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 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
career planning, career choices

Career Destination: How did you know?

Happy Friday Everyone!

Today I wanted to talk about careers because one of my former high school students accepted a teaching position two weeks ago and before he did, he asked me how did I know I wanted to be a teacher. Instead of answering the question straight away, I gave him a story instead.

*So sit back and relax kiddies, it’s story time*

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My summer before entering undergrad was filled with private cheer 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. (The following photo is actually me, I guess my college rubbed off on me a little, lol.)

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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.

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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 (rip…) 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 Company?”

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 a 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.

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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. Because I did not do this, and was not able to find a steady job after graduation, I had to put my loans in deferment and for those of you who do not know, your loans capitalize during this time period. What this means is that because I did not have a steady position, my interest doubled and is the same as my principal and I am paying way more money now, in order to pay it off quicker.

ADViCE: 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.

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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 loans, feel free to comment or email me. I can be reached on the contact link.

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, Assistant Superintendents and Superintendents. They taught us that there is money 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.

Now back to what I was originally talking about, my former student asked me how did I know 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.

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How did you know which career you wanted to do? Feel free to leave a comment, I am sure we could all learn from one another.

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
Schoolspiration, be inspired

Schoolspiration

I came up with the word “Schoolspiration” for a newsletter idea at work. I was surprised when I put the word in google that it did not exist, so I decided to title my newsletter “Schoolspiration”.

Working in a high school as a school teacher at the time, and trying to decide what my newsletter should be about, I decided I wanted it to be short, informative and inspirational.  Although the word “School” is in the title, it is not only for those in the field of Education; it is also for those interested educating themselves on varying topics.

The concept of Schoolspiration came about my fifth year of teaching after I was placed on the “School Climate Correlate”. The Correlate utilized surveys and brief interviews of faculty/staff to continually monitor employee morale. The information gathered allowed the Correlate to get an overall feel of the emotional climate within our school. My personal task on the Correlate was to write a monthly newsletter in which I included short inspirational stories, quotes and wellness tips.

Considering the busyness of school personnel, I aimed to keep the newsletter short. The following year I relocated to another school district, and several colleagues from my old school contacted me suggesting I publish what I had written. I did, and you can find it on amazon.com but in the spirit of continuation I also decided to create a blog so that I can share Schoolspiration with more people!

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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