Archive for September 2015

Eight Days into the new School Year and already close to burnout   Leave a comment

…I consider myself fortunate I communicated to several colleagues my professional aspirations are outside education. As the saying goes, with age comes wisdom. As I said at the beginning of the summer, my return to the classroom was reluctant and a last-minut decision. I never said why until now. The feeling I’m now having is what I wanted to avoid in the first place. I shouldn’t have come back to working in a classroom so soon given how the previous school year ended for me. I should have taken this school year off at the very least.

I actually had one other option but the red tape involved wasn’t something I was willing to accept. No, it wasn’t City Year though now that I think of it, I did say to several folks 10 years ago that I would return in ten years. Unfortunately for me, I don’t meet the qualifications for any of the current open positions. This other final option I won’t name…let’s just say I would use it only in the event I was no longer able to work due to illness. As it happens, a new heart condition I learned about over the summer would be a sufficient precondition for this other final option.

The last time I used it, ironically I was burned out after barely finishing high school and doing data entry for six weeks in 2002. Alot of the things that went on with me from November 2002 to July 2003…well, let’s just say I was very close to doing something reckless before I started the application process with City Year in August 2003.

Getting back to my main point, I’m glad I was up front with my new school about my time there being only for this school year. I had no long-term plans when I applied for the position so…yeah. Unlike 10 years ago when I first started working as a Paraprofessional, I have the advantage of knowing what to expect this time. That said, I will approach this year the same as last year and see how far I can go. The problems I ran into last year aren’t present this year so for me, it’s simply a question of endurance. I’d be lying to myself if I know for sure I’ll make it to June despite what I told someone last week. It’s just a question of endurance and being honest, the fact that I have doubts this early on is a clear sign I shouldn’t have come back so soon.

It’s not a matter of if I can do the work or not. If I didn’t think I couldn’t do it at all, I wouldn’t have reapplied four weeks ago. My problem is I knew I didn’t want to come back and that’s why I feel the way I do now. If I had to put it in words, right now I’m just going through the motions at work. My thinking is do what’s expected of me at work until I find an opportunity to move on.

The silver lining is I got what I needed this past week. I know I can do the job where it counts the most: Support students in the classroom. Class transitions outside the classroom is still an area of concern for me and it’s what I will focus on for the rest of the month. I can’t afford to be identified as “unreliable” in this regard especially at the beginnning of the school year so…yeah. It’s not every day you get to do something for the first time three times in a row!

Anywho, I won’t talk about my employment status again unless there is a significant change. I am mindful some of my former colleagues do read my blog. This is why I am purposeful and intentional with the way I craft posts of this nature. I try to leave no room for speculation while at the same time I avoid intentionally saying things that would be detrimental to me professionally. That said, I have no problem owning up to the things I say on my blogs if asked.

 

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Black Lives Matter under attack; support building to get it classified as a Hate Group   Leave a comment

https://i1.wp.com/thatmakessense.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/WorthyLIFE.jpg

 

…Right.

It’s been two weeks since the 1-year anniversary of the incident that sparked the creation of the movement–the death of African American teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri at the hands of a white police officer–and the anti-black power movement has been ramping things up. It’s no conincidence the sudden interest in destroying the grassroots movement comes weeks after leaders of BLM met with Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Now that BLM wants to become more politically active, they’re viewed as a threat to White Power in America.

Notice I used the phrase “White Power” and not White People. I don’t know a single white person who disagrees with what BLM is about young and old. The racist establishments feel threatened so they’re simply reacting accordingly. Donald Trump suddenly pledging alliegiance to the Republican Party is more than just a political move: He did the GOP’s dirty work this summer and pulled all the white racists out of hiding and got them to pledge their votes to the Republican Party. THAT was why the GOP kept him at a distance up to now. When the RNC chairman said in July he wasn’t worried about Trump running as a third party candidate (which he still could if he wanted to), THIS is what he meant. They know they can’t control him so they figure at least they can use him. LOL.

Speaking of Fox News, Bill O’Reilly said the other day he’s making it his personal mission to destroy BLM. This comes a week after a BLM activist jokingly said online there is a petition to get Fox News classified as a hate group. The truth is there actually IS such a petition and I have signed it. Of course, Fox News took issue with that and reacted accordingly: Any police-involved shooting is now considered BLM’s fault even if the suspect is white or the suspect is an unarmed black person shot by the police.

https://i1.wp.com/media.cmgdigital.com/shared/img/photos/2015/06/13/7f/90/black_lives_matter_billboard.PNG

As of this picture I randomly found, I now officially support BLM.

I refused to support the group/movement if they did not speak out against the African American Community’s OTHER Elephant in the room: Black on Black crimes. Black people kill more black people than they do any other ethnicity. White people have no need to worry about being randomly shot in their own homes. Black people do and 90% of the time, the shooter is black. So all this time and energy being poured into making it sound like BLM is telling people to kill white people is just playing on emotions without a shred of proof or evidence.

That said, it’s also true that for a long time in this country, black lives don’t matter in this country. The focus right now is on police brutality but I am almost certain education will be next. You can’t tackle unemployment without first going to education. And I am ready for it.

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Now let me explain something to people who do not get WHY BLM considers the phrase “All Lives Matter” offensive: It’s because it’s simply not true and hasn’t been for decades and centuries. “All Lives Matter”, huh? Take a look at the refugee crisis in Europe: The western world is saying to the Syrian and Iraqi refugees coming in droves “Go away, we don’t want you. It’s your fault for being born there.” Americans did and continues to say the same thing to Latin American immigrants going on 40 years now under the guises “They took our jobs!” and “They’re criminals anyway!”

Before I change the topic, I will say if you believe the government has too much power in certain regards, you should feel obligated to support BLM. If you don’t want anyone to have to wonder if they will die if they are spotted by police, you should support BLM. If you don’t know “what the big deal is”, educate yourself.

This is a bit off-topic but it’s been 70 years since World War II ended. World War III is not too far off. In fact, I predict it will come within the next 5 to 10 years. The conditions for it to happen are already in place. All that’s missing is the catalyst. I also don’t expect America as we know it to survive, either. Folks around the world have NO IDEA how little faith most Americans have in their own government to look out for them when it counts. It’s not like it was back in the day if you know what I mean!

In an age where elections are bought and you can become president without actually being elected (2000 election says hi), America is a shadow of what it once was. Since 9/11, it’s been made painfully clear it might actually be in America’s best interests to split up. The Democrats and the Republicans are deadset on destroying America despite the founders being against a 2-party system in the first place. Unpopular presidents are viewed as evil dictators (Bush 43) or the Anti-Christ (Reagan) while popular ones are encouraged to have family members run for office (Clinton). It’s a broken cycle that needs to be brought to an end.

The question is does the American government have the guts to rewrite the constitution.

The latest Viral Dance Craze has divided the Internet   Leave a comment

I’m of course referring to The Nae Nae:

This one totally went over my head when I first heard about it in February. In fact, I had to ask my Facebook contacts about it the other day. Buzzfeed compiled everything you might wanna know here.

Then NECN featured this local principal doing the Nae Nae on the first day of school:

That said, I just emailed the principal of the Holmes School (where I will be working this school year) and asked her if she would be interested in doing it on Tuesday. If she agrees, I will post the video. Even if she declines, I plan to do it myself.

Getting back to the main topic, the song has divided the internet. On one side, you have those who love the song for the dance. On the other side, you have those who hate the song’s repetativeness, simplicity and lack of any substance despite being categorized as “Hip Hop”. That said, it definitely ISN’T music and was never meant to be “enjoyed” alone: All the song does is tell you what to do and nothing more. I rarely say this publicly but those who hate the song are haters or jealous haters who are just mad they never thought of comingup with the cash grab first. LOL.

Speaking of interactive songs, there was another song that came out about 15 years back that is still considered today one of, if not the greatest dance song ever thought of:

Yep, DJ Casper’s Cha Cha Slide. This song’s selling point, like Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae is literally nothing but telling you what to do yet it hasn’t received any of the hate the newer song has. Makes no sense if you ask me.

At present, Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae has clocked in nearly 196 Million hites on You Tube. If you think that’s alot, keep in mind the You Tube King Gangnam Style by Psy hasĀ 2,406,842,219 hits (and still counting!), a feat highly unlikely to be topped anytime soon. The question to ask is “Is this You Tube video something I will want to watch every day several times a day?” When you keep that in mind, the answer is obvious =D

Speaking of my Salary…   Leave a comment

https://i0.wp.com/www.bostonpublicschools.org/cms/lib07/MA01906464/Centricity/ModuleInstance/3054/large/holmes%2016.jpg

The Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School (K0-Grade 5)

This week, I will be returning to the school where I began my career as an Educator back in 2006 exactly 10 years ago. I moved twice during my first year at the Holmes within the first five months of the school year. I worked there as a Paraprofessional for six years before budget cuts resulted in me moving on to two other schools after the 2010-11 school year. Now I will be returning to my first school community once again as a full-time staff member.

The Holmes School is in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The last time I worked at the Holmes school, I lived in Roxbury between two bus routes that got me close (22 and 23) but I could walk straight there if I wanted to. Now I live in Hyde Park next to Dedham. To get to the Holmes, I’ll walk from my house to the Fairmount Commuter Rail Station, which is a short walk from Cleary Square on River Street. I’d then take the train two stops Inbound (to South Station) to the Talbot Ave. station, which was under construction during my first tenure at the Holmes. From there, it’s a short 5-minute walk to the school.

I’m intentionally not giving away exact locations since I don’t want to give away too much about how I travel to and from work. Plan B would also likely be a one-way trip going Inbound: I usually do my mid-week shopping after work so…yeah. Massive detour to Downtown Crossing and/or Back Bay! The tradeoff with that is I could just hop on the Orange Line to Forest Hills from either travel hub and take a taxi (usually do if I’m out past 8:00PM) or the 32 to get home.

Getting back to the main topic, the Holmes School uses an inclusion model and it’s where I learned what an inclusive classroom is supposed to look and feel like. The difference between the Holmes and Mission Hill is one is K0 to Grade 5 and the other is K0 to Grade 8. The Holmes actually also has more classrooms than Mission Hill despite having less grades: Before I left the Holmes, the school had 6 kindergarten classrooms: One K0 and 5 K1-K2 classroom. The school has three classrooms for grades 1 to 5, totalling 21 classrooms total (5 x 3 = 15 + 6 = 21). The Holmes also does not have multi-grade classrooms, which Mission Hill does. The benefit to two-grade classrooms is students will have the same teacher for two years. This is why Mission Hill has less classrooms than the Holmes in comparison despite going to Grade 8: One K0-K2, 3 K1-K2, 3 Grade 1/2 and Grade 3/4 and two Grade 5/6 and two Grade 7/8 Classrooms, totalling 14 classrooms. That’s a 7-classroom difference. Having worked in both schools for several years, I can make that comparison.

The one thing I want to stress is for the return to the Holmes, I’m alot more experienced than I was 10 years ago. I’m a lot less naive for one. I’m also much more focused like I was during my last year at Mission Hill. Focused on the work that needs to be done and what I need to do. I’m also less stiff and rigid, which is always handy =D

The 2015-16 Boston school year begins this Tuesday!

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