be distressed about our jobs, distressed about our families, distressed about relationships, distressed about organizations we belong to or volunteer for, distressed about friends or frenemies, distressed, distressed, DiSTRESSED! So in the event of this happening, what should one do?

They should asked for help and communicate with someone but what we tend to do is keep everything bottled up until we one day go bonkers!

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So instead of going bananas, go ahead and send out an SOS; reflect on what has been distressing you and plan to abandon the flaky-ship altogether. By Flaky-Ship, I mean Flaky-Shaky-Relationships with family, friends, jobs, and organizations. Do like the guy below and leave the Flaky-Ship behind you. Yes, it looks sturdy, and seems solid, but it is not. It is full of distress, so off you go!

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Definition of Distress

dis·tress
dəˈstres/noun
1. extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.
“to his distress he saw that she was trembling”
synonyms: Anguish, suffering, pain, agony, torment, heartache, heartbreak
2. give (furniture, leather, or clothing) simulated marks of age and wear.
“the manner in which leather jackets are industrially distressed”
Just reading over this definition lets you know that being in “distress” is no cake walk.
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So if you are in a situation that is causing you anguish, torment, pain, anxiety, heartache and sorrow; it may be time to abandon that particular thing FOR GOOD.
Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to exit a bad situation? I mean, you would think it would be quite easy to walk away considering how unpleasant it is for you, but it does not always work that way, does it?
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The reason it is hard to exit bad situations is because we become used to them. We become comfortable feeling the pain, anguish, anxiety and sorrow in our lives; and began to wear them like an old hat. They become our norm. So we walk around knowingly or unknowingly sending out SOS signals, while doing absolutely nothing to address them.
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This has got to stop, I wrote this blog as a reminder to you that it is time to break out the composition notebooks and take inventory of your lives. Are you going to continue on in a distressed state of mind (unhealthy well-being) or a joyful state of mind (healthy well-being)? The choice is yours.
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Family
When it comes to your family, you cannot necessarily “abandon the Flaky-Ship” per say, but you can abandon negative patterns that may occur between you all.
For example, if you tend to argue a lot with a particular family member(s), choose to react in a different manner than you would normally would. Once the argument starts, do not retort with the normal sarcasm.
Instead, allow the person to say their piece and simply say you respect their opinion but have nothing further to say (even if you do).
This way, you are choosing not to argue with them on that day and will leave them perplexed and wondering what in the sam hill just happened.
**This is a great way to throw off the argument pattern.
After a few times of choosing not to engage the family member(s), you will eventually change the argument pattern completely for the better. This method truly works because I have read about it in real-life case studies and it has drastically improved peoples’ relationships with one another.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying avoid the pink elephant in the room; I am simply saying, the middle of a heated argument is not the right time to point out the pink elephant. It is best to discuss issues when both parties are not upset, and are ready to listen, offense will be less likely occur at this time.
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It takes two or more people to argue, so if you remove yourself from the equation, the argument cannot occur.
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Friends
When dealing with friends, it can be tricky. There is not a one size fits all method when deciding to abandon a flaky-friendship. This will have to be done on a case by case basis but if you have people in your company that produce constant feelings of pain, sorrow, anguish, anxiety and distress in your life, you may want to consider abandoning that flaky-ship.
Why? Because it is not healthy, and will cause yourself heartache in the long run. Some  of you have been losing sleep, not looking your best, overeating, carry bags under your eyes and nursing constant headaches, all because you have the wrong associations/attachments. Is it really worth it?
*Remember, the reason behind this blog post is to identify, decrease and eliminate “distress” in your lives. 
Organizations
Some of us are linked to organizations that does nothing but bring anxiety, drama, sorrow and pain into our lives. Initially you may of joined for a good cause but “the cause” seemed to have left the building a long time ago.
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When you want to leave, you may be bombarded with these thoughts:
“I may as well stay because it is like this everywhere” or
“I have been in it forever so I can’t leave” or
“my family was in it, if I leave, I will break tradition” or
“I have an important position in this place, I can’t leave my position.”
You get the picture, there will always be something or someone trying to convince you to stay in something, but again, if it is causing you constant “distress”, and your body is sending out SOS signals all over the place, its time to unapologetically, abandon the flaky-ship.
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I hope you all were taking notes in your composition notebooks and are planning to truly reflect on all of these areas in your life after you finish reading, because it is amazing how your body will began to heal itself once you start eliminating rubbish from different areas in your life.
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 of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

Rejection = Re-direction

Rejection = Re-direction

I saw this quote and thought I would share it because of its’ profoundness.

“As I look back over my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually re-directed to something better.” 

So many times, we reflect on our lives and feel a deep sense of regret.

  • Regret of poor choices that were made
  • Regret of choosing not to do something
  • Regret of not standing up for something
  • Regret of trying to be a people pleaser
  • Regret of taking life too seriously and not taking the time to stop and smell the roses
  • Regret of not preparing children for life
  • Regret of getting involved with the wrong people
  • Regret of choosing the practical job over the one you REALLy wanted
  • Regret of not getting up and speaking at an event
  • Regret of being rejected from something you really wanted to do

This last regret is what I really wanted to touch on. Do not feel so bad about being rejected from a person, job position, club, or organization; because the rejection is simply re-directing you to the area you are supposed to be in.

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*Encourage yourself with these wise words*

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*Here is a video of a comic book about the origins of negative thoughts and how to take control of them. I was happy to see this because I STiLL have my copy of this comic book from when I was younger.*

 

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

Parents, Discipline, Home, School

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

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/

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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 school teacher; which should not be hard because most, if not all of us, have attended school before.

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A 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.

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A 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 their 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, their 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 bed time 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 included but is not limited too: 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 super hero 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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So parents I commend and support you, and am here if you need any resources whether it is for yourselves, a family member, friend or your students.

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I recently spoke with a women 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 to have 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.

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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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Have a peep of My Schoolspiration Book!                                                                                        It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:
https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB