My Quest To Teach

March 17, 2017

The Hidden Magic In Children of Color

The Hidden Magic In Children of Color
by William Jackson and Breyonna Fox
#MyQuestToTeach

 

Inspired by the movie Hidden Figures and the book
by Margot Lee Shetterly
How many girls of color are super smart in mathematics,
how many want to be engineers, how many girls of color
want to be doctors and lawyers, scientists and pilots?

How many want to be vetrienarians and writers like Breyanna
Fox a sophmore attending High School in Jacksonville,
Florida, she is interning with My Quest To Teach writing
blogs that are read nationally and Taylor Richardson of
Bolles Middle School, her dreams to be an astronaut
traveling to Mars and exploring the Red Planet. How many
want to be like Angie Nixon’s daughter Natalie creating
a national following with The Adventures of Moxie McGriff
http://moxiemcgriff.com/

Mayor Brown and Natalie

 

How many boys of color love to read and how many enjoy
building with Legos and other materials that would make
them the next architects and designers of our national
infrastructure for roads and buildings. Young men like
Elisha Taylor an 8th grade students that loves robotics,
reading and has spoken at conferences, TEDxFSCJ and
attending WordCamps and EdCamps in Florida
https://myquesttoteach.wordpress.com/elisha-taylor/

 

elisha-at-tedx-salon

Young men such as Jon Gregory of Edward Waters College
studying to be an elementary education teacher working
with TEAM UP in Jacksonville, Florida.
He has spoken at TEDxFSCJ, EdCamp NASBE and attended
WordPress and WordCamp events. One of the first to
speak at the Edward Waters TIGER TALKS Experience.

Each of these dynamic and success driven visionaries
are embracing their talents as smart creatives and
innovators for the future. How many boys and girls of
color will be able to design future space ships that
will take astronauts beyond Mars and to the stars?
These are dreams that many do have. There is Hidden
Magic in children of color and culture that
needs to be cultivated and encouraged.

jon-gregory-tedx-salon

The movie Hidden Figures has sparked a renewed interest
in the need for girls and women to enter into STEM
careers, it is a call for boys and men also to get
involved in STEM and STEAM that allows the imagination
to know no limitations. Girls and women shatter glass
ceilings, boys and men demolishing walls that keep them
out of innovative and historic careers with tech.

There was a time as seen in the movie Hidden Figures
where Black girls and boys were honored as scholars
and intellectuals, what has happened in the 21st
century? There are too many that are scared to read
books in public, too many that will be bullied because
they love math and science.
The question WHY is a question that needs to be answered!!
Not just in schools, but in homes where parents are the
first educators. How can kids bring guns to school, but
struggle to bring books to and from school?

Why are our Black girls and boys that can be honor
students scared to be academically successful? What has
happened since the days when Blacks had to secretely learn
how to read using the Bible that was hidden away. That
was a “hidden treasure” because it was the tool that Blacks
used to start the educational process that even continues
today. HBCUs had to struggle to teach not because of money,
but because society did not think Blacks were smart enough
to be anything other than field workers, hired hands and
property.

These stories are not science fiction, but science fact
how Blacks have influenced a time in national history.
“If Not for Them” there may have not been a journey to
the moon or if there had been, it may have cost more
human lives. Look at the facts that Blacks helped put a
man in space, Blacks helped put a man on the moon and
Blacks continue to do this.

HBCUs have contributed to thousands of #HiddenFigures
that are still unknown and their contributions are
historical in the benefits we enjoy today. Parents
and teachers need to work together to create cultures
of learning not just for school learning, but for the
betterment of our cultures and societies. It is because
of the diversity that America has that is why this
nation is still the best place in the world to live
because we enjoy freedoms that our constitution allows
for everyone.

March 15, 2017

Bring EdCamp To Africa To Build Collaboration and Connectedness

HOME

Bring EdCamps To Africa To Build Collaboration and Connectedness
by Professor William Jackson – Edward Waters College

Kiswahili [another term for Swahili] the proverb
“Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu,” shares
the responsibility of the community (village), or town or city
to raise/educate children.
The exposure to educational strategies, concepts, best practices
and the application of diverse technologies can sometimes
seem challenging when the infrastructure is  still being built.
Collaboration with educators is challenged when the basic
tools are not in place or accessible and teachers with years
of experience are not able to collaborate or connect with
new or pre-service teachers still attending college and
university. Bring in the EdCamp!!!!

chinua-achege-2

Chinua Achebe,
“When I began going to school and learned to read,
I encountered stories of other people and other lands.”
When young people decide to make education a career they
should be celebrated and  importantly supported because the
road to a “master teacher” is difficult and the learning curve is
at times steep. To many people are criticized for going into
teaching especially men. People do not respect the calling of
an educator or the responsibility of administrators that manage
personalities, egos, genders and even generations, that is just
the students.
Diversity in education builds strength in skills and abilities
because this can be applied to the growing student population in
schools that are diverse and constantly changing. How do you
address literacy skills if 1/3 of the students are ESOL and 1/3
may be hearing impaired or 1/3 visually challenged and 1/3 are
gifted. The classroom teacher must address each student
individually and align instruction with their abilities to be
academically successful.
It is common knowledge that schools are a microcosm of
their communities, and African teachers understand their
challenges are unique in their classrooms because of the
lack of resources.

Chinua Achebe (Nigerian Writer)
“A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy
educated, participatory follower-ship, and an educated, morally
grounded leadership.”
EdCamp provides a format in education for teachers, administrators,
support staff to come together and share in a collaborative
environment how to improve the educational culture and atmosphere
of schools. The physical infrastructure is important, but if you do not
have teachers that are passionate, engaging, creative and innovative
in applying academic intellect so students can see what they are
working towards, having stuff will not help. Instruction must
correspond with application to meet the needs of students.
“Learning must be relevant and real.”
Professor William Jackson, M.Ed.

The instruction and the instructional materials rests with the
teacher that is the leader, role model, mentor and guide to academic
direction. Teachers as they learn their students can apply the best
tool to the student(s) for the best results.
Even pre-service and new teachers can benefit because of the exposure
to those with experiences applying best practices and building a
PLN Professional Learning Network to share and support.
In this world of political lobbyists that do not understand how children
learn, the influence of community, poverty, generational influences
and teacher training;  EdCamp is not influenced by political affiliations,
special interests groups, lobbyists or the infection of governmental
policies.
The exchanges are by teachers that respect their peers and can relate
and understand the challenges of teaching and educating youth, teens
and young adults.
The teacher exchanges of ideas, resources and developing practices is
able to make trans-formative changes in the culture and learning of
the classroom faster than politicians changing policy that is filtered,
modified and changed to meet the needs of a political promise or
vision that is not in-line with actual learning.
Teachers and administrators understand that classrooms are global
environments of cultures, ideas, lifestyles and the socio-economic
conditions of students.
Education is the tool to take them beyond their current position to
move them upward. The family in most cases is part of the process
of education and because of this, family histories do matter. The
history of African education has been one of colonial influences
and even re-defining the learning objectives for students. Change
by African educators is finding appropriate resources not to just
satisfy a political mission, but prepare African children to be the
smart creatives and innovators Africa needs.

Chinua Achebe affirms the educational function of literature
and establishes a human context for understanding modern
African history.
http://faculty.atu.edu/cbrucker/Achebe.html
In Survey of World Literature, 1992
Education serves a vital purpose in understanding where Africans
have come from and it helps direct where Africans are going in
relation to the direction of global business, commerce, technology
and finance.
EdCamp can provide the missing pieces to teacher development
that cannot be influenced by one day professional development.
The African proverb, “It takes a village to educate a child,” brings
higher value to the creation of EdCamp on the African continent.
If teachers do not prepare students to sit at the tables of
business, commerce, finance and education then students will
be left behind and out of the decision making process of building
communities and prosperity for its citizens.
As a professor teaching Educational Technology in the Education
Department and Urban Studies at Edward Waters College and
teaching 27 years in public education, professional development
and networking are important to the growth and development
of new and seasoned teachers that need seasoning.
One cannot exhist without the other.
Kijita (Wajita) “Omwana ni wa bhone,” meaning regardless of a
child’s biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to
the community.

EdCamp and WordCamp in Africa

EdCamp and Why Teachers Should Care
http://www.hypeorlando.com/my-quest-swag/2016/02/04/edcamp-and-why-teachers-should-care/

EdCamps
http://www.edtechupdate.com/edcamps/

WordCamp
https://central.wordcamp.org/

EdCamp Accra
https://sites.google.com/a/lincoln.edu.gh/edcamp15/home

EdCamps
Putnam County March 25, 2017
http://edcampputnam.weebly.com/home/edcamp-putnam

Branford April 22, 2017
http://edcampbranford.weebly.com/

Volusia April 8th
http://edcampvolusia.weebly.com/

WordCamp Jacksonville 2017
https://2017.jacksonville.wordcamp.org/speak/

Past EdCamps in Florida from 2015 to Present

 

March 10, 2017

Teaching Our Youth To Be Cautious On Social Media

Teaching Our Youth To Be Cautious On Social Media
by William Jackson speaking at
The Bridge of Northeast Florida

Recent deaths by suicide on Social Media,
the use of drugs and alcohol
as glamorous and exciting, sexual exploitation,
Sexting, Cyberbullying, threats, intimidation and
the use of Social Media to make political threats
and accusations is sending the wrong message
to youth, teens and young adults.

The availability of learning experiences should never be denied to youth
and teens with technology. In the world of digital communication, diverse
Social Media platforms and tools, Apps that allow for instant access to
family and friends tech can be both good and bad. Technology influences
the So Lo Mo of life: So – social engagement of youth and teens,
Lo – access to local activities and events, Mo – mobile technologies that
move with youth and teens so they are always connected.

The Bridge of Northeast Florida (Cynthia Gibson) and William Jackson
(educator, trainer and speaker) have provided dedicated workshops
addressing Sexting, Bullying, Cyberbullying and STEM/STEAM
along with the value of HBCUs in higher education and career
development.
Even at the elementary and middle school age youth need to learn the
dangers of being online and giving out personal and even family information.
How people try to gain their friendship online, try to manipulate them
mentally and emotionally putting themselves and their families in dangerous
situations.

Sexting has consequences and that a wrong choice can follow them a
lifetime and ruin a career, building a family and even in this age of digital
commerce can have unforeseen influences with personal credit and entrance
into higher education, military service and stable employment.
Information never goes away and can cause legal problems even jail time
and labeling when involved in Sexting or child pornography. Parents need
to check their children’s phones from time to time, but many are too afraid
of the response from their children.
The plus side is understanding how positive and empowering STEM is and
influence life for children.

Science Technology Engineering and Math can be seen from the examples
of Hidden Figures and that there are local role models like Taylor Richardson
who are working to be NASA astronauts and travel to Mars and the stars.
Students during the discussion phase are unfortunately being told that Blacks
have never been into space and they are not “smart” enough to be involved
in high tech careers. Parents more than ever before need to talk to their
children about their career choices, the value of education and why/how
STEM can help them achieve their goals as adults.

Parents need to take their children to museums, libraries and cultural events
so their children are exposed to educational opportunities and services as
The Bridge offers to the community of Jacksonville, Florida.
The Bridge of Northeast Florida provides many services to prepare future
leaders that are children in our schools and communities now, preparing them
to lead in the future as current leaders age and retire.

Children of color and culture should be educated, mentored and see positive
role models as examples of what can be achieved. In The Bridge they
see these and more by presentations, speakers, role models and mentoring.
Children of color should know who the first Black woman and Black man where
to fly into space, who the other firsts of their cultures are and not be told that
Blacks have not accomplished great things in history. The truth is out there
and children can use technology to learn and grow from it, but they must be
given positive information. Community programs like The Bridge are needed
more because of the false information being feed to youth, teens and young
adults about their potential for success and being beneficial to their communities.
The chaos they sometimes see and hear either in real life or through the
media cannot be controlled, but with efforts by The Bridge and others
children can be guided, mentored and educated in the right way.

Resources:
The Bridge of Northeast Florida
http://www.bridgejax.com/
NASA Kids Club
https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html
Taylor Richardson
http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39060043
Hidden Figures No More – NPR
http://www.npr.org/2016/12/16/505569187/hidden-figures-no-more-meet-the-black-women-who-helped-send-america-to-space
How Black Women Did The Math
http://www.npr.org/2016/09/25/495179824/hidden-figures-how-black-women-did-the-math-that-put-men-on-the-moon
Seeing More Women of Color
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/09/octavia-spencer-people-of-colour-hidden-figures-diversity

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