Knowledge

 

October 2017

I’m sitting here trying to explain to Munch the importance of taking turns in class. He likes his teacher and is settling in, but he doesn’t understand why the teacher doesn’t call on him. Talking to him is like pulling teeth some times. I need definitive and direct answers about what is happening in class. I need to assess whether or not the class environment is working.

He continues to talk and says well I answered that question right. I respond “So, your teacher did call on you today in class?” “Yeah” he replies “But, I wanted to answer more questions”. I smile and tell him that I understand but it is important that the teacher calls on other students as well. I explain how teachers want to give other children the opportunity to answer questions as well, regardless of whether or not they may raise their hands. She needs them to participate.

He smiles. I asked does he understand and he says “Yes, mommy.”

Crisis averted. I search for more in depth analysis of his days because it is important to me that I learn about the complete classroom experience in his words. Before he even started schools, I searched to try and understand the research that was basically telling me that my son would have it harder than I ever did in school. Research that told me the following…

Black boys are more likely to be placed in special education.

Yes, I know it. Read the statistics. Scared me to think that I was sending my 5 year old black boy into a school that didn’t understand him. To a teacher that may not enjoy teaching children or better yet understanding the culture of black boys. I read how teachers like to diagnose and place them in special education. Not my Munch.

Black boys are not reading on grade level.

We spent a lot of time trying to prepare Munch for school. The French Immersion program provided him many benefits of learning another language. I knew that it would boost his scores in English and Math for his ACT and SAT scores that he would take later. I also knew that learning a foreign language would increase the size of his brain. Those things were important. I had to set him up for success. I read to him while he was in my womb and continued to read to him after birth. I made sure that he knew his site words and could read going into kindergarten.

Punishment for black boys is harsher than for any other demographic.

Yes, so many articles told me that Munch would be punished harder than his other peers who may be of a different race based on the color of his skin. I had to teach him things like “No rough housing, keep your hands to your self, keep a minimum of 10 feet between you and the next person when standing in line, etc.” It’s exhausting, but he had to know. He had to know that the lessons that I was teaching him would be of benefit.

Knowledge is powerful. When I read too much I get stressed thinking that Munch will suffer a fate worse than death if I’m not an advocate for him. That’s probably why I am active at his school and in his school. The administration has to know that I appreciate and support them.

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This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “K” is for Knowledge. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Motivational Monday Moment – 03.26.18

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment was inspired by this post that states “Sometimes the strongest people in the morning are the people who cried all night.” I love this quote because I’ve been there. I’ve cried all night only to wake in the morning knowing that I had to get up and get going because I still needed to run the race that I am in.

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The thing is that it is okay to cry. It’s okay to cry all night. Heck, I’ve done it. Been there. Multiple times. But, I get up each morning, adjust my crown and keep it moving. Nothing is going to stop me from participating in this thing called life.

See, life is hard. Truthfully, it can be the best of times or the worst of times depending on the season that you find yourself in. Know that it is just a season. It will pass. You will have good days and bad days, but the key is to get up and keep living those days. Nothing should stop you from moving forward. Not even the pain.

In the Baptist church I’ve heard many preachers say that “Joy cometh in the morning” and I used to be mad because I’d wake up and still be in immense pain from the situation that was affecting me. But, I realized as I aged was that the saying was not that your problems would be over, but that you woke up and you lived to see another morning and that my friends is why you should have joy.

You can cry. You can curse. You can wallow in self-pity about your lot in life or the hand that you’ve been dealt, but you have to remember that you are stronger in the morning. Why? Because you woke up and you kept going instead of letting your situation beat you down or hold you down. You are stronger because you kept going.

So, my Motivational Monday Moment is about believing that “Sometimes the strongest people in the morning are the people who cried all night.” You can cry. You can cry all night. But, when the morning comes love…you need to get up and fight. Fight for the new day you’ve been given. You owe it to your family. You owe it to yourself. Everyone has a battle. Everyone has a story. How will your story end?

Happy Monday loves!

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

I Need You To Stop

Stop what you may ask? Please stop sending me messages in comments asking me to follow your blog. I don’t know about you, but I hate when I get comments on a post with bloggers indicating that they’ve followed me and I would like me to follow them. I need you to stop it.

Why?

I follow over 1,000 bloggers. If you follow me, please note that I may look at your blog immediately and see if something resonates within me and follow you as well. However, I’ve learned that many people follow to follow. That’s not what I do. If I follow you, I will have your posts sent to my email which means that I read about 100 or more posts a day. I don’t just follow everyone.

I currently follow many people that don’t follow me. Does it bother me? No. I follow those who I enjoy. What bothers me is if I comment on a blogger’s post and they never respond. However, that’s not the case with those that I follow.

They are responsive and that is why I keep coming back to read their posts. Follow those bloggers that you like to read. Not the ones that you are trying to get to follow you just because. Cultivate an authentic blogging relationship.

If you want to gain new followers, please find a new way other than posting a comment asking me to follow you because you followed me. Spend time getting to know me. Comment on some of the things that I write. Show me you’re actually reading what I post and I promise you that kind of engagement will always make me follow you so that I can return the favor.

What are your thoughts on this?

Motivational Monday Moment – 1/2/2017

Today’s Motivational Monday Moment is patience. I need this and I hope that I’m not alone in my desire to have more patience in 2017. It’s the first Monday of the new year and I wish for me and for you patience.

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I’m not a patient person. I try to rush things. Whether personally or professionally. You would think that having a child, I would learn patience, but I haven’t. I just get impatient when I have to wait.

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When I have to  wait on things I often times will act like a brat. Like the act of waiting is the worst thing in the world to happen to me. I can’t stand to wait. What am I supposed to do while waiting?

Ugh!

Ever felt this way?

I have. I do still. I am asking for more patience in 2017.

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I want us to calmly accept that things are happening that we can’t control and we should just be patient. Patience. We want to patiently wait for things. It’s not our time.

It’s in God’s time. So, what do we do while we wait? We keep it moving. Prayerful knowing that everything will happen in the appropriate time. Be okay if it takes 3 years to buy a house instead of the 18 months you wanted. patience-1

Be okay if you don’t get the money to go back to school. Patiently find alternatives. Refocus and prioritize your goals. Know that you have to be patient because everything in due season.

Have a positive attitude and develop your patience. It’s waiting. Positively. Not stomping your feet like a two year old.

Have you ever had to wait on something? When you finally got it was it better than you ever imagined? Yep, it’s happened to me.

I couldn’t have imagined the blessing that I would have received. I wanted one thing and got something bigger and better. It wasn’t my time to get what I wanted. Whether it be a new car. A relationship or a job. God sent it when he was ready.

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I want more patience in 2017. Patience when waiting. Patience to accept the wait. Patience to know that when I get what I want it was well worth the wait. What about you?

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Mother’s Day – 2016

Today is the day where we honor all Mother’s for their strength, grace and unconditional love. The kind of love that invokes a smile when you think about how you tried to get away with things when you were a kid. Yep, that kind of love.

I’m spending today with my Munch of course and my mom. We’re taking her out to dinner. By we, I mean me. LOL. But, I’m truly happy that I have a mom and that I am a mom. I’m by no means perfect, but there was no greater joy for me than to feel my son growing in my womb and knowing that I was blessed.

So, I wish all of you Mother’s out there a wonderful day filled with lots of love, hugs and kisses from children that are happy you’re there. Whether you gave birth, adopted, became a guardian of a child know that you are truly blessed. There’s no other, like a mother.

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Parenting 101: Don’t Give Up

This is a continuation from my Parenting 101 post on Saturday…Parenting 101: Persistence is Key

By now, my tempers are flared and we are going to have to talk face to face because this is ridiculous. I asked her to call me in the first email which she didn’t. So, I sent this email to her:

I’m beyond frustrated. I’ve still not received the paperwork.  It did not come home on Friday as your teacher indicated.  It’s been almost 2 weeks of me requesting it.  I received classwork from 2/19 on 3/18. The assignment was graded at 35% for class work not 15%.  I want to see the assignment. Please have it sent to me by tomorrow.

Do you see what I’m seeing from the back and forth? The paperwork can’t be found. Now, remember that I asked for the paperwork on 3/10 and it’s now 3/22 and I still haven’t received it. I felt a set-up coming on…they were going to try and blame Munch for the missing assignment.

Not on my dime buddy.

The Principal then called me at this point. She could sense my “I’m about to set it off up in here mood”. I didn’t set it off, but I did let her know that I’m disappointed, discouraged and outright disgusted at her email and her blowing me off and trying to analyze my child without seeing the “missing paperwork”. I told her that apparently they’ve misplaced the paperwork and why didn’t the teacher send a copy home or PDF it to me on 3/10? Why wait until 3/18 when she had already given the grade? I told her that I was disappointed that her attitude regarding the policy is that the teacher can do whatever he/she likes even though their is specific criteria regarding children in grades 2-5 and that I should be checking the district’s School Max portal for updates on assignments when this teacher has told me that she’s falling behind on putting grades in. Are you going to manage her and tell her the guidelines say that grades have to be recorded by 11:59 pm on Sunday night each week that they are done or are you going to tell me that policy doesn’t apply here either?

She then tried to back peddle and say that she was new to the school and that she’s sorry that I don’t find the teachers compassionate. What? I responded, “Don’t do that. I’ve never said that. I expect that if I’m corresponding with you on a weekly basis that if you gave my son a zero that you would have notified me. What part of that isn’t clear?” She asked “Do you meet with the teachers?” “Yes, I’ve already had 3 this school year and the last one was last week on 3/15 which I asked her to be at and she informed me that she had a prior commitment.”

I explained that I’m trying to teach my son accountability but apparently that’s not a requirement for her or her staff. She apologized and said she was trying to locate the paper and would call me back. This is right before spring break so she would call me the next day.

She didn’t call back as she promised. Another disappointing outcome from the educator. So, I tabled it because we had a meeting scheduled on April 5th to discuss the bullying and this would be included in that meeting.

Here are my 4 concerns with how this situation is being handled:

  1. No one can produce the said assignment. They tried to blame Munch for losing it when they know that they didn’t send it home. Even if they did send it home, why didn’t they make a copy since it was a zero? Why didn’t she PDF it to me the same day I requested to see the paperwork? Especially when I email her every week.
  2. The Principal making it seem like I’m not an involved parent. You should have checked yourself when I sent you the first email and outlined the policy. That right there was your “verbal cues” (as you said) that would indicate that I’m educated, involved and informed on policy. Asking me whether or not I have had conferences with the teachers assumed that I’m slacking on my part as a parent.
  3. The condescending attitude that I should have to check the School Max portal to find out about grades because sending paperwork home timely is not going to happen. Are you serious? In 2015, my district had 66% of the students enrolled in the school system receiving free and/or reduced lunches. I don’t qualify, but if a district has a high proportionate number of children not having the funds to buy meals why would you assume that parents have access to a computer? The district doesn’t expect this to be the case which is why the state that classwork should be sent back home in a timely manner for the parents and the students to have an understanding of how their child is doing in class. The Principal assumes this in light of not knowing the population she represents.
  4. You are not being accountable. You said you would call me back and you didn’t. You could have sent a quick email and said “I can’t locate the paperwork and I’m getting swamped before my international travel, so let’s discuss at our meeting on April 5th”. I would have been disappointed but understood because she was traveling to Paris with the 8th graders for spring break.

This was getting ridiculous and I needed to calm down before I raised my blood pressure. I was disappointed to say the least but knew that I would handle this situation as soon as spring break was over. I had no choice. This administration was giving me a headache.

Broken And Wounded

I have to tell you that sometimes I don’t pray. Not that I don’t know how to pray. It’s not that. It’s that I am embarrassed because I hadn’t done it in so long. I hadn’t just had a conversation with God and meditated on His word. I was so busy being me and living life that I put God in the corner. I put the almighty in a box. – Journal entry

Sigh.

As I started writing my #wednesdaywisdom message, I re-read my journal post and realized that I was fumbling with my faith. That I was not praying like I should. Actually, I hadn’t prayed in almost a month when I wrote that journal entry. I was trying to handle my own stuff.

I bet I’m also not alone on this. I think we all get in the mindset that we can handle it on our own and that things are going well we don’t need to check-in with God because He can see us right? I became a fair weather Christian. Calling on Him only in my time of need. Making decisions without seeking God’s counsel.

You know what happened next right? Tragedy. I found myself in the worse pain of my life. My marriage had ended and I was brokenhearted and distraught at the pain I was going through. It was brutal. It was like a never-ending cycle of hell. I was so wounded by the words that were thrown around, the sides people I loved were taking and the inability to stop the noise in my head.

I was on my knees praying and crying for a peace that I felt like would never come. How could it? How could I get the peace I was praying for when I couldn’t stop the noise?

By submitting. I needed to submit. I needed to submit to the will of the situation and allow God to come in and do His will.

He did.

It was done.

I want to encourage you on this #wisdomwednesday with this message:

Psalm 147:3 (NRSV)

He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

No matter what you’re going through know that God heals the brokenhearted and will bind your wounds. Give it to God! Pray. Sometimes it will seem that you can’t hear God’s word because of the noise in your head and here’s how you can clear the noise:

Write a list of three things you’re thankful for on that day!

That’s it. It’s that simple. Make it a part of your daily prayer and meditation process. This writing your blessings and acknowledging His gratitude and grace over your life will help clear the noise out of your life. It will start to diminish the chaos in your mind and spirit. You are then able to see visually all that you have in spite of what you have going on in your spirit.

It is easy. It won’t happen overnight though. You have to keep with it. You know you “have to go through it to get to it” right? Peace will come. Your spirit will heal and your wounds will be bound. You will have a testimony once you’ve gone through the test. Just be patient my love.

Be blessed!