My Quest To Teach

August 28, 2014

Fathers Help Your Child in School

Filed under: Education,Parenting — William Jackson @ 7:25 pm

Fathers Help Your Child in School

The IDEAL Dads Back to
School Conference success was
seen in its first conference
in Jacksonville, Florida.
Inviting dads to the free
conference and providing breakfast, free
materials in books and other school materials for dads to
provide for their children. The conference focused on
empowering dads with information and resources.

The discussions were geared to helping dads see that they
are important in the educational system and schools can
gain more success if they (schools) embraced and encouraged
dads to be part of the educational process.
Fathers taking their child to school on the very first day and
continuing to participate throughout the school year is important,
that was shared by William Jackson a 25 year educator in elementary
and higher education. The information shared helped dads to
understand their importance of fathering in their children’s lives.

Fathers should be encouraging growth of their children and stay
actively involved. Fathers can create a paradigm shift in the
educational atmosphere that can lead to higher graduation
rates, lower dropout rates, decrease pregnancies and decrease
school violence. One of the important responsibilities fathers are
tasked with; the education of their children.
Education is not just in the educational systems of our classrooms,
but the education of life and social skills.

The vison of Lynette Kohn IDEAL DADS!
Back to School Conference
Celebrating Dads was planned just for
dads, granddads, stepdads,
and men to help their children.

“To educate a man (woman) in mind and not in morals is to educate
a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt

Fatherhood is a responsibility of unending change and dedication,
the initial thought is that fathers have to be hard and emotionless; this is false as to being a father. Why would you
be hard to a human being that as a father you have to nurture, teach, guide, mentor, show compassion, strength, teach respect
and teach how to love themselves, their culture and others.
Fathering is a short time and changes with the fast
approaching years. Children mature and pull away from the
closeness and security of homes. The evolution of the family
shows that there are more fathers that are step-fathers,
surrogate fathers, adopted fathers, and “oops” fathers.
Even “oops” fathers should be given the chance to be
actively involved and contribute.

The recent IDEAL DADS – Back to School Conference showed fathers
need to be involved, active and present in schools. Fathers do have
rights and are / can be held accountable for their children’s actions.
The conference workshops were:
7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Dr. Walter Johnson,
Financial Management by Iris Jones of BBandT Bank
Communication Strategies by Earl Kitchings
Social Media Safety and School Engagement by William Jackson

This school year more than ever
because of the increased challenged
schools fathers are going to have to;
Man-Up, Step-Up, Own-Up, and
Fess-Up to their responsibilities and
participate more in schools.
It is not enough to attend athletic events, provide pep talks, promise material rewards or even setting almost unachievable
goals. Fathers must be visible and involved in schools to stop growing academic failures and work to stop increasing school violence and even the School to Prison Pipeline that is incarcerating thousands of youth both boys and girls.
Being a father includes making decisions not just for
themselves, for the child or children in their lives,
sacrificing for their families and strengthening their

Children are born into the world that requires fathers to
review their accountability and responsibly. Child rearing
is never an easy thing in life, fathers must understand that
the world is changing and their children need them to be active
and involved. Even President Obama understands his importance
in the lives of his daughters. The responsibilities of this
nation and the world maybe on his shoulders at times, but his children are on his mind and his heart. His decisions affect
their lives as well.

Ozzie Nelson, “Ozzie & Harriet”
“You can’t let yourself get flustered.
The idea is keep your wits about you at
all times. Keep your mind on what you’re
doing.” The tragedy of Trayvon Martin,
Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride and others
is drawing national attention.
Fathers need to have discussions, conversations and honest engagement to teach their sons and daughters how to survive
in a world that seems not to value their lives. It can be
seen in some cases in schools which are representative of
society, fathers cannot be selfish in their actions and
choices because they are models to their children and
children see their fathers as idols and role models.
A father must provide wisdom and guidance, by sharing how
important education is, that there is value in learning,
reading is vital to survival.

Fathers need to show up at schools and speak with teachers, administrators, coaches and tutors to make sure their child
or children are learning and not being a disruption to the
learning in classrooms or on school campuses. Fathers must
be diligent and consistent in their nurturing and consider
their actions when speaking. Children will follow in deeds
and actions so fathers cannot say one thing and do something
else. The Bible states in Hosea 4:6 (NKJ), “My people are
destroyed from lack of knowledge.” This can be extended
to children unsupported, unguided, and lead astray.

Fathers must show good judgment openly
to their children and in their communities.
It is up to fathers to show that life does
not have to be violent, thuggish, angry,
hard or lonely. A true man does not make
dozens of babies by multiple women and then
leave them in poverty. Real
fathers do not let entertainment icons, rappers,
musicians, and television raise their children and set morals
and values. As Charles Barkley (professional basketball
athlete) once said that parents should be their children’s
first role models not television.
How different would our society be if fathers were as
enthusiastic with children as the enthusiasm for sports
or other recreational outlets?

Cliff Huxtable, “The Cosby Show”
“Now I’m telling you, you are going to try as hard
as you can. And you’re going to do it because I said so.
I am your father. I brought you into this world, and
I’ll take you out!”

Events like the IDEAL DADS Conference should help
motivate dads to be the best they can be for their
children. The First Day of school should be the start,
a standard to multiple days throughout the school year
of visits, mentoring and support.
Proverbs 22:6 (NKJ), “Train a child in the way they
should go, and when they are old they will not turn from
it.” The unfortunate reality is too many children are
being lead into the juvenile justice system where they
lose their identities and treated like human capital
with more value imprisoned and less on their education.

This is a defining moment in our
society from education to incarceration,
from legislation to enforcement and
now from murder to justice for this nation.
There are two institutions that desire
children, Educational and Correctional,
it will take the hard work of all fathers
to make sure their children choose wisely, but fathers
must be activity involved to help their
children make the right decision.

Malcolm X stated, “Education is our passport to the
future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare
for it today.” Our children’s lives are balanced on
their parent’s involvement, love, care and dedication. As
millions of youth head back to school their parents should
be there beside them, supporting them and cheering them
on to academic and societal success. If parents don’t want
to take care of their children the prisons
and graveyards of this nation have plenty of room
for them.

William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
Speaker / Presenter
Educator / Blogger

IDEAL DADS! Back to School Conference
Celebrating Dads in Jacksonville, Florida
Next Event for IDEAL Dads will be on
Saturday, November 15th 2014
9am to 12pm
Hilton Garden Inn – 1201 Kings Avenue
Jacksonville, Florida 32207
For more information contact:
Lynette Kohn – – CEO, Family for Life
William Jackson – – CVO,
My Quest To Teach

August 17, 2014

Parents What Are Your Expectations for Your Child

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 8:24 am


Parents What Are Your Expectations for Your Child
A New School Year – A New Focus for Success

The new school year draws close, parents are concerned about
the outward appearance of their children; rightly so, children
represent their respective families and generational lineage
(family history).

No parent wants their children to look scruffy especially the
first several weeks of school. The concerns of parents in their
dressing of their child or children is a representation of the
physical appearance that creates the initial impressions that
are temporary and quickly fleeting during the school year.

The question:
Parents What Are Your Expectations for Your Child
is thought provoking and a serious discussion that inquires
parents preparing their children academically for success in school
are socially responsible. Parents have you encouraged academic
excellence using positive words and positive expectations?
Parents have you purchased educational materials; dictionaries,
reference guides, educational DVD’s, obtained library cards and
museum memberships? Learning occurs outside of the school too.
Parents are you talking too, not yelling at children about your
high expectations for proper behavior and scholarly participation
(being a good student)? Parents need to show that books are the
gateways to new worlds and new discoveries. Chinua Achebe,
Nigerian author states, “Children should be fascinated by book
and encouraged to read every day.”

I have heard in previous years parents verbally threaten, demean,
dress down, embarrass and curse out their children as the school year
approached. Parent’s excuses or reasons; children need to know
that they (parents) mean business. Comments such as these shape
and mold a child’s mind. It potentially creates a personality that the
perception is they deserve to be beat, they deserve to be yelled at
and cursed at. These actions only reinforce in a child’s mind that
violence should be accepted and maybe even welcomed in order
to be a good student. This is a false and dangerous mentality.
Children should be taught that, “there is value in books and libraries,”
(African Voices 2009 – C.Achebe)

As a parent and educator, I urge parents to think about and seriously
consider two statements by two well-known men. Both were parents and
known globally for their wisdom in their respective lives. Both went
through changes in their lives as parents.
Albert Einstein (1879-19550 stated, ”Way of thinking should be taught to
all children, to be tenacious in the way they think, to solve problems even
though they may take years.” Einstein 2007 This is related to the patience of
learning, to the expectations of hard work and dedication to research.
It is important for parents to teach this to their children not through profanity,
but through love, role modeling and patience.

Malcolm X (1925-1965) stated simply, “Education is the passport to the future.
Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X promoted
learning and understanding. He is known to read feverously and regularly
sharing his knowledge when applying it to Blacks and people of color.
Even Whites in some cases when directed towards education shared Malcolm X
views on the importance of education on a global foundation for influence.
It is a parent’s responsibility to help TRAIN a child’s mind not to beat it and
curse it into submission. The Bible and other religious doctrine states to
train up a child as they should go and helps in showing the value in education,
that nations should embrace learning and understanding so others can follow.
Deuteronomy 4:6 – show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who
will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise
and understanding people.”

Einstein stated that, “The value of education is the training of the mind
to think.” What a profound statement from a man from humble beginnings.
He faced prejudice, racism and death threats because of his Jewish heritage,
living in the time of Nazi Germany. Einstein became a successful professor,
scholar, and Nobel Peace Prize winner for the theory of Relativity and other
discoveries and research.
This did not happen overnight it took years of dedication, collaboration,
training and discipline. This being said, parents prepare your children for
potential careers. Read to you children, provide positive educational
experiences and expose them to positive people that will lead them in the
right direction of success. Parents should be their child’s First teacher
before they enter school. A foundation of success should already
be created and high expectations established.

Parents must train up their children the way they should properly go,
valuing education and those who are progressive, educated and doing good
works in their community. Parents should ask themselves who would
they want their child to follow; who would they want their children to
be like, who should be their role models beyond athletes and entertainers.
Children absorb up their environmental residue, if you constantly beat a
child physically and verbally something will break and shatter. Too
many children are becoming broken, this is seen painfully through the
comments from students that they can’t do math, science is too hard,
reading is not understood and comprehension is not gained. Students are
closing their minds because they are scared or defiant to be challenged,
scared to learn worried about being wrong and scared to be recognized
as being intellectual in their learning skills.
Low proficiency in reading is associated with high school dropouts,
criminal behaviors, unemployment and contributes to poverty. It has
a direct effect on the School to Prison Pipeline.

Teachers are preparing their classrooms to encourage. To encourage
learning, build literacy and increase comprehension skills. Creating
foundational levels for higher order, critical thinking and rationalization
skills. Parents need to be the first model for educational value, parents
think about the kind of child or children you are raising and what are
your expectations for them. Do you want your children to be better than
you in life: do you want them to be better financially, educationally,
and socially?

Parents hold the keys….
The keys are engagement in listening, involvement in volunteering,
attending Open House, participating in PTA and even going to School
Board meetings. Being proactive in scheduling Parent / Teacher
conferences. Establishing high expectations for success and talking to
children. The keys are working with educators and administrators,
supporting Early Education and understanding rituals and routines.
Continuing an atmosphere of healthy learning at home, being a role
model and doing not just saying.
The key is reading to and with your child or children every day if
Parents, think about what type of child/children are you raising for
the future. Albert Einstein encouraged curiosity. Believing there is a
purpose for curiosity and exploration in all of us no matter our color
or culture. Education overcomes cultural divides, economic challenges,
societal diversity and inspires unity.

Parents should teach their children to embrace learning, enjoy learning and
create learning environments in their homes.

“The ceasing of the School to Prison Pipeline starts at HOME, parents YOU
create THE atmosphere of educational imprisonment or educational

William Jackson
Parent – Educator – Blogger

August 14, 2014

STEAM and STEM Influencing Civil Rights?

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 11:25 pm

STEAM and STEM Influencing Civil Rights?

“To cheapen the lives of any group of men,
cheapens the lives of all men, even our own.
This is a law of human psychology and human
nature. And it will not be repealed by our wishes,
nor will it be merciful to our blindness.” William Pickens

Many African American youth are lacking in skills that will
enable them to compete in fields composed of technologies
that have national and global influences particularly in the
fields of science and mathematics.
Educational initiatives are growing and will influence the
readiness of African American youth to enter higher
education, vocational schools, and compete for high
salary employment. STEAM and STEM influences
many aspects of educational progress thus influencing
students’ learning, progress and success.

As I have been blogging and speaking for several years
on the influence, empowerment and engagement of
STEAM, the national and global implications will be
measured in employment statistics, lower or higher
minimum wages, graduation rates, socio-economic
advancements, career exposure and the continued civil
rights of African Americans.
The battle for increasing minimum wage will continue for
years even while those working these low wages struggle
for economic stability on the edges of poverty or struggling
to escape from poverty. Too many in poverty have limited
civil rights thus do not have a voice in society.

African Americans know more than any other culture
how their civil rights are affected by politics, economics and
education. This direct relationship is also affected by science,
technology, engineering arts and math fields that influence the
world. STEAM for African Americans should be a national
imperative because of the transformative nature that allows
growth in education, advancement in intellectualism and
economic stability added civil rights understanding. Through
education comes clarity and understanding.

The growing number of African Americans and people of
color are out numbering whites in population, but African
are lacking skills that will allow a paradigm of
change and power sharing or even equitability.

In order for African Americans, Hispanics and other cultures
to have value and continue to be of value they must take
seriously the empowerment of careers and opportunities
that embrace STEAM, STEM and STREAM and make serious
commitments to educational obtainment.

Civil Rights – the rights of citizens to political, economic and
social freedom and equality.
In order for this to become reality it goes beyond just being a
citizen it applies to those that gain skills that do not allow them
to be invisible. The Civil Rights struggle will continue for years
to come, the iconic members of our communities that fought
symbolize the struggle of achievement and continuation of
work that still needs to be done.

Youth are important to continue to create change, this change
will be manifested by educating our youth in transformative
educational areas that directly influence our society as it embraces
and integrates more technologies. The infusion of STEAM and
STEM is important for African Americans because these are
where high salaries, leadership opportunities and opening doors
for diverse careers for African American men and women.
Young women are earning more advanced degrees than men in
areas of STEM and STEAM. 21st century skills can be learned
outside of the classroom, participating in STEAM initiatives that
focus on engagement and exposure. Space Camps, conferences,
workshops, summits should be attended by African American boys
and girls to build their skill-sets and allow them to compete and
develop their talents and abilities.

Youth examples can be seen in young ladies like Taylor a resident
of Jacksonville, Florida and student in the DCPS. She was the only
African American student from Jacksonville, Florida to attend the
Space Camp in Atlanta, Georgia, earning top honors and
awards. When asked about her experiences her reply was,
“Space Camp is so amazing! I’m doing things I don’t think I would get
the opportunity to do if I hadn’t come! I get to interact with other
kids who have same interests and abilities as me. Best time
ever. Next to meeting Dr. Mae Jemison one day this is my dream
come true!” She should be an example and encourage others to
become involved in activities like Space Camps and STEAM camps.

Many African Americans still do not understand the power of STEAM
they must look at the careers that require skills in these areas and the
conduits for obtaining stable careers not just jobs. Careers offer a higher
standard of living through STEM and STEAM education. Just as was
taught in programs like the Black Male College Explorers hosted by
Edward Waters College, this program should be expanded not just in
Jacksonville, but throughout Florida. Allowing Black males that are At
Risk academically to see the relevancy of math, reading, literacy and
comprehension skills. How science is not hard, but challenges the mind
to expand and the empowerment of technology.

The Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, 60 years
ago opened doors for educational obtainment, but education for African
Americans is still a challenge for many reasons.
One issue is that too many African Americans settle for meritocracy and
look for the easy and safe way to live. STEAM and STEM is an area that
has boundless potential to reverse the School to Prison pipeline, raise
awareness in careers and benefits beyond sports and entertainment
STEAM and STEM are building competitive edges that allow African
Americans to help the United States be competitive in a world of
adaptation to new technologies, integration of learning and building
a bridge out of poverty and silence. The more a community embraces
education the more that community flourishes.
Reading about the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights,
I’m caught by the comments of Wade Henderson; “The era of pick and
shovel jobs is gone,” he said, “Those who would support themselves in
the 21st century need a high school diploma and more — career training,
Associates degree, ideally, a four-year college degree.” Degrees in
STEAM are growing because careers demand it. In a recent NPR
article, there are careers not even created for students in
elementary schools.

Taylor – Space Camp Participant from Jacksonville, Florida
The only student from DCPS to participate in Space Camp in Atlanta, Ga.

Examples of thousands of girls like Taylor who participate in STEM
camps and initiatives are struggling to find events that cater to their
passion. Taylor and her mother have been diligent in finding and
participating in STEM and STEAM events to build on Taylor’s dreams
to become an astronaut and scientist and inspire other girls.

Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary of the Education Department’s Office for
Civil Rights. “We are not serving our girls enough in STEM,” so more
needs to be done. The efforts that Taylor’s mom put forth are a testament
to the dedication of parents to make sure they do not just rely on the
educational system to prepare their children, but they work hard and
find other avenues to support their children. Taylors mom stated,
“I’m so proud of her (Taylor). From raising the funds herself through
GoFundMe to attending the camp, to being the only African American
female in her group! Receiving the college credits are the icing on
the cake! I just want her to know that she can achieve any goal as long
as she stays focused, I will always support her and in her words then
she will reach for the stars! There’s no stopping her!”

Black Male College Explorers at
Edward Waters College

Growing programs like Educational Excellence for African Americans,
My Brother’s Keeper, Black Male College Explorers Program, Space Camp,
Black Girls Code, Journey Into Womanhood, Girls Inc. and others need
mentors, educators and professionals to step up and contribute, they need
to step up to help youth, teens and the young adults who will be
leaders in new areas of STEAM and STEM.

Lhamon hopes there are more opportunities in STEM to minority students
and women. Stating that, “We need to be sure we have access to teachers
that are prepared for diverse students and schools that are prepared to
teach them equitably … We should be one joined community in demanding
civil rights for all of our kids.”

Just imagine if millions of African American boys and girls developed a
passion and love for STEAM like Taylor does, how our schools
would flourish, African American boys and girls would not be at the bottom
of academic levels, but on competitive levels, there would be more African
Americans modeling successes and gaining economic strength, the stopping
of the School to Prison Pipelines because African American students would
be focusing on GPA’s, higher education, vocational education, political
strength, economic development, solving social issues and truly making their
communities prosperous and culturally strong.

African American’s will be able to speak not with protests, but with economic,
political and educational power. The time for struggling, protesting, fighting,
demanding, and tears would be over. African Americans will be closer
to their destinies and closer to the “Dreams” of Dr. King, Malcolm X, Carter G.
Woodson, Fredrick Douglas, Mary McCloud Bethune, Asa Phillip Randolph
and others that have left us with a foundation.

Malcolm X’s statement “By Any Means Necessary,” applied to economic
stability and equality by educational growth. Obtaining an education – “By
Any Means Necessary!!” It is up to youth to continue the struggle, not to quit;
nor faultier for equality and equal civil rights obtained through educational

“It is easy to be disgruntled if you are denied rights and freedoms to which
you feel entitled. But if you are not coherent, if you cannot put into words
what it is that displeases you and why it is unfair and should change, then
you are dismissed as an unreasonable whiner. You may be lectured about
perseverance and patience, life as a test, the need to accept the higher
wisdom of others.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nomad: From Islam to America:
A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilization

Graduation at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee Florida.
Pictured is Sean Jackson (Summa Cum Laude) and other honors graduates.

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