Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Don't Be Your Child's First Bully

     With bullying being so prevalent in this world today though social media and texting people tend to forget that the bully might not just be the person behind the computer screen, the actual bully sometimes is the person the child looks up to and loves the most,yes the parent. Now I don't believe many parents mean to bully their kids. I think it happens accidentally through the daily stresses of raising a child. It is important for parents to really stop and think of what they say and how they speak to their child. Yes, parents sometimes are their child's first bully. Having the bully at home makes it even harder to face the cyber bullies along with those at school.

    Things not to tell your kids: Don't say "you always do that." No one always does something, a child doesn't always forget to put away his toys, he doesn't always forget his homework. Always means there's no room for improvement The better thing to say is "you sure do struggle completing your homework, and you forget to put always your toys a lot of the time." That leaves room for improvement.

     Some parents in their anger cal their kids brats, tell them they are bad and sometimes even that they are dumb. I know many times a parent says those things in the heat of frustration at a disobedient child but those things are still harmful, hurtful and can not be taken back.

     My main reason for this blog though was for the parents who use absolutely no self control and are well, mean to their kids, they are their child's first bully.

     It is never ok to call a child stupid, if a child does something that is not that bright, tell them what they did was not smart but never say they are stupid. It is never ok to call a kid names like jerk or *
hole or any of the other curse words I've heard parents spew at their kids. I've heard parents call their kids stupid little jerks and worse and that is in public. I wonder what those poor kids hear when at home. It is bullying plain and simple!

     Kids are innocent and sweet young people, they grow into annoying teenagers who can be sweet at times. Regardless of how old they are kids need to know they are loved at home and do not need that first bully to live at home.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hoaxes Aside-Rule of Thumb: Don't Add People to Your Facebook Friends List if You Do Not Know Them

I have been getting a message about not adding Jayden K Smith if he sends a friend request on Facebook today, July 9, 2017. I had seen that same message a while back and many others like it before so I researched it and many sites say it is a hoax. the site I trust most, Snopes, says it is a hoax. I do not understand why people start these hoaxes except maybe to flood the internet.IT has flooded my private messages for sure because it also says that even if your friends accept the request you will get a virus too. I honestly do not know how that is possible and all sites I have researched have said it is not possible. The day that I can get a virus from what others on Facebook do is the day I will say farewell to Facebook.
My rule of thumb is that I never add people to my friends list unless I know them and I always ask how they know me before I add them. I have received requests from people who I've never heard of, I ask how they know me and they never respond so....I delete the request. Or there are times I get a request from an already friend, that is when I ask my friend why they sent me a request and know that they have been hacked. I don't add famous people because well, they don't know me so why would they want to add me to their list? Really, if I received a friend request from Johnny Depp a red flag would go up since I am just, well, me and he does not know me from the man in the moon so would have no reason to friend me. It would obviously be a hack.
So folks best rule of thumb is to be careful out there in the world of Facebook. Know who your friends are...

+hoax+JaydenKSmith+add+Facebook

 http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/hackermail.asp

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Why Do Men Love Boobs?

    Lets talk about boobs, yes boobs, you know those things that men think are so amazing and froth at the mouth over. They go absolutely crazy over them, if a woman's are big a man will not even look her in the eye because he is fixated by her boobs. Men think they are wonderful, amazing and want their woman to have big ones. Some men even pay for their woman to enlarge hers.
     News flash though from someone who has been cursed and saddled with big ones, they are not fun, they are not something we love, they are just two big blobs of fat that are connected to the front of our body. They get bigger as we gain weight and then are hard to rid ourselves of as we lose.
     They really are just fat, as I gained weight they got bigger. I did not like them and was not happy about that. Now even when I lose weight though, they remain a larger, fatter part of my body.
     Do men like our stomach rolls? Many do not, so why on earth would they like boobs?
     So seriously, I wonder what on earth it is that a man finds appealing about these two blobs of fat that serve no purpose after child rearing years are done..They are just...there, hanging low as we grow older.
     When I was younger I noticed that many  men rarely looked me in the eye, they just looked at my chest. It was to say the least very annoying. I found them to  be rude and disrespectful. I mean I had a face, I looked them in the eye so why not show me the same respect.
     Anyhow back to my question, why oh why do men love those blobs of fat we call boobs?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Farewell Turbo Tax: I Will Never Pass Your Way Again

     I used TurboTax to file my and my sons returns for a few years because it was less expensive than other programs and easy. I would have done them myself with paper and pen but liked the idea of e-filing so we received our returns faster.

     Well after yesterday I will never use them again! I am so angry with TurboTax. I filed my sons 2015 taxes with them. It did cost around $25.00. I downloaded a copy of his returns and printed them too..however to my dismay he now needs them to file his college Fafsa and I can't for the life of me find my copies.

     I thought "I will just go to TurboTax and get a copy of his taxes." Nope that is not going to happen unless I pay for a copy. Really! thy want me to pay for a copy that I can easily download. I am not asking them to send me a hard copy. They won't be out anything by allowing me to look at my sons records.

    I paid to get his taxes done with a real accountant and asked for a copy of his 2016 return. I had it in my e-mail the same night.

    I am still looking for the copies I printed and downloaded because I really do not want to pay this company for something that I should not have to pay for.

    You have lost a customer forever TurboTax. I will ne
ver use you again! What a rip-off!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Creating Bullies and Low Self-Esteem

     I know that many believe positive discipline in the classroom is a wonderful thing. We should never use negative discipline such as writing names on the board or taking away recess. That harms kids. Hmm well I beg to differ and have a different view of some of the positive discipline ideals. Now don’t get me wrong, it is good to be positive and the ideals of positive discipline in many aspects are great however for the most part if you want kids to behave then sometimes the negative promotes positive behavior. A child will not die if he misses a recess and if he is misbehaving getting his name on the board is not going to hurt him as long as the rules are clear. This blog is not about that though it is about how positive discipline can promote bullying and low self-esteem in my opinion.
     One example of positive discipline that I was introduced to was that the teacher is to praise the children who are obeying the rules and ignore those who are misbehaving. The idea behind this is that the ones who are misbehaving will want the praise the children who behave are getting. This sounds great in theory and might work great with younger students such as K-1 but as kids grow older this type of discipline bothers me and I believe is not just ineffective but detrimental to the mental health and well being of the kids.
     The scenario:
Mrs. Jones has a class with 25 students. Many of her kids are acting up in class. They have a habit of not doing their work, just not doing what they are supposed to do. But then there is Billy who always does what he should, he always sits quietly waiting for directions, never causes any problems. So instead of reprimanding those who are acting up and not doing what they are supposed to do Mrs. Jones praises Billy saying “I love how Billy is sitting still in his chair.”  She also constantly says “Billy always has his work done on time and he is always ready to listen. “
     It would be great if this worked and the other kids began doing what they should but this will most likely get Billy beat up during recess. The other kids are just going to think he is the teacher’s pet and they will not like him. They will mistreat him and be cruel. In turn this results in low self-esteem for Billy. This kind of discipline has created bullies out of kids who most likely would have started behaving once they realized they would lose recess or something else they loved if they did not obey the rules.

     We are such a society of “everyone wins” and “don’t say anything negative to the kids” that we are creating bullies and low self esteem.  Sometimes negative does equal positive and positive equals negative. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

In this "Me" Society: Unhealthy Relationships Should Not Include the Kids

Living in such a "me" world I notice so many people put themselves before their children on a regular basis. They go from relationship to relationship never providing stability or a healthy environment for their children. They never stop to think about their kids and how their relationship choices are doing to them. Or maybe they think of it but since the "I" in their life is most important they don't care about their kids. Many of them find people who seem to think they are the new "boss" and let that person take over, even with the raising and well being of their kids. NEWS FLASH, they are not someone else's kids and how a person raises their kids is none of the new persons business. There is yet another unhealthy relationship and this is when one parent, usually a female, enters into a relationship with an abusive person.

I watch so many people who have kids get into these relationships that last maybe a month, two months and sometimes even a little bit more. They bring families into the kids lives and try to intertwine the two. The kids become attached to the extended family and then poof, the relationship ends and so do all of the connections with the extended family. This leaves the kids sad and hurt. Before bringing people into your children's life, make sure they are going to be there a while.

For adults bringing people into and out of their own life is hard enough, doing that to their kids can be heartbreaking if they learn to like the people that enter their lives and then exit just as quickly as they entered.

Adults get over things much faster than kids and really need to stop and think of the consequences once the new person becomes a distant memory, it is not always that way for the kids. They miss the extended family they learned to care about.

So before bringing the kids into things, make sure they are going to last. Parents must think of their kids first. Adults who enter relationship after relationship are unstable, it is unfair and cruel to make their kids a part of their unstable lifestyle.

Now on to how I have seen so many people enter these relationships and allow the new person to become the "boss". The parent lets the boss take over. The boss dictates every aspect of how the child is raised. This is wrong. The child does not belong to the boss and the boss has no business butting in. Yes the boss should care if the child might do something to cause harm to himself but usually the boss doesn't really care. The boss just wants to be in control and tell the parent what to do. The boss does not care about the child one bit, the boss only cares about "being the boss." If an adult wants to be in a controlling relationship that is his or her right as an adult but letting the person boss the kids is unhealthy and wrong.

The final unhealthy relationship is the abusive one. I will use the example of a man abusing a woman because that is the most common abusive relationship. This is unhealthy for the woman,, but she is an adult, it is child abuse in my mind for her to bring her kids into this relationship. If she is going to live that way then that is her right, however she should not bring her kids into it. If she truly loves her kids she will not allow them to be around the abusive man. That is one of the most unhealthy environments a person could place a child into.

First of all the child does not need to watch his or her mom being abused. This is emotionally damaging and leaves life long scars. The parent should care more for her child than to expose him or her to that type of abuse. But again in this "me" world we live in the parent does not think off the child.

Most important though is that the abuser will eventually abuse the child too. The abuser might even be doing it if the parent leaves the child in his care. It is a risk that is not worth taking.

Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about the loving relationships out there where a parent meets someone new, makes sure the relationship will last then the kids enter the life of the new person. The new person is loving, caring and nurturing to the children but also realizes that he or she is not the parent and does not become the dictator. However out of love does offer discipline that is nurturing and caring. That is healthy for the kids.

If a person just "can't live" alone then so be it, however once you have kids your life is not your own and you should never, never, never place them in an unhealthy relationship. You not only risk their emotional health but possibly physical well being and you keep the unhealthy pattern going...Wake up call parents, your life is not about "me". It is about your kids, put them first, they deserve it.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Second Grade Grammar: The Three Theirs and More

     Nothing gets to me more than people who use incorrect grammar. I mean come on folks with spell check and such it isn't that hard to get it right...in most instances. Sometimes though the spell check doesn't spell check all of the spelling errors. For instance if you know something it won't always correct if you type that you no it.

    I wonder though if many people just did not pay attention in school when they were back in the 2nd grade. So here is my little lesson about one of my pet peeves....

     The three theirs...you don't go over their, you go over there. There going to the store is a contraction and should be they're..you know they are...and it was their party not they're party. Simple right? If you ask a 2nd grader they will tell you it is.

     Then there are the yours...or is it you're? Hmm so here you go, if you're going to the store then you are going to the store...contraction....it isn't your going to the store. If something belongs to you it isn't you'res it is yours.

     By and buy are also words that are misused quite often. You don't by an item you buy it, and I want to stand by the tree not buy it.

          I know, I know for many they are just typos but for some they are not...just one of my pet peeves that 2nd grade grammar stuff.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Breast Feeding in Public: There's Nothing Wrong With Modesty

     The hot topic the last year or so has been breast feeding in public. Well I may have an unpopular view but, differing views is what the world is all about right?

     I breast fed both of my sons, breast milk is  healthy for children, it provides them with some very beneficial antibodies the first year of their life. It  is also extremely convenient for the mom. I mean no bottle warming, wake up in the middle of the night and you are ready to feed your baby. It is also a special bonding time for baby and mom. I loved those late night feedings. There are cons to breast feeding, mom is the only one who can feed the baby so it means she gets few breaks and sometimes little sleep. Baby is not always hungry at convenient times so it means feeding in awkward situations which is where the controversy lies.

     Those public feedings is what this post is about. How does a mom handle that? You are in the store, baby cries and mom lactates needing to feed her hungry baby. When I breast fed my sons I would either go to the restroom to feed them or I had a blanket so I could cover myself giving me privacy while I fed my baby. I could not have just plopped my boob out for the world to see. That is the modesty I refer to.

     Now days women just plop out their boob and feed their baby wherever they are. While I disagree whole heatedly that it is a crime and I do not believe they should be ridiculed for breast feeding I do believe there is nothing wrong with showing a little modesty. There is nothing wrong with covering up. It will not harm the child if mom covers up while feeding. Everyone knows what she is doing but she just isn't showing skin.

   
    Those are my thoughts, maybe I am old fashioned, maybe I am a bit too modest. Whichever the case may be I firmly believe that breast feeding a baby is the best way to go if you are able to. I also believe a woman has the right to do it in public however I think that many agree with me,there is nothing wrong with being modest about it.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Children Should Not Be included in Revolving Relationships

You are probably wondering what a revolving relationship is, it is that relationship that is the most wonderful ever, oh so true, that person someone has been with for hmmm maybe a month or two or possibly even 6. The person that someone moves in with and their children must like him or her too.

This is wrong, a person should never bring someone new into their child's life until that person is a permanent person in their life. It is not fair to the child for parent's to make every new relationship the new "step parent" or live in adult figure. It is important to make sure it lasts before making them a part of your child's life.

I see so many people, mostly women find a new man, move in and expect their children to like him and worse allow him to tell the children what to do, allow him to dictate life and much of the time put him before the kids. Then in a few months the man is history because she has moved on to something else. Enter someone new in the child's life.

This is hard on children and parents really need to stop and think of their kids, put them first, put them before every new Tom, Dick or Harry who enters the picture. And once that person enters the picture for good, make sure he or she knows that he will not take presidence over the kids and he or she is not there to dictate, he is there to care and to love. Any loving person would do that anyhow, it usually is the revolving relationship types who dictate cruelly.

Parents need to love their children more than themselves and their own pleasure. That revolving door should actually hit some of them in the butt and knock sense into them so they will stop including their kids in this harmful environment.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Macro Shots

     I have been having a lot of fun playing with my camera and taking macro shots. I decided it would be fun to share a few of the latest here.
     I woke up to snow this April 29 morning. Yes snow, here in Colorado.
     Looking in my back yard I noticed the dandelions had snow and dew kissing them.
     Before the dandelion shots I had taken some macro flower shots. One of the first is an African Violet. All rights are mine and I do not give permission to share.













                                                                                             

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Buyer Beware: 99 Cents Only Stores-Not Always Only 99 Cents

     First let me begin by saying that I absolutely love 99 Cents Only stores. They are some of my favorite places to shop, they have some amazing deals however this year I learned that you do have to watch the prices because not all things are 99 cents. Well at least at the store we visited. Maybe not all are this way.

    When I enter a store that says it is 99 cents only I assume all items are 99 cents, not most items. I mean, the word only means that things are only that much right? Wrong, not in the store we visited in Mesa Arizona this year. We found several items priced higher than 99 cents. The prices were not extreme but it was annoying because we had not expected the higher price.

     I wondered as I was checking out if that is how they get a lot of people to pay the higher price Most assume by the name of the store that items are only 99 cents throughout the entire store so do not look at the price. They pay higher prices for items unknowingly and many might never even look at their reciept. This to me is dishonest on the part of the chain.

     Will I continue to shop at the stores? Yes but I will carefully watch prices. My mom will never shop at one again because she believes they are deceiving. I like the stores enough to keep shopping there but carefully.

     I wanted to make people aware of this because I am sure many have been deceived by the store name. I know we were. I think they should change the name to Mostly 99 Cent Store..then people watch prices.


   

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Needy or Not: How Do You Know if Someone is Really in Need?

     How do we really know if someone is in need or just begging? How do we know if people are just asking for a handout or not? Years ago it was easier because most people did not beg on the streets, not most respectable people anyhow. Most who were really in need would go to charitable organizations or they would do without. In today's society it is common knowledge that some people panhandle for a living and well, they do very well at it. But how do you know which is which? I guess you don't.

     I would hate to know someone was truly in need, I could have helped them but turned away because I worried they were only panhandling/begging as it were....
   
     We have experienced many of the career beggars while on vacation at Disney Resort. They stand on the street corner or sit on the bench at the bus stop asking for money as you walk by. These people have a script they use and we see the same ones every year. Maybe they are hard on their luck, I don't know but I wonder how they survive this kind of life year after year. These are not the folks I wonder about though. I wonder about the ones you pass by on the street who approach asking for help.

     A couple of years ago while at Disney Resort we were headed to the parks from our room when a man with two children approached us. One child was in a stroller and one was around 6 years old. He told us that his girlfriend had kicked him out of the car and taken his phone and wallet yet he had the stroller and his kids. He wanted money so he could buy his kids a soda. He told us that he had called a friend to come pick him up but the kids were thirsty.  We were near one of our favorite eating places and told him if he went inside they would probably give his kids some water and let them wait for their ride. As we walked away we wondered why he would want soda for his thirsty kids instead of water. We also noticed that he did not go into the restaurant for water but kept asking people for money along the street.
 
     Another time a lady knocked on my door. She had her child with her who looked around 6 years old. She told me that she had lost her job and her daughter was hungry. She asked if I could give them some money for food. At that time I was barely able to feed my own family but hated for her daughter to go hungry. I didn't have much but I went and got a pop tart and bottle of water for her little girl. I told her that was all I had. She snubbed her nose at me and told me her daughter did not eat crap like that and walked away. I found it sad people use their kids to beg for money and wondered what she really wanted the money for.

     Recently when I stopped one morning to get gas in my car a man approached me telling me that he had been robbed and was out of gas. He said he needed just enough to get to Gallup, NM. I told him I didn't have any money. He stood near my car for a while and then walked away a bit talking to himself about how it stunk to be stranded there. As I stood there waiting for my tank to fill I thought about him and how it would feel to be stranded. How hard it is to trust people anymore and decided that I would have him pull up to the pump, put some gas in his vehicle with my card so that he would have enough to get to Gallup. Before I informed him that I was going to help him he walked over to what he said was his truck, picked up a huge dirt clod or something of the sort, started cussing and yelling throwing it at his truck. At that moment I was scared of this man, finished pumping my gas and got out of there as quick as I could.

     So, regardless of the actual need and regardless of what is needed it is hard to know who is truly in need. It is even harder to help strangers in today's world because of those who are out to scam.

     How do you know who is really in need? I guess you don't, you just use your best judgement, help them if you feel it is the right thing to do and hope those who really are in need
 get the help they need.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Four Year Old Says Pledge of Allegiance:Yes Some Schools Still Honor America This Way

     Over the years I've heard of many schools where it is not longer permissible to say the Pledge of Allegiance. This angers me because well, if the student body wants to say the Pledge of Allegiance they should be allowed to do so. Taking this right from people is no different than forcing someone to say the pledge who does not want to.

     It baffles me how  so many times some people only want the door to swing one way, theirs. If I want to say the pledge I should be able to. People will for sure fight for my right not to say it so why not fight for the right to say it...

     This being said, I actually have never been associated with a school where kids do not say the pledge every morning. Every school my kids attended and every school I have worked,
the kids say the pledge.

     The purpose of this blog is actually not to fight for or against the right of people to say the pledge but to share the fact that some schools still honor our country by saying the pledge and my little four year old grandson attends one of those schools on the Navajo Reservation.

     He wanted to say it for the camera at home one day...so here he is holding my little flag. He said that you put your feet together and your right hand over your heart. He will also learn to say it in Navajo but doesn't know it yet.

     Four Year Old Recites the Pledge

Potato Dance-Stop Motion

     I absolutely love to play with stop motion. Last year my students created claymation/stopmotion movies. They had a lot of fun and well, so did I.
    Over the summer I created a few movies using my son's Potato Head toys.
    Over winter break this year I was stressed out so decided that I would create a stop motion once again using Potato Head toys..However this time I also used some Playdough. It was a lot of fun.
     The credit for the music goes to my son Blake. He wrote the song I used in this video.
     It took me around 1000 shots to create this movie.
     Not much else I can say except
     Enjoy the Potato Dance...

Stop Motion Potato Dance

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Colorado the State of Unconstitutional Double Taxatioin

     I have never cared much for the state of Colorado but this year when I filed my income tax return I realized what a total rip-off state it is. I earned my money in New Mexico but Colorado is taxing me for that income too.What is worst of all is that they are taking more of it than New Mexico. What a greedy, crappy state Colorado is.
     I had to leave town for work as a teacher because the pay is better. When I got my income taxes done the other day I learned that even though I did not make a dime in Colorado, they are taxing my income. This goes way beyond wrong. What a violation of the constitution. How can they tax me for money I earned in another state? Isn't it called "income" and shouldn't I only be taxed on income in the state where I earned it?
     Colorado has taxed me higher than the state I earned my money in just for living in the state. I believe that has to be one of the most unconstitutional things ever. I am being double taxed on the money I earned.Talk about a greedy bunch of animals.
     This all got me to thinking of how the middle, working class people are taxed to death. We are taxed to the point of barely surviving. The government, especially Colorado, does not want people to survive, they want to knock you down and kick you once you are down.
     This also got me to thinking, if President Trump wants to really make America great again he needs to make it illegal for states to rip off, cheat and steal from people just because they live there. He also needs to take a look at how difficult it is for the middle class to survive. I would do better if I quit teaching and got a minimum wage job and got on government assistance. You for sure don't get ripped off by the government then. But that is another blog.
     I would love to know who to go to regarding this matter...what public officials can help change this? Is this something that a person could find a lobbyist group to work toward stopping states like Colorado from ripping people off?
     I am struggling to survive and then get socked with this...now I not only struggle to survive, I also feel like I have been robbed by the state in which I live.

#Trump
#Constitution

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Taking in a Homeless Person is as Dangerous as Picking up a Hitchhiker

     The other day I saw  conversations by many people discussing how they have taken in a homeless person in the past. This made me start to think about the safety of this act of kindness and how it is no different than picking up a hitchhiker. Many people will not pick up hitchhikers because they fear that the person will harm them. It is the same when bringing someone into your home, that person could also be dangerous.

     Many years ago before all of the fear about picking up hitchhikers  my aunt felt kind and picked up a man to give him a ride. Well this was a dangerous act of kindness. The man pulled a knife on my aunt causing her to wreck her vehicle.

     Around 30 years ago my dad met a man who was homeless. He felt sorry for the man so he bought him to our home. My mom was not happy about my dad bringing a stranger into our home but my dad said it was perfectly fine. The man was given a comfortable bed, warm meals and a roof over his head. How did he repay this act of kindness? He stole my dads car. I don't remember the details because it was so long ago but we did find the car. We were lucky that is all the man did.

     People think they are being kind when they take in a homeless person but I imagine most of the same people would not pick up a hitchhiker. So what is the difference? You know nothing about the person, the person could be a mass murderer or rapist. They might be homeless because they are dangerous. You don't know  the history of the person if you don't know them. The only difference between picking up a hitchhiker and taking in a homeless person is that you bring the homeless into your home, not just your car. You fall to sleep at night with a stranger in your home taking the chance this person might be extremely dangerous. You not only put yourself in danger but your family too.

     This issue has nothing to do with helping the homeless, it has to do with safety. The dangers of taking in strangers either in your car or in your home.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Four Year old Knows Colors in Navajo

I love that my little granson knows to speak in Navajo. It is just so adorable. He attends school on the reservation and now kows his colors and numbers in Navajo.
Here is a cute video of him saying his colors in Navajo.
He thinks it is funny when I say them wrong and some of them just make him laugh.

Enjoy

Colors in Navajo

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Philosophy of Gifted Education

    I recently wrote my philosophy of gifted education for my college class. I thought I would share it on this wall. It is in 3rd person because that is what the school required. I got 100% on it. 

      In a world of education that places its main focus on school scores, data, standardized testing, and teaching to the test. The shift in education has been heading on a downhill spiral for many years. The main focus has been on making sure all students “pass the test” so the school will score well. The echo of many administrators is “how well did your school score?” “Did the kids do well on the tests?” “We better make sure all students are proficient.” Words that are rarely echoed anymore are “are the kids learning, are they gaining new knowledge, are we preparing them for their life as adults?”  Education has been on the road to dumbing down for years. In this type of educational world the gifted and higher achieving students are being left behind. Their needs are not being met. They are not leaving school with new knowledge. It is important that education maximize advanced students potential. It is important for every educator provides gifted students with advanced materials and told they need to progress successfully (New Mexico Department of Education [NMPED], 2011).

     Gifted and talented students are our future leaders, philosophers and entrepreneurs. It is up to all educators to nurture, not hider those special skills so they are able to reach their full potential. To better meet the need of gifted students many schools hire highly qualified educators to work with the gifted and advanced students. These teachers study to understand the needs of these unique individuals. As a teacher of gifted students Ms. Miller’s philosophy of gifted education is to promote and enrich each student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills along with focusing on projects that progress their special talents. They must be provided with enriching and creative projects along with the tools they need to explore and enhance the world around them.

     Since the regular education classroom is not prepared to meet the needs of gifted students it important that schools provide accommodations for gifted students and high achievers. The purpose of gifted education for gifted students is to provide them with programs and services that focus on their individual talents. It is to serve as a stepping stone for future success. Students who receive services have proven to advance to secondary level degrees. Gifted education also helps student achievement and interest level while in elementary and secondary school by promoting student interest. Gifted education provides the students with a variety of projects and objectives so they are not learning subjects they have already mastered over and over again. This keeps them interested in school which serves as another stepping stone to success (National Association for Gifted Children. Society benefits if gifted students receive the nurturing and services they need which prepares them to become future leaders and productive members of society [NAGC]).

     An appropriate instructional environment for gifted students is one in which their individual needs can be addressed. Class size should be relatively small so the teacher is better able to provide individualized instruction and projects. The smaller classroom also gives the students more room to move around and explore the classroom while engaging in a variety of activities and tasks. The teacher is there to guide, not instruct. She creates engaging projects and opportunities based on each student’s area of giftedness. This way the students can create and discover. The classroom environment must be safe and comfortable to meet social and emotional needs (Sandha, 2017).
Cross disciplinary education influences the productivity of students as adults because through this type of education they are able to make meaningful connections across different subject areas. This provides them with a better understanding of ideas and concepts. This ability follows them into adulthood benefiting their future endeavors ("NCAG,”).

     Ms. Miller will prepare her students for a career in a multicultural society by providing them with projects and lessons that incorporate other cultures. Multicultural projects connect students to each other because they gain an understanding of one another’s beliefs, traditions and culture. The projects help build a community of learners. Through the projects students learn to take pride in their own culture while embracing others (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2010).

     Ms. Miller’s goals for her students are that they leave her class enriched. They know how to think, not what to think.  She wants her students to be able to use their creative thinking and problem solving skills to the best of their advantage. These goals correspond with her philosophy by promoting and enriching their problem solving and critical thinking skills and placing focus on their special talents.

      Ms. Miller’s philosophy is evident in the classroom through the set up and style of her projects. Ms. Miller introduces a project, provides students with a list of expectations through a rubric and then provides them with the tools they need to explore their topic. This allows them to drive their own education. They know clearly what is expected of them and reach toward those goals. The students are offered different ways to reach the end goal which meets with their different learning styles. She is not telling them what to learn. She is teaching them how to think and how to learn.

     The thinker whose theory most supports Ms. Millers stance is Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence. Gardner’s theory is that not all students learn in the same way. They are not all the same and have different styles and ways of learning. The tasks should be presented in different ways to each student. Ms. Miller presents her students with an idea and allows them to find their own way to explore that idea. Each student will use a different way and in the end will become enriched through the experience ("American Institute for Learning and Human Development,")

     Ms. Miller has high expectations and great plans for her students. Focusing on each students special talents by allowing them to create, experience and explore will promote critical thinking and problem solving skills students will keep with them thorough their school career and into adult life.


References
Sandha, I. (2017). Learning Environment for Gifted Children. Retrieved from 

Keep Trashy Commercials Where they Belong

     I believe that trashy commercials belong...well in the trash....but since society seems to think they are acceptable...which saddens me, it would be nice if they would at least keep them with trash TV or at least adult TV instead of wherever they wish to air them.
     There is nothing more annoying than to be watching a game show in the middle of the day only to have the commercial that comes up be about KY Gel. Seriously!! That is not an advertisement I would expect during a game show.
     Worse yet is when you are watching a children's show and granted it is at night but another commercial for KY Gel comes on. Do they think the audience they are targeting will purchase this item?
     It would not be quite as bad if they just stated what they are advertising but they don't they show the couple hot at it and talk about their passionate sex. Kids do not need to be exposed to that. There are adults who do not want to watch that. There used to be a time that people had respect enough for themselves to keep their sex private. Now they air it on TV for anyone to see.
     Many years ago my mom and I joked about how one day there would be a tampon commercial with a woman walking down the street with a red spot on her bottom. It has become that bad now.
     Thankfully due to my DVR I do not have to watch commercials much anymore. When I do though it is sad they are trashy. I certainly will not buy their product and if it keeps up I might stop watching the channels that air them.  
     This is a shout out of sorts to see if anyone else cares that trashy commercials are aired during just about any show these days. Any show that an innocent child might be watching. A show that a person who has some values is watching....Have we become such a trashy, immoral society that no one cares? I sure hope not.

Monday, January 16, 2017

American Educations' Testing Frenzy Forgets about Logic and Reason

          In their frenzy to make sure students are able to pass a standardized test, to make sure no child is left behind, educators are forgetting what the purpose of education really is. I wonder sometimes if it is because so many administrators’ egos have become so inflated that they want to show their district is the best, their schools are the best and their students can outscore other schools. I wonder if it is all just an ego trip in which administrators are in the driver’s seat claiming they want what is best for the kids, claiming they want “none to left behind” while in the end all they are doing is cheating the very students they say they want to help out of a high quality and beneficial education.


     Administrators should stop making schools main focus on all of the testing which is mostly just memorization...it should focus more on teaching logic and reasoning skills because at the end of the day people use those skills more than the skills it takes to test and in reality most humans forget what they memorize in time but they never forget how to use their logic and reasoning skills...which are being lost in the frenzy of teaching to the test.....

     When I look back at my school years I don’t remember much of what I memorized, I do remember being taught how to think, being taught how to do something as simple as look up a word I did not know how to spell or define in a dictionary. I learned how to study for tests, how to complete the basic tasks I needed to function as a human with a brain. I learned how to use my brain.

     While much of what I memorized in school is in my long-term memory I don’t remember many of the things I memorized for tests, yes we did take tests when I was in school but most were based on the unit of study we were working on. I don’t remember most of that content but I do know how to recall it, how to research and rediscover what I once memorized.

          The important things I took out of education back in my day were the reasoning skills schools taught us before the standardized testing frenzy, before the bloated egos had to be nourished by high scoring students, before students became just a number and before no child was supposed to be left behind.

     In leaving no child behind education is leaving most children behind. The ones who succeed most are those who learn how to reason, how to use their God given logic to learn the things they do not know and how to apply that information to daily life.

     I look at so many of the young adults today, many scored high on the tests in school, they got good grades and made their school and district proud however they are struggling as adults because they do not know how to use their logic and reasoning skills to survive in the new world they have entered.

     I am not saying all young adults struggle but many of them are spending so much of their time as adults learning the logic and reasoning skills school did not teach them that they are already over stressed in life. They are experiencing stress they should not have to experience. But hey, they can pass a test with flying colors.

    These young adults should not be under this kind of stress, they should be focusing on their new adventures in the adult world and have the tools they need to succeed in whatever it is they choose to do. The frenzy of testing needs to end, egos need to be placed in check and the focus placed back on teaching logic and reasoning so that all those children who were not supposed to be left behind will stop leaving them behind.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Recess is the Time for Kids to Re-Charge: Teachers Know it, Administrators Deny It

     Sometimes there are things that really frustrate me as a teacher, things teachers in the classroom know are wrong but they can't change because if they do administrators will reprimand them, things that could cost them their job. Yes teachers get reprimanded for giving students recess, not for giving too much recess but for giving them any recess at all.

       I wish school administrators would see the importance of recess, recognize and care about the damage they are doing.
  So many school children from grades 2 and up  only get lunch recess for 15 minutes a day which includes the time they line up to go outside and the time they line up for lunch. They might play for ten minutes a day, if they are lucky.

     To add to the lack of recess time, kids in most schools only get PE one day a week. Teachers know their students need recess, they know their kids need the active/creative time to just play, interact and "get the wiggles out" and just re-charge. However teachers are not the ones in control. The administrators are the ones who make the decisions. The ones who are not in the classroom with these kids on a day to day basis. The ones who say, "recess doesn't fit into the schedule." the ones who blame the teachers when the kids are not performing as well as they should.

     Teachers know what would help kids, teachers know that recess is important, vital to education, vital to their students physical and even more important, mental health.. Teachers know that their students would be more attentive and on task if they just had some time to re-charge. But again, teachers are not in control and jeopardize their jobs by doing what they know is best for their kids.

     As adults we become burnt out when we are not given time to re-charge, we become stressed out and reach a point when we just do not care. Why is it that education administrators in the US can't see that  is what they are doing to the kids, they are causing them to burn out at such a young age. How can these young people be expected to stay focused, excited and interested when their batteries are full. Their entire day is, think, study, learn, work, think, study, learn, work oh and add test, test, test. There is rarely time for a break for kids. Administrators need to allow teachers to give their students time to re-charge and refuel their batteries to avoid burn out at an early age.

Recess is Important
+recess +recharge +important

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vitamin A Palmitate: Parents Need to Shout "Stop Poisioning Our kids!"

   For those who do not know what Vitamin A Palmitate is, it is a synthetic isolate. It is added to low fat milk for some reason, milk does not contain vitamin A naturally so why they add an isolate to it baffles me. It is a dangerous additive, it is in many low fat and other foods that people eat. It is also in the milk that the government requires schools to feed to our children.  Most parents are not aware of the synthetic vitamin schools are feeding their kids, actually they are unknowingly feeding it to them too.

     This stuff is in just about everything we eat anymore. You have to become an avid label reader to avoid it. What makes me most upset though is that it is placed in low fat milk, the milk children are forced to drink in school. I do not understand why a child needs low fat milk myself, kids need fat but that is another blog. 

     When Michelle Obama took chocolate milk from the schools I was upset at first but then I was glad because it stopped children from drinking the milk that is poisoned with Vitamin A Palmitate. The kids where I worked started bringing soda and other drinks. As much as I dislike sugary drinks for kids, they were better off with the soda than the Palmitate.

     This stuff, the stuff kids drink in school is harmful to their liver if they ingest too much of it, so why make them drink it?

     I had never heard of Vitamin A Palmitate until my youngest son was 2 years old. It was purely by accident I discovered it and learned that it was the Palmitate, not milk causing his problems.
    
     One day my son broke out with a rash, the rash was eczema and he was miserable. At first I thought it was from plums, I had never fed them to him before but had the day he started breaking out. I stopped the plums but he still broke out. He was miserable. Finally I narrowed it down to the milk. I had accidentally bought 2% milk and decided it wouldn't hurt to give it to my kids until the gallon of milk was gone. But after the rash remained I decided to see what was different about 2% milk and learned they added the Palmitate to it. So I stopped the milk and my son's skin cleared up.

       I had to get a doctors note so that I could get my son on whole milk at school but, it was no problem. I gave the prescription to the food services and they ordered whole milk for my son. They have to provide an alternative if your child is allergic. I am thankful my son is allergic to this poison, the more I learn about it, the more harmful I learn it is.

          We became label readers because he would break out sometimes and I would find that he had ingested food with Palmitate. It also makes his asthma worse when he ingests it.

     I have suffered from eczema too and determined if I drink or eat foods with this synthetic poison, I break out too. My oldest son does as well. So I wonder what it does to our internal organs. I wonder what it is doing to the kids who have to drink it at school and at home.


     What I wonder is how many people blame milk products for their eczema when it is Palmitate instead? 

     My children are not the only ones who suffer from this reaction, one day a friend of mine told me her daughter had a horrible rash, eczema to be exact. She showed it to me and I asked if she fed her low fat milk. She said she had been drinking it, I told her to stop the milk, she did and her daughters skin cleared up.

     Not all people I have noticed are as sensitive as my son, some can ingest it in breads and other foods but only suffer when they take it in larger doses such as in milk. My son can't ingest it at all.

     I have a conspiracy theory about this, I am sure I am wrong but, you never know.... they know it is harmful to the liver and other vital organs so they feed it to people to drive medical costs....it is a thought...

     All I can say is if your child has a rash, try cutting this stuff out of their diet and see if it maybe is the problem. The biggest thing though is to tell the schools it is time to stop poisoning our kids and bring back whole milk. It is only 2% more...fat...whole milk is 4%, which is not that much. Cut out the junk at home, leave out the chips, get them off the couch and make them exercise. Shout out to stop poisoning our kids!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

When Memories Become Memories

   
As I was driving to work today, I decided to put in my Disneyland CD's. The first was actually a Disney California Adventure Park (DCA) CD. I purchased it back in 2007 or so, back when they still had Golden Dreams. These CD's brought with them some very special memories. Memories of memories.


   So what is a memory of a memory? It is remembering a time you were enjoying your memories...Ok so let me explain. My boys and I used to put in the DCA CD and remember Soarin Over California as we listened to the song. We did not just remember it, we were there. We knew every detail of the ride and as the music played, we discussed and remembered being there. As we flew over the river on Soarin, we said, "now we are over the river and look out below I'm going to kick the guys on the raft." We would laugh at the memory and talk about our feelings when we were done.

     When we listened to the Haunted Mansion theme we would do the same thing, we acted out the ride with our words.

     Along with these memories today flooded many other memories from when my sons and I would act out our vacations. Yes, we usually acted out our Disney vacation but that was because it was the main one we went on every year and our happy/laughing place.

     Among these memories I had today was when we would go for a walk in the local park where we live. As we started our walk, we would say, "Ok we are leaving The Carousel (our hotel) and we are walking to the light. We push the light and now we are heading through the main gate where we toss our troubles away...” then we'd say, "can you hear it, the music is now playing, can you feel it?' What was so special is that we almost heard the music and we did feel the magic. We did this our entire walk around the City Park and Disney Resort in our minds from our memory.

     From the time we came home from our vacation we would look at the video we took and at our pictures as soon as they were developed or on the computer. Then a few months before our next vacation was to begin we would watch our Disney Vacation DVD. We watched it several times throughout the year with excitement. When my mom who goes with us every year came over, we would watch the Disney DVD.

     This all might seem a bit silly but it was magical for us. Our memories were not like being there but they made us feel the same magic we felt when we were there. They were special times spent together.

    As I was remembering these memories, I reflected on how vivid those times are in my mind, how special and how magical. I don't remember the money I spent over the years,  I don't remember the purchases I made or what I bought. What I do recall are all of the things my boys, my mom and I did together, the fun we had and the special times we had remembering all of the fun we had.

     Memories of memories are so extraordinary. My wish for everyone is that they can have such amazing memories to remember with their own kids because as time moves on and parents become less important in their kids’ lives these are the memories they hang on to. I hope all parents have these special times to look back on.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Finally Accepting This Chapter of My Life is Closed: No Longer a Drama Mamma

     It has been a wonderful run being a drama mom. I have been involved in the high school theater program since hmm, 2009 I believe when my oldest son entered as a freshman. Then his brother entered his freshman year and well, last year was his last year and sadly also mine. I enjoyed it so very much and have had a hard time knowing I am no longer a drama mom. I loved my theater family a lot but things change.

     The theater family has changed and well I am no longer thought of as a part of the family by many. It is just how things happen, things change and we move on. It is a chapter in my life that is closed. It is not always easy closing the final page to a great book though and this one has been the hardest of all.

     I was able to hang on the first part of the year because my youngest son was involved in the Haunted House and the Fall play as a crew member. However it was not the same, I did not feel a part of the family, I felt like the in-law who was no longer needed. Yes many of the kids still knew me and I felt welcomed by them but then there were those who either did not know me or I never got close to and well, I did not feel they wanted me around. I mean they either did not like me or did not know me. So that was my wake up call to the fact that while I might be a member of the old theater family, I am not a member of the new.  I miss the group of kids who welcomed me into their hearts and who really saw me as a part of the theater family but most of those kids have moved on past high school. There are a few who remain but they won't be there much longer either.

     This ended my run as drama mamma...it makes me sad because I did love my theater family and I will miss them dearly. But I understand that it is what it is and it is time to move on. Time to move on, past being a drama mamma. However I do hope someday that I can be one again. It will not be quite the same because my sons are grown, they won't want me around like they did...which is normal but I hope that my oldest goes on to reach his dreams of being a musician and I can watch him play. I hope my youngest gets involved in college theater like he plans so I can watch him act. So in a way I will be a drama mom but never again to the same group of kids...and so this chapter of the book in my life is closed and it has been a hard final page to turn.

     Both of my sons are very talented, my oldest is no longer in theater but is a part of the arts, the youngest had a wonderful high school run and I look forward to the chapters in their lives that will open them to amazing new adventures.

    Kyle as the Child Catcher
    The Air that I Breath performed by Arsenic Kitchen, written by Blake Miller, lead guitar Blake Miller

Clinical Trials: Being a Human Guinea Pig Out of Desperation

      As I watched and actually paid attention to commercials today I got to thinking about clinical trials and being a human guinea pig. The commercials were a real eye opener for me.

     For those who do not know what a clinical trial is, there are companies that perform trials using humans to discover how they react to new drugs. Many of these companies pay rather handsomely to use people as guinea pigs.

     I have been financially down on my luck many times in my adult life, down enough that I turned to the clinical trials for money. Some of them paid as much as $7,000.00. That was a lot of money for me at the time and I did not think of the consequences. I just saw the money and how it would be the difference between eating and starving, paying my bills or losing everything I had.

     Thankfully I did not qualify for the trials I was looking into and I looked into several. I was upset at the time but I found a way to survive. When I signed up for the trials however I did not even consider that by doing the trial I might not be here today to write this. I felt like I had to do something, my kids needed a home and they needed food. I felt if I did not survive the trial they would at least have a home and food, they might not have me but in my desperation to survive that did not matter, as long as they were taken care of. I mean I couldn't do it so what good was I at the time? Yes I was willing to take that risk to provide for my family. I know now that my sons needed me more than the money but I did not see that at the time and was willing to do anything legal to earn money even if it meant jeopardizing my own health and life.

     I wonder how many people go into it with that same desperation that I had. I wonder how many would do it no matter what. I know the clinical trial companies make you sign a contract and they are upfront about the risks but I wonder how many people who agree to enter the trials really care about the risks, I didn't when I was desperate and would have gone through with it regardless of the risk. I needed to survive financially and in that despair my own survival was not an issue.
   
     The side effect list I heard recited about a certain drug while watching the commercial  is what got me to thinking. I can't even remember the medicine but the side effects were long, as they are with most drugs. Some of the side effects were extreme,some were effects that might not show up for a while and one of the side effects was...death. Actually many drug side effects are extreme and include death.

     This got me to thinking about the clinical trials and I wondered if those effects were discovered because someone using the drug because they had the condition it treats died or if these side effects were discovered because someone who needed money desperately died during the trial. I would tend to think the latter because pharmaceutical companies have to list side effects even if only one person experiences them....I would tend to think that in many instances people don't report the effects, they are determined by the human reactions during the clinical trials.

     This post is not meant to criticize the clinical trials, it is to bring attention to the fact that many who sign up for them do it out of desperation, desperation to survive.  I hope the companies really look into the people who sign up, That they know the person is doing it for the "greater good of science."

     Would I look into clinical trials again? I am not sure, it is hard to say what I would do if I became that desperate for money again. I am close right now and even knowing the risk I have considered it a time or two because sometimes financial despair out weighs the odds. I hope however that I do not get to the place where I feel no other way out and if I do get to that point hopefully I do not qualify again. I wonder how many of those who have suffered long term effects or died during a clinical trial have felt so desperate that nothing else mattered except financial survival even when that risk meant they no longer survived?