My Quest To Teach

February 28, 2013

Education Summit in Jacksonville, Florida

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 16:48
Supt. Vitti and Mayor Brown

Supt. Vitti and Mayor Brown

Mayor Alvin Brown’s Education Summit
by William Jackson, M.Ed.

WHEN: Feb. 28 – March 1
Mayor Alvin Brown
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller
Dr. Bill Cosby, Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Duval Public Schools Superintendent

The national educational climate is changing, growing
numbers of youth are meeting standards, achieving
educational successes and graduation rates are rising.

But… there is little time for celebrations because there
are still too many youth in the educational system
struggling with challenges that affect their educational

Mayor Brown’s Education Summit
begins today, City of Jacksonville Kickoff:

Education Summit

to encourage the continued growing support of the
Jacksonville, Florida community and educational
successes of youth. Parental involvement is the
foundation for the success of students in school.
Parents are the role models for their children in learning,
parents set the tone and direction for their children to
respect teachers and accept their responsibility as
learners in the educational environment that works to
prepare them to excel in a competitive and global

As a father I want to encourage stepfathers, fathers,
grandfathers and uncles to visit their child(rens) school
from elementary to high school. To be an important part
of the educational success of the young girls and boys
in their lives. Dr. William Cosby (Bill Cosby) has for
years as an educational professional spoken of the importance
of the parents and even family involvement in the
educational development of children.

Mothers traditionally visit the school, mothers
have handled homework, school projects, parent/teacher
conferences, lunch money issues, etc. The responsibilities
and frustrations that accompany these parental duties
are taken care of by mothers who view this as an
added part of being a mom. This is not to say that dads
cannot be effective, and are not involved but moms are
the main school intercessory for families. In this
twenty-first century, fathers, stepfathers, uncles and
grandfathers should be taking charge and going out to
the schools. Children want their parents especially fathers
(a male parental figure) to visit their school, to share in
the excitement of learning, the journey of exploration
and the fun of interacting with their friends. Fathers are
missing the important years of their child’s growing up
and developing into the young ladies and young men
that one day will be adults. Even to this day having
visited my children’s school and being involved
when they were in elementary, middle and now
in high school and college, this has provided me a basis
to talk about my children’s day, what they learned, how
are their friends and other important questions that a
parent needs to know and should know.

Fathers that talk to their children stay connected and in touch
with their children, there are emotional changes and peer
pressure as the child develops and the parents needs to
be available to talk and provide support. Parenting should
not ”back off” but increase as the child growing from
elementary school to middle and high school, it should increase.
There are many distractions, challenges and potential dangerous
elements in our communities that try to take children’s
attention from learning. Fathers and mothers need to
communicate with their children to make sure they are on
the right road to success.

Fathers expressing your desire for your children’s success in
life is important, but making sure that your children gain a quality
education and instilling this in them early is vital. Knowing that
as a father you can contribute to their education, that is what a
REAL father does, he accepts this responsibility and is accountable
for their children’s behaviors. Fathers push their children to
excel in education, even if you did not finish high school or
attend college you should make sure your children are successful.

Data shows the results of men being involved in their children’s lives.
There is more of an impact when “fathers” visits than mom.
Stated on Fatherhood Online, that is developed from the
National Fatherhood Initiative. “Children with involved, loving
fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school,
have a healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social
behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use,
truancy, and criminal activity compared to children
who have uninvolved fathers” (1994-2006).

During the recent Florida Department of Juvenile Justice meeting
at Florida State College of Jacksonville, many youth in the
“system” are without involved and loving fathers. They report
that if there was a father involved and active many youth would
not have been involved in criminal behaviors. The data on girls
shows girls are more violent, participating in growing crimes
and involved in disruptions in schools and even on Social Media
(Fl Dept of Juvenile Justice

Girls are attempting and committing suicides because of the
pressures from Bullying, harassment, low self-esteem, and
involvement in sexual behaviors that leave psychological and
emotional scares. Girls need and want their fathers to be involved
but do not have the communication skills to tell their fathers this.

Parental involvement is vital not only to the educational success of
youth, teens and young adults, but also to keep them from being
immersed in the Juvenile Justice system.

Jacksonville, Florida needs to support the efforts of Mayor
Alvin Brown and the Education Summit. The faith based
community, business community, not for profit organizations
community stakeholders need to be involved supportive and
an encouragement to parents.

The youth of today will be the community leaders of tomorrow,
as Frederick Douglas stated, It is easier to build strong children
than to repair broken men.

Goals: Day 1 – Dr. Bill Cosby Visit

– Raise awareness for public education.
– Raise money for Mayor Brown’s education initiatives.

Florida Theater Performance
Opening act: DCPS drum-line competition
Audience participation & judging of winners
Mayor Brown awards trophies for 1st – 5th place winners

Dr. Cosby performance

Goals: Day 2 – Full day session at
Jacksonville Main Branch Library

– Build on the current excitement and maintain
momentum for public education.

– Garner a better understanding of major education
initiatives while hearing from senior community
educational leaders.

– Encourage collaboration among organizations
and initiatives.

– Exchange ideas on how to increase parental

– Explore the value of establishing a parents academy
as a specific element of increasing parental involvement.

– Exchange ideas regarding specific mini-workshop
topics in the context of increasing parental involvement;
report-out on preliminary recommendations, takeaways,
and suggested future actions regarding each topic.


February 26, 2013

Rockets Attend Engineering Expo at USF

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 03:35
Wm Jackson and Students

Wm Jackson and Students

Rockets Attend Engineering Expo at USF

Engineering Expo 2013 –

The Mission of the Engineering Expo seeks to educate K-12
students on the importance of Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Math in their lives.
Students from elementary, middle and high school statewide
attended to expand their knowledge in these important academic

Andrew Robinson Elementary “Home of the Rockets”
recently attended the 41st Annual Engineering Expo at the
University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

Several thousand students from across the state of Florida
participated in Engineering demonstrations, workshops,
displays, challenges and viewed exhibits.
ARE students; excited, enthusiastic, and thrilled to
participate with students of diverse cultural and academic
backgrounds. This was truly an educational experience and
exposure to a higher educational environment.

Duval County Public Schools were represented well by
ARE students sharing their engineering, scientific and
mathematical knowledge. Students realizing that their
peers in attendance will be their future competition
for entrance into higher education, STEM careers and even
enlisting in the military for careers.

Andrew Robinson Elementary a STEM school, embracing
a STEAM model of Science Technology Engineering Arts
Mathematics. ARE is also a National Elementary Honors
Society member, the only elementary school in the DCPS
that has been awarded this great achievement.
Having an Engineering Program already facilitated by
teacher William Jackson helps prepare students for
middle and high school transition. The understanding of
how technology is integrated into the learning environment is
very important to current and future successes of elementary
students. Brent, a fourth grade students stated, “Robinson is
preparing me with the skills I’m going to need to compete
on a local and national level if I want a career in STEM.”

Nationally STEAM is becoming an national model for
learning and includes the scientific process for learning
along with the engineering process for design, discovery
and construction.

Stated by, Catheryn a fifth grade student, “I did not think
girls could be successful in Engineering. After seeing all the
girls at the Expo was a good feeling. Mr. Jackson our
Engineering teacher has been teaching us a lot. I’m excited and
want to be an engineer building bridges and buildings in Jacksonville.”

The chaperones for the trip were:

Mrs. Thomas, Math Coach, Mr. Sznakowski, Art Teacher,
Mrs. Smith, Reading Coach, Mr. Mercer, Science Coach
Mr. Thompkins, Physical Education Teacher and Mr. Jackson, Engineering Teacher.
Andrew Robinson Elementary

Engineering Expo at USF Pictures

Science Experiements

Science Experiements

February 25, 2013

Importance of Black History Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 05:01

Importance of Black History Month

A reflection on generational responsibilities to progress.

Each generation of Black youth need to understand the
struggle and sacrifice Blacks endured to achieve equal
rights and tolerance in American society. Looking for
generational leaders, who will accept the responsibility
to guide and give each generation leadership in the 21st
century. Youth today have technology in hand by this
generation of youth, the ability to contribute to the
nation and world through digital manipulation, nurturing
and educating hearts and minds. The appreciation of
Black History Month is important because of what it
represents. Representing a culture that rises because of
the contributions of individuals. Each success is a bridge
that other Blacks can cross to contribute to the betterment
of the United States and the world.

“I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed.
Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge.
Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was
a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge” Oprah Winfrey.

Black History Month is still needed in a country where
racism, Colorism, and hatred still are alive even with a
Black President. A nation that shows racism even in the
21st century by openly disrespecting the President and his
family. Black History Month is about education, appreciation
and dedication. Black History month is a celebration of what
Blacks have accomplished in a short time. Building pride
and dignity in Black people and emphasizing education.

BHM should continue to strengthen community’s year around,
not just once a year showing a window dressing of unity.
Parades, breakfasts, dinners and speeches are a brief memory,
what actions do they set in motion without generational
leaders to carry them through? Education is the key along
with dedication and appreciation of past sacrifices. Harriet
Tubman stated, “I freed thousands of slaves, and could have
freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”

Real work in education comes in churches, community
organizations and changing values. Defeating ignorance and
hatred, to get Black youth to understand that calling each other
“Nigger”, “Nigga”, is not prideful, but disrespects those that
have died to allow Blacks to be referred to as a human being
not just someone’s property. Malcolm X passionately asked,
“Who Are You?” in fierily speeches he asked where did
your name go, who took it and who made Blacks dumb as
to what their name is;
“Who Are You”

Women and girls openly call each other B*tch and Ho** on
television and in songs now elementary age girls call each
other that and worse, whose fault is that?

In the 21st century to say to a young brother, “pull up those pants”
do they realize what message this is sending? Don’t Blacks see
the message that is being sent to younger generations? Do Black
children realize the danger they put themselves in, the perception
of a society that incarcerates not educates? The chains of slavery,
not physical, but mental are present, too many Black youth are
mentally in chains. If someone has your mind, they have your
body and soul. It has been said metaphorically it will be difficult
for all of us to acknowledge our slave mentality because “the very
nature of mental slavery creates an illusion that we are free,”
Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery, Na’im Akbar, Ph.D.

150 years ago the 13th Amendment freed slaves physically,
slavery comes in many forms, modern day slaves are the bondage
of Black youth with chains and orange jump suits. Girls on welfare,
embracing EBT cards as prizes to be honored and celebrated.
Children even ask teachers now “Has your EBT card come in yet?”
Children do not respect the empowerment of education and parents
do not support learning. Black youth should prepare for future
careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering
Mathematics), instead of complaining that science and math
are too hard.

The media; movies and music degrade Black women physically,
verbally and spiritually, and Blacks celebrate it claiming to have
arrived as Stars in a society that laughs at their accomplishments
of selling their bodies and souls as entertainers. Why are
Blerds, Nerds and Black Geeks not celebrated? These are the 21st
scientists, doctors, researchers, and explorers. Their efforts mean
more than a 4 minute song that calls for slapping and cursing
women, dealing drugs, and killing police officers. What happen to
the value of education and promoting those that are educated?

Racism is a fact of life for Black people in America; Blacks must
work diligently to support basic human rights, the right to support
Black businesses, the right to speak kindly to Black brothers and
sisters each day. The right to treat each other respectfully, Blacks
must respect actions not based on the color tones of skin, stopping
Colorism. Each generation working to be of value instead of
tolerated and feared. Blacks must seize all of the opportunities
presented, study hard, obtain as much education as possible and
support each other for growth and unity.

Black youth must always strive to better the next generation,
eliminating self hatred and elimination of Colorism. Powerful
words have been spoken by Malcolm X about education in preparing
Blacks for future careers; “Education is our passport to the future,
for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Each New Year is an opportunity to grow and make our
ancestors proud of our achievements, not shameful of our lack
of action and laziness to learn. Do Blacks need to go back to
slavery to be awaken again?

February 22, 2013

Parents: Children and Social Media

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 10:24
Wm Jackson - Presenting "Your Place In Cyberspace"

Wm Jackson- Presenting “Your Place In Cyberspace”

Parents: Children and Social Media

As a Social Media presenter, speaker and STEM
educator during my presentations
I have noticed youth and teens are creating the wrong
messages on their Social Media Networks.
Teens first impression’s are creating lasting images
that will follow them forever. The use of Social Media
has grown to an obsession for many youth and teens.
Advancements in Smartphone technology, wireless
accessibility and the ease of use of Social Media has
created dangerous situations for youth and teens.

Exposure to Cyberbullying, Sexting, Cyberporn
and Cyberstalkers is increasing to the potential of
physical, emotional and psychological harm to youth
and teens.

Conducting a Social Media workshop for Family
Support Services of Jacksonville, Florida, focusing on
teens “digital foot prints and content” teens are learning
the content they post online never goes away. The idea
of deleting one account and opening up another to “hide”
seems easy enough, talking to teens and demonstrating
the power of search engines teens are learning they
cannot hide their “digital footprints, content and presence”.

Just as I learn from teens conducting workshops they
learn from me as well. This is a symbiotic relationship
based on trust and communication. The mentality of
many teens is that even if they don’t use their real names
no one can find them is a dangerous misunderstanding.

Parents play a key role in monitoring their children’s
digital activity. Teens cannot be given free reign of the
Internet because the Internet reflects our society;
there is good, bad and evil.

The changes of technology can be overwhelming and
deceptive as to its safety as we watch the YouTube videos:
Did You Know 2013
The Social Media Revolution 2012-13

During my Social Media workshop, ”Your Place In CyberSpace”
we are interactively engaged in talking about Social Media
tools, platforms, networks and how they affect the
opportunities to enter into Colleges/Universities, Military
Service and even being employed. The importance of
teaching teens to Brand themselves and Market their abilities,
skills and intelligence for careers and higher education is
important. It is key for parents to be “Friends” on Social
Media sites with children until 18 to monitor online behavior
because an online “digital footprint” is the first impression
that society will receive before physical meeting is arranged
for college entrance, interview of jobs, internships and
even military service.

Parents should not be scared to monitor or even spy on
their children. If their children’s online activity is ever
questioned by school officials or law enforcement,
the parent will be held accountable and responsible
for actions that may be criminal behaviors.

Bullying/Cyberbullying, CyberStalking, Cyberporn and
Sexting in many states can be prosecuted as third degree
felonies. A study by Education Database Online found that
43 percent of parents look in on their children’s Facebook
pages, Twitter feeds, Instagram photos weekly.

During my workshop teens learned that Colleges/
Universities are “stalking” them to determine if they are
digitally mature to be granted admission. The military
maybe looking at emotional and psychological behaviors
of future and current recruits. Recently businesses and
education have conducted Social Media fact finding
searches to check employee’s digital footprints.
It is vital that in today’s schools and churches teens
need to be educated on how their Social Media content
affects their lives. Crime and safety experts like Ken
Jefferson in Jacksonville, Florida share, parents have rights
to monitor children’s online activity, stating, “They
(children) can’t be allowed to say, ‘You’re invading my
privacy,'” “The parents have paid the cost to be the boss,
to invade their children’s privacy at anytime, as long as
they’re under the parents roof, that’s they’re (the parents)

Conducting Social Media workshops I recommend to
parent if they have not done so look for online interaction
by their children about sex, drugs, alcohol, gang activity
and potential sexual hookup/meetups.
Communication is important so parents can learn the
“codes” their teens may use to share information with others
online. The numbers of Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking,
Cyberporn and CyberSexting are increasing. Teens are
showing signs of depression, fear, low self-esteem and
attempting suicide because of online participation and
cyber attacks from other teens.

Data shows that teens rarely communicate with their parents
about online activity, so parents must continuously monitor,
communicate and reinforce their presence to protect their
children. Parents should be role models for their children, if
parents are looking at porn and violence they teach children
it is OK because the adults in their lives are doing it.

Wm Jackson, M.Ed.
My Quest To Teach

February 19, 2013

Dr. Bill Cosby and Mayor Alvin Brown Supporting Education

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 16:56

Dr. Bill Cosby and Mayor Alvin Brown

Dr. Bill Cosby and Mayor Alvin Brown

Bill Cosby and Mayor Brown Supporting Education

The responsibility to be involved in
the strengthening of any cities
educational system is a
community responsibility.
Sole accountability and responsibility cannot be left just
to educators, but must be applied to parents, community
stakeholders and business leaders.

When there are educational challenges this is an indication
that challenges need to be collectively addressed, parents
should be more involved in promoting the value of education
to their children. Successes should be celebrated by all that
promote children success in schools.

Quotes by Bill Cosby show the needed involvement of the
community, “We, have to do a better job,” stated. “We
have to start holding each other to a higher standard.”

Educating children is a TEAM effort involving parents,
educators, administrators and community based stakeholders.
Mayor Brown and his staff have taken it further with the
Learn2Earn Experience a summer educational experience for
high school students and the upcoming Education Summit
involving educational advocates such as Dr. Bill Cosby,
that invites the community of Jacksonville, Florida to be involved.

The collaborative nature of the Education Summit is important
to the success of schools and represents never before cooperation
and collaboration of Mayor Brown and Superintendent Vitti.
The collaboration extends beyond the summit and provides
business owners opportunities for mentorship’s. This is a
genuine partnership that invites new ventures for the successful
education of children district wide.

Business partnerships can expand and strengthen with schools
because students of today will be employees of tomorrow and
business owners creating new opportunities for increased
commerce and employment in the future.

Business leaders need to provide mentors to schools and young
professionals should be role models and volunteers in the school
system. This creates and encourages a continuous infusion of
motivated, educated, skilled and progressive youth that value hard
work and helping Jacksonville Florida grow to be competitive in
global markets.

Cheryl Jackson, Sister2Sister Catering has provided meals
for Andrew Robinson families for their education nights, feeding
over 200 and involved in the National Elementary Honors celebration
again feeding over 200. She states, “as a business owner I understand
the importance of an educated work force, as a parent of three
adult males all graduating from DCPS I know parental involvement
is critical to any childs’ success in school.” “My future employees
must be capable, competent and skilled for my business and others
to grow and contribute to the economy of Jacksonville, Florida.“
Sister2Sister Catering

Mayor Brown and his administration should be
commended on their involvement to encourage students
to value education and understand the high expectations
for their success.

The Education Summit involving Dr. Bill Cosby is a
great opportunity for families to be involved and engaged
so the public should REGISTER now to attend!!
Space is filling up fast so the public is encouraged to
attend the Bill Cosby event at the FL Theater from
6pm to 8pm on February 28th.

The mission of the Summit is:
“facilitate an audience which reflects the diverse mix of
stakeholders in the education community, including the
many parents, teachers, school administrators, advocates,
nonprofits, businesses, community and faith-based
organizations that serve and have an interest in our schools.”

What better way to tell parents that they are needed in the
mission to educate students in Duval County. Parental
involvement has always been key to the success of students.
Evidence of the lack of parental involvement is seen
in lower graduation rates, dropout rates, increased
truancy of students, potential criminal activities by minors
and challenges for teachers in classroom management
and instruction.

The positive implications of parental involvement show
that parents are very influential in their child’s educational
success. Parents that are involved promote a vision of
success and a strong value for learning. Students whose
parents are actively involved in their education are more
likely to attend school regularly, adapt well to school
procedures and policies, take advanced classes and
excel academically; what more could a parent want?

As an elementary teacher of over 20 years my experience
shows that student achievement in school is not always
income or social status based, but the involvement of the
family. A strong bond of parents to instill the values of
reading, comprehension, mathematics and accountability
and responsibility for a person’s actions.

Parent Involvement
“When schools, families, and community groups work
together to support learning, children tend to do better in
school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”
Education Week 2/13

The Mayor is opening doors for unprecedented cooperation
with parents, business owners, faith based organizations
and community groups. In order for DCPS to be successful
nationally and internationally all of Jacksonville must work
together for a first class educational system.
Education Summit Community Registration

Mayor Alvin Brown’s Education Summit will kick off on
Thursday, February 28 featuring an evening performance by
actor and education activist Dr. Bill Cosby at the Florida Theatre.
Tickets can be purchased through the Florida Theatre Box office
at (904) 355-2787.

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