Why I Have a Food Insecurity (abbreviated)

This developed out of a conversation on Twitter where people were discussing poverty over various subject areas.  Someone’s tweet struck a place in my spirit so I decided to share. Here is the Storify of my Tweets:

https://storify.com/DestinedNurse/my-food-insecurity

I started to write a blog about the entire situation and it got too deep for me to share. I unpacked too much too fast and it put me in a really emotional place so I decided not to share and table the in depth story for another time. In summation, I have a fear of going hungry or not having enough food, despite being removed from this situation for over 12 years.  I cope with this issue by shopping at Costco and always having a full fridge.  Although this seems simple, it goes so much deeper.  One day I hope I will be strong enough to share the entire story.

In due time.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Follow me: @DestinedNurse @QualityNC

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Those Who Deserve Credit Don’t Have to Ask For It

I always post about how appreciative I am of my amazing family, friends and others who have helped me along the way.  I have been blessed to be in the presence of Gods many angels He has planted on this earth.  Despite many of the things that I went through growing up, God allowed me to see his grace and mercy through the actions of those around me.  I have personally shared with each person in my life who has been my rock at some point, their importance in my life through conversation, emails, text or cards.  None of these people have ever asked to be credited for my success or accomplishments.  When I achieve something, it is as if they achieved something because they were apart of the process.  These amazing people never say that I owe them anything, even though I feel that I am indebted to them. These amazing people never attempt to discredit me or tear me down in any way, even if they could.  These amazing people continue to push me through my next dream because they have never left my side.

So for anyone who feels that they deserve to be credited for my success but not my failures; for that person who may feel that they deserve to be credited for my accomplishments but not my missteps; he who wants to be applauded for being the battery to my drive or determination; the one who may feel the need to yell to the heavens that they are the only reason that I am where I am, I am who I am, or I have what I have but forgot that I never forget, here is my message to you:

I will never forget the decisions I had to make my senior year of high school in order to graduate and go to college.  I will never forget the attempts that were made to destroy my life or reputation. I will never forget the times when I reached out in distress and was dismissed and degraded.  I will never forget the disrespectful lies that continues to be shared with others about things that you don’t know about and aren’t even remotely true or accurate.

So, when you are making a scene about the credit you deserve, make sure that you are taking credit for everything.  Not just the good but the volcano of a mess that your words and actions have created.  Be careful when you speak because the same words you use to hurt will return to you and your life will reek of all of the negativity you put into the atmosphere.

This is my story.  I will tell it my way.  I will give credit to whom its due and ignore all others.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Maybe I Am Doing This Thing All Wrong

Today I was mentally exhausted and decided to take a midday rest, despite being exactly 1 week away from my BIG EXAM.  But in these quiet moments I started to think, “Maybe I am doing this thing all wrong.”  I am attempting to fight so many wrongs on so many different fronts, and I am not being as productive as I can be.  I want to change what is already in motion.  I want to change things that are outside of my control.  I want to change people, and we all know that changing people by just your words is impossible.  So, I started to think of how I can work smarter and not harder.  How can I fight the injustices of the world that are being waged against every single woman, man, or child? How can I fight the injustices that are based on race, gender or sexuality? How can I make this world better for those here and those to come?

I don’t have the answer to any of these questions right now, but I decided to stop using my energy to fight those who are stuck in their beliefs and instead use all of my energy to shine a light in this world that may not change them, but will help develop others.  Every chance I get, I am going to be the best me, give 1000% and make sure that I am leaving every place better than it was when I came.  I can’t divide my attention between those who choose to hate and those who need love. I have to solely focus on those who need love, so that they can be edified and grow into beautiful beams of light.

We don’t need fewer people that hate, but more people who love.  We don’t need fewer people that aren’t racist, we need more people who can appreciate people for their differences.  We don’t need fewer people who are more tolerant, we just need more people who will encourage people to be themselves.  If we outnumber those who hate, who are racist or who are intolerant, soon those on the other side will simply conform to the notions of the majority.  We cannot feed into the vicious cycle of trying to recruit the enemy, but instead we have to gather our allies and show them our strength and power.  I have been doing this thing wrong for a long time, but today I have decided to take the steps to do it the only way that makes sense to me.

Legends are known for doing something extremely well.  How do you want to be remembered? What do you do well? Note it.  Know it. Do it.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own stories. On your own terms.

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork: 5 Ways to Best Support Your Child’s Teacher

On this second installment of Guest Room, an amazing teacher shares some tips for parents on how to best support their child’s teacher to ensure academic success.


 

I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. The kids are pretending NOT to see it. Displays for school supplies are popping up and kids are looking down. As we prepare to enter into the new school year, let’s keep in mind five easy peasy (lemon squeezy) ways you can support your child and your child’s teacher.

 

1. Meet your child’s teacher. Sounds easy enough. But the number of people that send me their baby and have no idea who I am or what my philosophy on teaching is would surprise you. Teachers are people. We get busy schedules. We get conflicting Open House schedules. We get limited job flexibility schedules. We get ALL of that. But we do NOT get not (yes, double negative) placing your eyes on the person responsible for helping to mold your little person. If you cannot make Open House, the ideal time to meet and greet, consider sending an email with a day and time that does work for you. Teachers want to meet you. We want to have a chance to speak with you and hear about your precious child from you. We want to start the year off with an open line of communication. If Thursday is the only day that works with your schedule, most teachers will make a way to meet with you on Thursday despite that being their hot yoga day.

 

2a. Do not withhold academic information. “Well we just wanted him/her to have a fresh start…” I understand the fear of labeling and preconceived notions. But some information ABSOLUTELY needs to be shared with your child’s new teacher. Accommodations do not mean your child can’t learn. Accommodations mean your child learns differently. If I am unaware of how they learn best, I cannot give them the best. Teachers want to see your child successful. In a class of at least 20 students, we understand someone will not always get it. Someone will need extra time. Knowing how your child learns or struggles your child has helps us to differentiate the material. Parents are often too concerned with the product. Teachers are more concerned with the process. We have 180 days (if government funding hasn’t been cut) to prepare your baby for the next grade. The process to the product is different for most students. Trust the process.

 

2b. Do not withhold (all) personal information. Unfortunately our kids are seeing and experiencing waaaay more than we did at their age. I am interested in more than just the academic growth of your child. I am interested in their social growth as well. If past experiences could potentially limit your child I need to know. Details aren’t necessary. But a general idea can help me relate to your child. Two years ago I had a student who came from an environment where domestic violence was the norm. Loud noises made him shut down. Loud noises in my class very seldom mean things have gone awry. Generally, we are doing a class cheer or having a little silly transition time. This student shut all the way down and I had no idea why. Thankfully, the older sibling was able to provide insight. He didn’t give details. He simply said, “He doesn’t like loud noises.” That was enough for me to taper class activities he was involved in. (He has since adapted to loud noises and he is no longer in that environment.)Much of the hidden curriculum teaches “life stuff.” We need to know how far to push a child to present a project, are there any sensitive subjects, are they easily embarrassed or frightened, do loud noises adversely affect them? Information about your child helps us to better reach your child. Please share information.

 

3. Communicate. In this fast paced world, face-to-face communication can sometimes prove to be challenging. (i.e. meeting your child’s teacher) However, communication can be easy IF the lines of communication are open BOTH ways. I am an early childhood educator. I send home some form of communication every. single. day. It may be a note jotted at the bottom of the behavior sheet, a SHOUT of praise in the agenda, or a “we need to talk at your earliest convenience” message on pretty stationary. Whatever the form of communication may be, please acknowledge it. Sign the daily behavior sheet or agenda. Write me a note telling me you all tried the math homework but were stumped with numbers 4 and 7. Write me a note saying she’s checking out early and it would be helpful if she went to lunch with her backpack. Write me a note saying his beloved dog of eight years died and he might be a little sad as he deals with his first loss. Just write me a note. We do not have to wait until parent-teacher conference night to talk about six weeks of school. Let’s communicate throughout the year.

 

4. Trust the teacher. This is general but it applies to many areas. Trust the teacher is a professional who is trained in child pedagogy and current on best practices. Trust the teacher wants the best for your baby. Teaching is a labor of love. We are trained professionals. Some of which have student loan debt that far exceeds yearly income. We are not here for the money. (Not here to be poor but that’s another topic for another time.) We are here for the kids and need you to know we are NEVER rooting against your child, we are hoping and praying for their growth and advancement. “We never have this problem at home.” I believe you. But you also don’t have twenty-one other students at home. Your child treats us the way they see you treat us. Trust us and treat us with respect. If you promise not to believe everything they tell you happened at school, I promise not to believe everything they tell me happened at home.

 

 

Cherelle Jones is a public school educator in a Title I school in Georgia. She is the proud leader of Jonesville, a small, quaint community of learners being positioned to change the world.

6 Month Goal Check-In

At the beginning of this year I started a campaign entitled 12 Goals.  The purpose was to simply inspire myself and those around me to think of at least one goal a month that would help them get to their long-term goals.  I have a hard time following up on the goals that I create in the new year because I write them down in my new journal, on a fresh page and tuck them away.  But now I am on a 30/31 day deadline; I am forced to constantly reevaluate my goals and check back in more frequently.  I have used each month to create micro goals that will lead me to my macro goals.

So today I decided to check in with myself.  See where I was at the mid-way point.  From a broader perspective, this year has been extremely productive but focusing on the past few months, I realized that I allowed myself to fall back on old habits. I started to focus on my long-term goals instead of the goals that I needed to achieve  to make meaningful steps instead of struggle leaps. The hectic time of graduation and transitioning into Bar Prep mode created the perfect excuse for me to neglect what has helped me be successful thus far.

So today I decided to gather my thoughts, take a walk in the warmth of a beautiful day and figure out my primary goals.  For me, nothing matters but passing the bar.  For the next two months my daily focus will be reviewing information, translating this information into essay format and answer weirdly worded questions.  That is the only thing that matters, so that is my goal for the next two months.

Having one goal that you work on for a few months is better than having many that you never achieve.  The most important thing is not the number of goals you cross off the list, but the fact that you are navigating through life with a purpose and constantly focused on the big picture.

Take a moment and analyze your successes and any regrets.  Things you may have put off that could have actually been done.  Whether you have achieved the things you set out to accomplish or made a bed of excuses to lay in and complain about.  Decide today what you need to do to get to the next big step! In December you should feel accomplished at all the little steps forward you made and maybe even those that lead to confident leaps.

Reassess.  Reorganize.  Refocus.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.