Cha-Ching!! Cha-Ching!! And the winner of this weeks Mega Millions is….. ME!!! Can’t you just imagine? How many of us have daydreamed about winning big?? For years, people have played the number putting all their hopes and dreams into that weeks jackpot! I have had several conversations with people joking about what I would do with my winnings. So here it goes:
Step 1 – Don’t tell a soul. Contact the lottery company to get access to my funds. 🙂
Step 2 – Check into a secret hotel with a fake name to think! What to do with all the $$?
Step 3 – Take a vacation in this order – Paris, Italy, Greece, Africa, India..
Step 4 – The free spirit in me would have to spend frivulously while on these vacations.
Step 5- Lounge beach side on these vacations & come up with a master plan on what to REALLY do with the winnings.. 🙂
In all honesty. I believe that the real jackpot of life is to be able to do something that you love while sharing the best part of yourself with the world. With my winnings I would:
1. Start a program for young girls about self-awareness, healthy living, and life lessons.
2. Donate to my beloved Alma Mater – North Carolina A&T State University..AGGIE PRIDE!! A collegaue there won the Distinguished Service Award in FACS in 2010. Check them out www.ncat.edu
3. Start a program for young men who aspire to become teachers. Set them on the path to pay it forward..
4. Give to my parents for all that they have given me. They deserve to frolic in splendor during their retirement years and not worry about anything but watching the grandkids while I’m on vacation 🙂
This year seemed to be a never ending whirlwind! Every aspect of life was wrapped up with school & work! Between working 2 jobs and attending Grad School, writing papers, observations, lessons, getting engaged and student teaching, I hardly found the time for myself, my family and friends, not to mention my relationship…Whew! I can’t believe that it’s November and pretty soon it will be Christmas! Where did the year go? Balancing work and family is such an important thing to do in order to be a well rounded person. It’s good for the body and mind to take time to rest from work. I make sure to find the time for little things on my days off. I try to not think about anything and just relax for a day. I enjoy my quiet days to relax, relate and release! During this time I enjoy reality tv, junk food, music, spa treatments and gossip.. lol.. I don’t often have much time to enjoy these things so I completely over indulge myself on my days off. As far as family goes- I make sure to call my family a few times a week to remain sane. I like to take the time out of my busy self absorbed week to ask them – HOW ARE YOU? Sometimes, we get so engrossed in our own lives and work, that we forget about the ones that helped us along the way! Thank God for my family. Thank you! After taking time to rest, relax and talk to my family, when I return to work, I am focused and ready to make magic happen. I perform better and get better results when I am well-rested and feeling balanced.
Last year at our professional conference at CW Post, Dr. Andrea Mosenson – THE GURU of FACS- introduced the phrase: Digital Natives. Digital Natives are those that have grown up in the information & technology age and have a vast understanding of the concepts. They are our new generation of students. These kids are whizzes on computers, cellphones, ipods, ipads and many other devices. Many can teach their parents how to use these things as well. When I was in high school, classrooms were considered ‘high-tech’ if they had a computer, tv and/or DVD player. Nowadays, schools are equipped with smartboards, computers, blackboard, Notebook10, E-Grading Systems and even parent websites to communicate with teachers. Some school districts are even giving their administrators Ipads to keep in touch instead of the normal blackberry. During a Sew-n-Swap workshop, I visited the new Roosevelt Middle School and learned that they could Skype with classrooms in China! That’s awesome.
In addition, technology helps students with special needs communicate in ways that they never could before. IPhones & Ipads have applications such as ArtikPik that help children with developmental delays and speech problems communicate better as well as help to develop motor skills. For Autistic students, the Ipad is a critical tool for children to use the special applications to help them to communicate. Proloco2go and Autism Express can help them simulate conversation and to improve attention span. Its amazing. Furthermore, Assistive Technology allows hearing and sight imparied students to participate in lessons and activities along with other students.
As teachers, it is part of our duty to be well versed on these new technologies. We should consistently take professional developmental courses to become familiar with new programs and software. By learning these new technologies, we can better keep our students engaged and ready to learn.
Elusive goal. hmmm.. When I think about this phrase, sooo many different things come to mind about my journey towards becoming a teacher. The goal that stands out to me the most is the one thing that I believe was the hardest for me to achieve/overcome/fight for.. STUDENT TEACHING!!! Putting your work life, social life, love life on hold to focus on creating zillions of lessons, worksheets, rubrics, videos, icebreakers, etc… Wow! I remember my first graduate classes at QC having to create one lesson to present to my peers. I was soo nervous! I remember thinking, ” I sound ridiculous! Why the hell am I rambling? Is anyone listening? Why do they all have the ‘blank stare’?? All these different things would make me so nervous. Who was I kidding? One little lesson in grad class is no comparison to student teaching or co-teaching. It’s one thing observe & assist. But, it’s a whole other thing to command a classroom for 42 minutes. In the beginning, it was really hard for me to believe in my abilities as a teacher. As a career changer, I knew I had the desire and interest, but I wasn’t positive that I had the skills. However, my cooperating teacher was amazing. A-mazing! She made me push myself to believe in my abilities and to use my creativity in my lessons and pedagogy. I knew I had become a better teacher when I looked up one day in my Independent Life Skills class and had 15 boys sewing a button on a tiny piece of muslin. I was shocked! This class was made up of about 15 boys and 4 girls. Needless to say, they weren’t too geeked about the ‘Sewing Lesson’.. 🙂 As I am writing this post, I look over at my big book of lessons that I created with hard work and determination. It makes me soo proud. Student teaching by far has been the hardest goal to achieve. But I did it! And it was an experience that will stay with me forever. Thanks Ms. Amaris!
A memorable teacher from my student years is none other than Mrs. Angela Coleman. Mrs. Coleman was my teacher and mentor when I was a member of a girls club called Sisterhood Agenda. Mrs. Coleman is a Princeton Alumni and founded Sisterhood Agenda to empower young girls and women t make a difference in their life and the lives of people around them. My mom suggested that I join this club in high school to get some community service experience and to meet different types of people. Two Saturday’s a month, a group of us would have classes about personal development, health and hygiene, etiquette and manners, community service and self respect. During my adolescent years, I really needed this type of positive reinforcement to set me on the right path. At the end of the program, I was given a poem by Mrs. Coleman entitled, ” Movers and Shakers in a World that Will Break Ya”. This poem talked about all the things that we deal with in life and how we can make the decision to handle them in a way that embraces who we are and empowers us as individuals and as women. I have had this poem since I was a senior in high school. It stays in my journal and I read it often. I am sooo appreciative to have had this experience as a young girl. Mrs. Coleman was a great teacher. I think she may be the reason I was inspired to teach, especially young women. The great thing about this woman is that almost 15 years later, she is still running this program. Except now, she has moved her organization from little ole’ Durham, NC to the beautful island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands… Hmmm… I wonder if she could use some help down there? 😉
I am a true lover of autobiographies. I have read the biographies of Josephine Baker, Audre Lourde, Maya Angelou, Sidney Poitier, Eleanor Roosevelt, Diahann Carol and many more people whom lives I find intriguing. I find it very interesting to see life through another persons point of view. Especially women. I would love to write a book with a collection of biographies of women who have decided to make an imminent change in their lives and in the lives of others. Whether that change was about their careers, personal challenges, travels, becoming an educator, moving to a foreign land or even simply deciding to take on a new challenge in life. There is a book that was written many years ago by a woman named Susan Breathnach. It is called, Simple Abundance: A Day book of Comfort and Joy. This book is a collection of the authors personal essays on her journey to find her true calling. I love this book. It is inspiring. I would love to write a book of collective biographies/memoirs of a women who’s lives I admire: First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama, Dorothy Dandridge, Tyra Banks, Meryl Streep, Linda Johnson Rice, Joy Gordon, Oprah Winfrey and my Mom… just to name a few..
Be the Change you wish to see in the world – Ghandi
I believe that passion is defined as that thing that you love to do, talk about, be around, sing about, or just simply enjoy. In this life, most people can only find time to dabble in their passions in their spare time off from work or school. However, some of us are part of that elite group that can work on their passions as a career. For me, I have always been passionate about two things; fashion and helping others. All of the goals I have set forth for myself in life have aligned with those two interests. After I graduated college, I was blessed to work in the fashion industry and learn so much more about the business of fashion. While working in the industry, I volunteered and mentored students in my spare time. That is when I realized that I enjoyed working with kids more than I loved fashion. Who knew?! This realization helped me to put my next goals in place towards becoming a teacher. Working with kids is such a joy! It’s hard work, but if your passionate about what you are doing, your best effort shines through in your classroom and in your students performance. Like that famous Confucius quote, ” Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” That’s one goal that I am definitely working on. – JB
Every since I was a young girl, my parents always instilled the importance of community service and volunteering. When I was in high school, I became a member of an organization called Sisterhood Agenda. This organization was a rites of passage for teenage girls to spend time once a week volunteering in the community and discussing topics including family, friendship and personal development. After graduation from this program, I became a mentor to the new girls entering the program. This idea of service has followed me into my adult life and I have continued to volunteer with organizations in my community. Volunteering has provided me with a sense of responsibility and service to my community and it has helped me to discover where my true calling is in life, to teach and help others. The happiness and well being that my work spreads, and the feeling of having contributed something to someones life, keeps me motivated to continue giving the best of myself to other people. As a FACS teacher, the curriculum we teach offers the perfect platform do this. Through our curriculum, we can teach students how to make a difference in the world so that they can grow up and be active members of their communities.