Why I’m Getting Close to Pulling My Kid From School

What’s My Big Problem?

I’m the parent of a kindergartener and an educator myself. Having worked in the public school system for nearly a decade, I would always seemingly joke that I would never put my kid into the system after seeing the inner workings. I always would joke about it. But, I think the joke may be over.

My new journey is to learn as much as I can about what it will take to transition to homeschooling my daughter. I’ve always liked the idea but never thought that I would be a sufficient teacher for her. After all, I do need her to be able to learn from others as well as socialize well with her peers.

Those were my fears for not choosing homeschool all along – the peer isolation and the inability to be an adequate educator for her. I know these myths can be debunked.

My Issues with “The New Way”

As an educator, heart and soul, I am supportive of innovation. The innovation in teaching a foreign language developed by Dr. Stephen Krashen – the Natural Approach – is what drew me to teaching my passion, the French language. Upon researching for links to use in the previous sentence, I learned that Dr. Krashen himself has just published an article on his blog entitled “The Common Core – Ignoring Education’s Real Problems“, dated November 4, 2014. In short, he contests the Common Core agendas ignore the issue of poverty – the heart of the real issues of our schools’ brokenness. I encourage you to check it out – it’s a quick four page read.

So, what he said.

Then, to add to it, I feel so ill prepared to help my child through her school years. I was overwhelmed by something I saw in her class today that has insisted that I spill these words that are bursting out of me. I felt so unable to help my daughter do something as simple as 10+9=19. I didn’t have the proper vocabulary to help her. I know they are training them to learn the vocabulary that will help them succeed as they proceed, but it bothers me that I can’t help her. In kindergarten. I’m not helpless, I can learn, and I already have, but I’m an involved parent in the classroom. What about everyone else? How can they help their kids? The school isn’t sending home packets for us to study to understand what they are learning. It’s just happening.

It feels sneaky to me. And I don’t like that feeling. At all. Especially from the government. Nope. Not a fan.

I want to be clear – I DO want her to understand other concepts of learning. I just don’t like how things are going down in reality.

Do I take her learning into my own hands? Do I just bite my tongue and ship her off on the bus every day to learn The New Way? Will it even persist? Will the government take a deeper look at how they are trying to implement a common system throughout a highly diversified nation?

If I take her out of school, I still pay the taxes, but the district has one less pupil. That hits them where it hurts – in the pocketbook. Money talks, don’t they say?

I am ready to learn something new, too. Our New Way may just be the Homeschool Way. (I can’t believe I’m writing this!) But, I mean it.

Any comments, tips, suggestions are welcome. I appreciate your time reading my thoughts. Some may applaud, some may not. Which are you?

Sources Used

“Books and Articles by Stephen D. Krashen” (2014) Retrieved from the World Wide Web at http://www.sdkrashen.com/ on November 21, 2014.

Krashen, Stephen. (11/4/2014) “The Common Core – Ignoring Education’s Real Problems”. Retrieved from the World Wide Web at http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articles/2014_krashen_the_common_core_ignoring.pdf on November 21, 2014.

“Natural Approach” (2014) Wikipedia. Retrieved from the World Wide Web at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_approach on November 21, 2014.

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Professional Development: whose responsibility is it?

So many organizations are ripe with employer-driven personal and professional development opportunities that are supported, encouraged and often even funded by the company. I often tell my students to get a job with their Bachelors degree and find an organization to work for that will pay for the Masters. These organizations are the kind to keep on your radar, for sure, and these opportunities should be considered when making job choices.

But what if you work for an organization that really doesn’t do anything for their employees’ personal or professional development? Some of us do work for these types of companies and often end up there – stuck – for long periods of time. Maybe the money is good and you have a family at home, and your life just requires stability right now. So even though the organization is not supportingyour forward momentum in your career, you stay to keep the bills paid and roof over your head.

Understandable.

Respectable.

But there has to be a way to move forward in your career without loss of the current financial situation.

This is where the responsibility comes in. Some of us are lucky to have the responsibly built into our vocations via licensure and CPEs. But those of us who aren’t still have a lot of opportunities to grow, albeit on our own dimes and time.

Here are just a handful of the ways anyone in really any profession can ensure personal and professional development:

  • Join your occupation’s professional development organization. This opens access to special events, dinners, and even job opportunities through membership and the networking possibilities.
  • Attend seminars, conferences, and workshops in your field of expertise. These events are often posted in publications by the professional organizations, magazines, and all over the internet social media.
  • Take a class on a topic that you need to improve. A business owner friend is mine is taking a Quickbooks class at the local community college to get to know the system better.
  • Read books about the latest and greatest of the field. Some may know that yours truly needs a push too sometimes, but it really is an excellent way to keep you informed about developments in your area of expertise.
  • Follow bloggers that keep you thinking and that have the same career interests as you. We have choices who to follow or unfollow. Raise your hand if you ever got caught up in the negative trap of tweets. (All hands in the air.) Yep. Take control. Unfollow. At some point, we all need to clean up shop.

So Professional Development: whose responsibility is it? YOURS!🎉

I love this stuff. It is my passion to find ways to make people’s lives and careers better. Let’s all make sure that we are doing the best for ourselves and take charge of our professional selves❤

I’d love your comments, thoughts, and certainly, follows! I’m suddenly on a mission, so I’ll be posting much more from now on. Introduce yourself and let’s have a dialogue! (That’s for you, Art! 😉)

The Rhetoric of Achievement

Sometimes, the smallest details can make a humongous difference.

Take, for example, a slight change of wording. Words carry not only meaning but substance and can define a situation based on the weight and temperament of the word in the perception of the readers.

Case in mind:

Instead of using the term “goal setting”, what if we used the word “dream planning”?

As important is the process of setting goals to achieve desired success, somehow it seems that the terminology is almost generic in a way. Goal setting and planning are such critical, lifeline processes in designing, running, and growing a small business – yet so many small business owner don’t have a concrete plan.

My idea is to revitalize the spirit in small business owners by bringing their consciousness back to what got them started in the first place: The DreamThe daily operations of the business often gets in the way of seeing the big picture of The Dream, as often the small business owner is a key producer of the organization, if not the sole producer. This is the central concept in my own small business, Laura The Project Gal – to help small business owners find, define, and achieve their dreams. 

I’d love your thoughts on the importance of rhetoric in goal setting. Am I making a big ado about nothing? Or could we dig into the spirit of entrepreneurs with a rhetorical concentration of words that touch the heart?

Please comment below – I’d love to get the conversation going.

That itching, nagging thought or idea

We all know we have that one ounce of extra something in us that could truly drive us to our personal limits. That itching, nagging thought or idea that just excites your mind, making your blood pump and your palms sweat, that idea that is going to change the world! (Imagine a guy with his white dress shirt top couple buttons unbuttoned, megaphone in hand exclaiming those last three words. That’s what I picture.)  So, why don’t more people have their success story? Why do so many people tell that itching, nagging thought or idea to just go away?

Could it be that really we’re afraid of becoming successful?  Could it be that although it is just such a great and respectable goal it would require us to change?

A new schedule.  New commute routes to learn. New contacts to create. Starting from the bottom yet again. These are scary and daunting truths about change,  at least in your career.

I bet if I asked for a show of hands in a random audience of who’s self-sabotaged an opportunity or experience because of the fear of change that the number of hands raised would far underrepresent the minds of those chewing on something they’d rather keep to themselves.

What if even one of those people could become inspired enough to take the plunge and answer that itching, nagging idea or thought? Maybe the answer to the plastic grocery bag problem? Or, perhaps the training to become the world’s happiest flight attendant and travel the world? Or even the response to a call for a theological life?

Do you have a story to share?  Was your hand raised or did you keep it to yourself? Did you listen to that itching, nagging thought or idea and have success? Or even a flop? (They say the journey is just as important as the destination.)

We’re BAAAAACK!!!

We’re BAAAAACK!!!.

My cousin Jen is raising a living and breathing miracle! Her son was born very premature,  and his brother went to Jesus after just a few short days with his mom and dad. Jacob has been handed a boatload of mental and physical challenges but Jen and her husband Bryan are working to knock them out of the way. They f I understand a place called IAHP, the Institute for Human Potential,  and this little boy is not only seeing when he was previously considered blind, but he’s even reading upwards of 100 words!

 

Check out Jen’s blog about their journey of miracles. If you can, please consider donating so they can continue the important work to help Jacob live a regular life.

 

Be true to you

I know so many people are trying to get ahead in life, working towards that dream career, chugging along to become someone.  As an educator and self proclaimed nerd, I support everyone who is working towards making themselves better.

However,  be true to you.

So many people work hard to get in a career that will make the bucks, pay the bills,  and allow them to live a certain lifestyle. But at what cost?

Life is measured in so many ways, but the money we make is left behind when it’s time for our legacy to live for us.

This topic has been said and done before, but it is so real that it deserves yet another blog post. I love my job,  but it’ll never make me rich. I struggle internally with the two – richess in the bank or in my heart.

I choose my heart. And a difference I will make. Maybe even for you 🙂