criticism and treating people how you want to be treated, Journey begins, blog, schoolspiration

Criticism: Are you Building up or Tearing Down?

I heard a prolific message recently about living with criticism and it really made me think and self-reflect.

380396_300x300

The message touched on how criticism is a good thing when it is constructive, but can be very damaging when it is meant to make someone feel inferior to others. This resonated with me because I have had constructive criticism throughout my entire life. I received it from family members, friends, teachers, dance and cheer coaches; and welcomed it because it made me want to improve.

Jazz-Dance-Classes

This is not anything we have not heard before, so you may be wondering, “What is the point?” The point of this post is to talk about the other type of criticism. The other criticism is the type that breaks up relationships, and consistently tears down people instead of building them up. This type of criticism is one I would like to focus on, so whether it is you doing the damage and/or receiving it, it is time to change directions!

pivot

Message to Family members who give criticism

When you are criticizing a family member, make sure it is done out of a place of love and meant to improve the person you are criticizing. If you are receiving the criticism, attempt to recognize when someone genuinely cares about you and is aiming to make you better. The Tearing down only happens when “shade is thrown” during the criticism.

throwing-shade-is-officially-a-verb-in-the-dictionary-2

For example, if a family member is wearing something inappropriate, you could politely suggest to them quietly; they should consider changing their assemble, along with the reason why. (Always provide a solution to the problem)

om_feb_5802

What does not need to happen is an exclamation in front of everyone saying, “What in the WORLD are you wearing?!” This question could cause a scene, make them feel embarrassed and less likely to want to hear anything else you have to say from that point on.

don_t-throw-shade-t-shirt_alt4

Family members know you better than anyone so it could be hard to tone criticism down, but we must if we want to ensure a harmonious relationship with one another.

Good_Times_the_Evans_family_1974

Message to Friends who give criticism

When giving criticism to friends, be sure to do it with honesty and tact. Do not try to embarrass friends in front of others, just to win a few laughs at their expenses. You may regret it. This can be tricky because friends tend to joke around a lot but a rule of thumb is to simply try to discern the situation before commenting and think before you speak.

61+5pX3K0eL._SY500_

If what you are about to say is meant to improve your friend, then by all means say it but if what you are about to say is coming from a place of envy or opinion, hold your tongue and THINK before you speak

Message to people of influence who give criticism

Parents, Leaders or anyone else who has other people looking up to them, please note that you must be very careful how you provide criticism because of your influence on the ones depending or looking up to you.

leaderseatlast-2014012912124733

I understand that there are times when things need to be said aloud but there is also power in pulling people aside to provide constructive criticism. One of the techniques I learned as a beginning teacher was to not engage an angry student in front of an audience because if you do, they will feel like they needed to argue and defend their honor in front of their classmates.

For_Honor_-_BP_profile_M

All of this occured so that the student could save face in front of their peers. The solution: pull the student aside or take them outside to speak with them so that the issue would not escalate in front of others. Would you believe this method usually diffused the situation almost immediately? It did, and I believe it could also work with adults when providing correction or criticism

Its-not-what-you-say-its-how-you-say-it

I will add to this by saying, “It is not what you say, it is how and why you are saying it.” The why because if what you are saying is not meant to improve the person, why say it at all?

if-you-cant-say-anything-nice-dont-say-anything-at-3783771

Let us start doing better as we go forward!

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.

makingwaveslogo

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.

1*0qOB5JLKlIOHbsyidHo75w

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

The-Peter-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?

peter_principle_workplace_productivity

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?

dunning-kruger-effect

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. 

CHYhgOpXAAAb26s.jpg-large

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

images

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.

cigarette

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.

guineapigad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Man wonders what to choose. The electronic cigarette or traditio

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.

pw_2

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.

top-5-questions-teachers-wish-parents-would-ask-them

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.

pax_meeting

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:

Review Assignment Example.png

**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
story time

The Parable of the Tenants

I was reading a parable called “The Parable of the Tenants” and it really stood out to me so you know I had to share.

The parable spoke about a landlord that planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it and built a watchtower. After everything was put in place, the landlord decided to lease it out and move to another country.

Time passed and when harvest time came, the landlord decided to send some of his servants to the tenant, to get some of the fruits he had planted. When the servants arrived, the tenants beat one, killed another and stoned the other.

The landlord heard of it and decided to send even more servants, in hopes that they would be received but the tenants responded in the same way as before.

The landlord could not believe it so he decided the best thing to do would be to send his own son to collect his produce/fruit. He sent his son, and when the tenants saw him, they said among themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize on his inheritance.” So they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

The parable ended with a question by the person telling the parable. The question was, “When the landlord comes back to his vineyard, what do you think he will do to the tenants?”

The people listening to the parable answered that the landlord would surely destroy the wicked tenants, and get new tenants to occupy the land. Tenants that would give the fruits to the landlord during their rightful seasons.

The creator of this parable, asked the people listening another question, a question tying the parable with what was happening at that present time. He asked, “Haven’t you read in the scriptures, the stone (referring to Jesus) which the builders rejected is the same stone, that will become the Head of the corner. And the kingdom of God shall be taken from you (pharisees and other who rejected the deity of Jesus), and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

This passage speaks volumes to me and is thought provoking —–> Whoever will fall on the stone shall be broken but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder (Matthew 21: 44)

I like how it said whoever falls on Jesus (the stone) will be broken. Being broken is a good thing because it provides the opportunity for things to be broken off of us that is no longer needed. We should take comfort that brokenness doesn’t last forever, eventually we mend, heal, and become new again. Another thing that is good about being broken is how humbling it is. Once we experience brokenness, it usually gives us an empathy toward others that make us more sensitive and caring human beings.

The other part of the passage was sobering, it said that whoever the stone falls on, will be ground to powder. Yikes. That is not something I would like to experience. So I will take brokenness over being ground to powder any day, thank you very much.

I thought it was so interesting how the parable was used to explain to the pharisees in story form, how their disbelief appeared before the landlord (God) who allowed tenants (the pharisees) to managed his land and how the landlord (God) will deal with them (the pharisees and anyone who rejected) for killing/rejecting His son (Jesus).

So when you would like to get a point across to someone and you can’t quite explain it, give them a story/parable, to get your point across. It truly works!

#Shall-We-Bring-Back-Story-Time

 

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

 

parents

Dear Parents, Summer Activity Ideas Ahead!

DPTA Flyer for Lake Rim Parents

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