What are you Teaching for?

Are you teaching to teach? Or are you teaching to REACH?

Content mastery is great and all, that’s what gives you the credentials to teach, but are you using this brilliant platform to penetrate the minds of our youth?

Your content gets you in the door, but relationship and life relations, to what you are teaching draws your students mind closer to you.

How are you making them pay attention? Do you lecture? Is your classroom teacher centered or student centered?

Our youth, now, merely comes to school because they have too. Make them want to be in your presence, eager to hear what you have to say, because you are that example that they are needing and wanting to learn from. Encourage them to use social media and not let social media use them. Show them how to use that platform that is destroying their insight and make it intellectual. 

So, again, I ask what are your teaching for?

Speak Life

I have started a new warm-up in my classroom instead of just doing a traditional bell ringer. 

It’s important that we speak life into our students. It’s essential that we let them know that they can, when their community tells them they can’t. It’s imperative that we  help them find out who they are and tell them to search for their purpose.

My kids (students) say the following while standing in their chairs and shouting this at me:

  1. I am knowledge.
  2. I am love.
  3. I am success.
  4. I am motivated.
  5. I am capable.
  6. I am purpose.
  7. I am power.

I tell them to yell as if I’m someone whose trying to convince them otherwise. 

Congrats you have helped your students speak positive manifestions into existence. Watch them work.ūüďöūüďĚ

Passion and Perception 

…..Today was an amazing day to do what I love. I experienced a feeling that I thought I had lost.

Being passionate img_0001 can be a strength and a weakness. When you are passionate about something you tend to pour your all into what you do, you leave it all on the table, you go the extra mile, you pull characteristics out that you had no idea even existed.

But… the downside to being passionate is you expect the same in return and in the same capacity in which you gave all you had.

Not everyone has the same heart as you; not everyone has made it to the space and level of peace that you have.

For a few months, I wouldn’t allow my students to get close to me, because to be honest I was frustrated with their lack of motivation; I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong, if I was doing everything right. I felt a lack of motivation… my students could sense that I was down.

So, I decided to revamp. Do a little soul searching and praying. I found the root of the seed that was planted in myself and in my students. Let’s just say, ” you reap from whatever seed you sow”.

I let them love on me; I opened my heart and my mind to them again.

Today, we smiled. We laughed and most of all they were freely learning. No more restrictions, no limitations.

The Journey of an Edupreneur

Fear is what keeps a lot of us stagnant; I said us, because that includes me as well, I’m not exempt from fear. However, I truly believe that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”. 

You keep having dreams or visions about a business, starting that one thing you always saw yourself doing, and you can’t seem to figure out why it’s the only thing that keeps you up at night. You don’t understand why it keeps coming to you; it doesn’t care that you don’t have enough money for rent, or that you had a long day at your 9-5, or even if you don’t have the money to get it started, this Vision is beginning to annoy you because your circumstances tell you that’s impossible; you can’t do that right now; your bills won’t pay themselves.

Get. Out. Of. Your. Own. Head

surround yourself with people that pour life into your vision, who push you to at least write that vision down, who encourage you to write a grant proposal, start your blog. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone believes in something. I believe that I can have the desires of my heart.

Let’s face it, it’s easier to work for someone else; otherwise, we wouldn’t do it. BUT, oh the road less travelled, is so beautiful with all its twists and turns, seasons that come and go, hills that seem never ending. That’s the beauty of birthing your own concept, your own vision. No one will ever love it as much as you, because you gained a different sense of success, your vision broke you down only to build you into a masterpiece.

Well, what if no one supports me, when I am trying to get started.

So WHAT!

In reality, they probably won’t. 

—>Be encouraged there are people that have already been assigned to you. Family and friends might be the last to join in those numbers, but understand they may not be able to fully grasp why you are staring fear and failure right in the face, they may not be aware of why you are willing to no longer use limitations as protection. Believe this, they will be watching you from beginning to end, failure to success. 

You have been given the light.. you are a chosen vessel… Let it shine! 

We are in this together.

-Andrea

My journey has just begun.

“If you are defeated in your mind, you are already defeated in your life”-Rev. Thomas E. Benard

The Three R’s

Every day is refreshing in itself. It is another opportunity to get it right, whatever it is. Tomorrow doesn’t matter and yesterday is behind you. You get to start fresh.

I don’t know about you; but this break was much needed. It gave me the opportunity to do the three R’s.

  1. Relax: I got to take a mental and physical break from everything and completely focus on me. Me time is a must. Sometimes we get caught up living for everyone else that we forget about ourselves. Make sure while you’re pouring out, you’re being poured back into. 
  2. Reflect: I’ve had time to get myself together, get that boost of energy I needed. Now, I’m excited to do somethings differently, that may not have worked out in my favor before. 
  3. Revisit: I’m relaxed…I’ve reflected… now LET’s MANIFEST THESE NEW STRATEGIES. 

What are some ways that you have used the three R’s in your down time? I would love to read your comments and share them with others in need.

Are you off Balance?

It’s very important to maintain a career and life balance. Taking the stress of your work day home with you does not help; it actually hurts you….

Let’s be real. Education is not always hugs and kisses. Some days you will question your sanity. Ask yourself questions like “did I choose the right profession”?

Relax. Breathe.Pray.Meditate 

Yes, you chose the right profession, but make better mental decisions.

In this profession, or any for that, you cannot give your attention to every single thing. Simply put. YOU WILL DRIVE YOURSELF CRAZY.

Challenges are made to help you grow. 

It’s very import to be spiritually awakened. Prayer or meditation needs to be apart of every day of your being. It truly helps me thrive.

There are truly not enough hours in the day to get all your work done at school, unless you use good time management.
Here are a few things I’ve done that have worked for me:

  1. Limit the amount of papers that need to be graded per week. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Get creative with different informal assessments or check for understanding strategies. Activities such as think pair share are one of the great ways to assess your students. Lead4ward is your friend.
  2. Use your planning period wisely. Lesson plan or grade student work during this time. Even if that means isolating yourself from the rest of the world for 45minutes. Turn your music on and get it done. Eliminate Distractions.
  3. Recently, I felt bombarded by school emails that could honestly wait to be read while I’m at school, instead every time I got a notification email while at home, I grew disturbed. Ha! But seriously. DELETE THE APP OR TURN OFF THE NOTIFICATIONS WHILE YOU ARE AT HOME.
  4. Vent…. do not… I repeat.. do not hold all of your frustrations in! But be careful with venting while at home. Find a teacher friend or mentor that you can express your concerns and receive feedback to eliminate that concern. Write out your feelings. Don’t spread negative energy. I am a firm believer in don’t complain, if you don’t have or are seeking a solution.
  5. Before and after school, I have to listen to gospel music ūüé∂ or Rickey Smiley Morning Show or Steve Harvey. Start your day with positive vibes, affirmations, prayer/meditation, Tell your day what you expect it to bring, give and show gratitude, smile (faith it til you make it).

What’s Tugging On My ‚̧ԳŹHeart?

” I am not capable of teaching anyone’s child”

“It’s been forever since I graduated, I can’t possibly remember all that content”

“I will never be a teacher, I don’t have the patience”

Words of Wisdom: You cannot run from your calling. Rid yourself of limited thinking. If you are called to do it, you will be qualified. It’s normal to have these thoughts; teaching is the key to someone’s potential. Don’t let fear stop you from leaving your print in a child’s mind and heart that needs you. Politics of education have created a barrier between really teaching and reaching our young people, especially our minorty children. Don’t let that stop you, I encourage you and challenge you to pay attention to that tug.¬†

Be a light in a child’s darkness…Be a vessel. Patience is learned! You will be amazing; you will create legacies and lessons you never imagined. Those students will become your kids; just as you are pulling traits from them that they didn’t know exist, they will pour love and life into you. Don’t give up! It’s bigger than you.

#FollowTheCall 

-Andrea

My Class is Out of Control..Help Me!

power-struggle-artO M G! I am going to QUIT! These kids do not listen; they are so bad.  Did you know they locked me out of my classroom and flipped it upside down?

….. ¬†“No way, this never happened to you.”

Yes, you’re right; I totally made that last sentence up in my mind…BUT, it’s indeed possible.

I have had several teachers ask me how I get “the problem child” to behave so well in my class. ¬†I have taught in a Title I school for two years now, and as a minority I understand that, these kids are not the problem their environment promotes the problem.

Let’s also make something known; I am in no way perfect at classroom management, because it is a process; however, I do understand that there is a thin line between ¬†respect and rapport.

I can’t tell you how often teachers that have trouble with their classes call on one particular teacher that can quiet an entire assembly. ¬†All the students know that this teacher’s presence calls for respect. ¬†BUT WHY? HOW!?¬†

IT’S SIMPLE. RELATIONSHIP!!!

Well, Andrea, what do you mean by that? I have 88 students, and I know majority of their name.

Do you know how their day is going, what they like to do outside of school, are they in sports, have you ever ate lunch with them?

True story: I was in a teacher’s classroom who was trying to get her students to allow her the opportunity to teach, she yelled for a student to get quiet, and she made a comment that she was trying to help them. A student mumbled “yeah right, she doesn’t even know my name”. ¬†WOW

I remember when I was in school; I responded exceptionally well to the lessons of my teachers that talked to me or genuinely showed interest in my life outside of the classroom.  I desired to listen to what they had to teach me, because I honestly felt like they cared; however, I can count on one hand how many teachers had that effect on me. So, as a teacher I desired to do the same for my students.

  • Did you know little Johnny works after school everyday until midnight to help his mom take care of his little brother and sister? That’s why he fell asleep and was cranky when you yelled for him to wake up.
  • Did you know Jane is homeless? That’s why she is always taking food from the cafeteria and eating in your class.

You did not know these things, because you haven’t taken the opportunity to build that rapport with your students. ¬†You did not take the time to figure out the reason that they are not paying attention. ¬†Am I judging you? NO! However, now that you know, you can be the difference in that child’s life.

HOW TO BUILD THAT RAPPORT:

I start off the school year letting my students know that I am a teacher because I need them.  They are the difference that this universe needs. I let them know that they are the reason I am so passionate about education.  I let them know in advance that I am going to challenge and push them beyond limitations, and they may not always agree or like what I am doing, but it is to make them and myself better.  I respect them and in return they respect me and my expectations.  Believe it or not, kids want to do better, but they may not be able to truly express that to an adult figure.

Build that rapport with your kids! Don’t be the aggressor, kids and adults get defensive immediately if they feel attacked. Let’s face it, you would be offended if someone who doesn’t know the first thing about you is snapping on you.

  1. Set Clear Expectations.
  2. Let Students know Your Purpose.
  3. Be Consistent in your Expectations.
  4. Stand firm in your Expectations ( this includes consequences ).
  5. Respect Each Other
  6. Be Humble! Stay Patient

Here’s a short video about¬†Relationship¬†.

Can I Get A Break?

I cannot believe that we have made it half way through the year. ¬†My school year started off a bit interesting and more challenging than I expected. ¬†How many of us have that one associate or family member that says “you are so lucky you are a teacher, you get all the holidays off” ?

That has to be one of the last thoughts that rings through your mind.

A lot of outsiders think of our job as just a job with the benefits of holiday breaks; but we all know that is far fetched from the truth. ¬†Our job is not our job; it’s our passion and purpose, well, for me it is. ¬†I am happy to have a mental break from the “what can I do differently to reach this child, or how can I motivate my students”.

Let’s face it: even when school is out we still have the same thoughts. Ha!

With our younger generations, media has made it more challenging for them to actually critically think, but we know that already, so it is no longer a crutch that we can use.  We must take back the minds of our young people.

I noticed this school year my students had trouble maintaining their focus or even believing that it is possible for them to have and do better. ¬†So, I spent countless days and nights thinking of a master plan. ¬†I am a firm believe in you shouldn’t have a complaint without a solution. ¬†I prayed very diligently asking God to guide me on this journey of purpose and to use me as a vessel. ¬†Then this happened….

I started googling motivational strategies for student success; I talked to other teachers that made the statement you cannot reach them all.  I believe that everyone can be taught, but not everyone learns the same.  True, you may not reach that child in the moment you would like, but God has a way of using lessons and people in his perfect timing.  So, I refused to stop trying.  A lot of what our kids (I refer to my students as my kids) are distracted with have absolutely anything to do with school, but all about what happens at home.  Mental and emotional distractions are the worst.  A lot of our kids have never been pushed or told that limitations are barriers that we put around ourselves to protect us from the fear of failure. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us otherwise.

I found this empowering video on youtube.

Change Your Mind and Become Successful

The response my students gave me was beyond belief.  Not only did this video empower and encourage my students, but it made me desire to work harder at my own purpose and success.  Now, I can officially rest up for the following week of school, because my kids now have a sense of purpose and hope. I challenge you to pay attention to that tug on your heart on the days you are tired with the politics of education, the days your data does not reflect what you have given out to your students, and the days that you are done with being an educator. There are little people that are watching you and counting on you to be THE DIFFERENCE that they have not witnessed in their own life.

-Andrea

#TheEducatorsCall

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