My Quest To Teach

June 10, 2016

180 Day School Year What’s Your ‘Xcuse

180 Day School Year What’s Your ‘Xcuse
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College


“Education is the great engine of personal
development. It is through education that
the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor,
that a son of a mine worker can become the
head of the mine, that a child of farm workers
can become the president of a nation.”
Nelson Mandela

The school year is 180 days of
educational growth, clarity, maturity, engagement
and the realization that all students are valuable.
180 days of parent and teacher team work
and collaboration.

The profession of education is not just 180 days
for teachers nor for students:
it expands across weeks and months.
Professional educators and administrators understand
that the process of teaching is built on a foundation
that uses accumulated data from formative and
summative assessments throughout the school year.
These assessments measure, track, gauge and create
a trail of learning that is progressive and representative
of the abilities of students to grow and excel academically.
AYP – Annual Yearly Progress is important because
it justifiably shows that children are learning or if
there are challenges.

Parents should ask to see their child’s test scores to
understand how their children are progressing through
the school year. Communication is very important for
the success of the student. All parents should have a
parent teacher conference to make sure they are sure
they understand their children’s learning.

A parent’s personal educational level is an important
predictor of children’s educational and behavioral
outcomes. If a parent loves learning their children
will model their parents. Parents must not wait for
the school year to encourage learning it must be
every day.
A parent can set the foundation of a child’s future
by their emphasis on the value of learning and
importance they place on reading, literacy and

Stated on “The Role of Parents”
“we (parents) are our children’s learning models.
Our attitudes about education can inspire theirs and
show them how to take charge of their own educational
journey.” What more important role can a parent play
than “teaching” their children to love learning?

Another school year is almost over and parents know if
their children will be promoted or retained. 180 day
school year and every parent should know before the
end of the school year their child’s academic status.
There is no Xcuse why parents do not know……

“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember.
Involve me and I’ll understand.” Confucius


These tips are a guide to help parents, help their children
embrace learning. To love learning and build a culture in
their homes for learning. Parents need to be involved
in their child’s learning 365…

  1. Parents be a role model for learning.
    Parents are their children’s first teacher.
    A parents responsibility both moral and ethical is to show
    how school can extend the learning you began together at
    home, and how exciting and meaningful this learning can be.
    2. Parents pay attention to what your child loves.
    Find out what your child’s interests are and build on them.
    This will show the parent how your child likes to learn.
    Their learning style…………
    3. Parents learn how your child learns.
    Children use a combination of modalities to learn:
    visually, tactile, and auditory.
    Parents learn how your child learns so you can meet their
    learning styles.
    4. Parents set aside time to read together.
    Parents read aloud regularly even to your older kids and
    allow them to read to you. Reading early creates a platform
    to share literacy and creates higher levels of comprehension
    if what is read is discussed. Start a reading club in your
    home, community and even in your child’s school.
    5. Parents connect what your child learns to everyday life.

    Allow learning to reflect real life situations. Whether
    shopping, traveling, and exploring your world of learning
    can come along as being fun. The skills of mathematics,
    reading, social studies and even science can be discovered.
    6. Parents help your child take charge of their learning.
    Parents help your child have ownership of their learning.
    Allow them time to choose what they want to read and
    how they want to learn. Use available resources like
    the library and museums. Allow children to celebrate
    successes and learn from failures.
    7. Parents keep TV, Technology and Social Media to a minimum.
    These interactive entertainment sources can be distractions
    and hindrances to learning.
     Watching TV diminishes creativity,
    imagination and learning exploration depending on the
    programming and theme of what you are watching.
    Use toys, books and even crafts to create a learning center
    instead of TV and Technology.
    8. Parents learn something new yourself.
    Parents if you share your love for learning your children
    love to learn. Demonstrate your willingness to learn new
    things and even if you struggle this is good for growth.
    Showing how to overcome adversity and learning challenges.

    180 Days School Year What’s Your ‘Xcuse is important to
    take advantage of each day for your children. You can never
    get the day or that opportunity back. 180 day school year to
    gain the knowledge you need to be promoted each year.
    There should be no excuses.


May 26, 2016

Girls and Bullying: Pain and Potential PTSD

Girls and Bullying: Pain and Potential PTSD
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
@wmjackson –


Girls of all ages are involved in online
communication that has exceeded face to face
communication. They are sharing photos, videos,
emoji’s and other graphical displays of emotions
and friendships. BFF is a new word in the English
The increase of a girl’s social life has transitioned
to digital relationships that travel across the
digital languages of Social Media sites.

Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and other
forms of digital communications are dominated by
the chatter of digital words, phrases, acronyms
and the occasional use of profanity and sexual
dialogue. A girl or young ladies digital life is
different than how they are in real life situations.

Direct interaction creates opportunities for
dialogue that can be respectful and caring. Technology
has opened a Pandora’s Box to potential vicious Bullying,
Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking and Sexting. These actions
have created a change in digital interactions and
etiquette. It is dangerous not to know what
Cyberbullying and Cyberstalking are.

Girls must be taught how to “talk” digitally to each
other and not to bully, or in the case of technology
Cyberbully. Brooklyn a student says that, “Parents
need to observe their child’s accounts to see what
they are doing to keep their children especially girls
safe from predators and others that would do them harm.”


The end of each school year is creating fear,
apprehension and even causing parents pulling their
children out of school early because of fear from
violence as retribution of past offenses even if it is
a minor verbal altercation or a digital misunderstanding.
Too many children and teens do not value life as it
should be valued and their natures are more violent and
less compassionate. Communication with wireless devices
has created a paradigm shift for parents, educators, and
even law enforcement in the attempts to monitor, educate
and prevent bullying actions by girls and women.

Statistics show that girls will bully using technology
more than boys and a girl’s online activity is more
vicious. Even television media has shown true to life
movies about girls bullying in the traditional sense in
the school environment and also through digital means.
The unfortunate deaths by suicide and attempted suicides
are reported weekly on national news stations that bullying
and cyberbullying creates havoc emotionally and
psychologically for girls. Girls as they mature into
women have stated that they suffer from PTSD because of
the stress resulting from bullying through middle and high

Speaking at national conferences to teens and young adults,
I have spoken with women in their 30’s and 40’s that carry
the emotional scars of bullying from middle and high school.
The reality that many parents do not understand or are in
denial, girls are more likely than boys to participate in
cyberbullying, (cyber-bullying via text messages or online
via Internet).


Sharing information to empower and engage parents as the
school year comes to a close, parents need to check their
children’s Social Media accounts and their digital devices.
Parents need to understand their children, who their friends
are and even associates. The recent deaths of girls from
fights have made national attention and a warning sign to
parents. It cannot be said that this is a surprise because
there are signs, parents need to recognize them.

Schools cannot be fully blamed for bullying, because at
the end of the day, students go home to their parents,
seclude themselves in their rooms and use their digital
devices to make the lives of other girls and even boys hell
on Social Media. Parents are accountable and responsible
because they are paying for the very devices their children
are using to bully with.

The consequences of bullying do have serious emotional
and psychological consequences that can last a lifetime.
Girls who are bullied have a greater risk for depression
which can lead to drug dependency, alcohol and other
substances. As a teacher in elementary and higher education
here are some tips that may help protect kids from
cyberbullying, but it takes parents being active, engaged
and involved.


Reinforce in your children not to give out personal
information online, when engaged in online don’t fill in
personal information. In online profiles, chat rooms, blogs,
or on web site surveys be careful what personal information
you provide. Not all sites are honest and beneficial.Don’t
ever tell anyone your email or instant messaging passwords,
even your friends or BFF’s.

If someone sends a mean or threatening message, don’t
respond, get a screen capture and save it to report to
school administration or law enforcement. Don’t be a
cyberbully, because you may find yourself on the other
end of being investigated by law enforcement and school
officials. Laws are enforced where all digital devices can
be taken from the home and searched for “evidence” for

Knowing the definition of bullying and cyberbullying is not
enough, knowing that anyone can be a bully or can be bullied
is important. Prevention and protection is the goal of my
blog, to empower and educate parents. Parents need to read
student policy and procedure books, they need to read
Internet policies for the school district.
The end of the school year should be a calm transition,
not one filled with dread for the summer,
fearing being bullied, harassed and stalked.


May 5, 2016

High School Athletes – Having A Tunsil Moment

Having A Tunsil Moment
William Jackson, M.Ed.

Prevent Having A Tunsil Moment

Our behaviors are influenced by youthful
exuberance, ignorance to the consequences
of our actions and just plain stupidity. Many
of us have done things, participated in
activities that when we look back on we
resent and regret. Maturity is a great thing
to have, but it is gained from experiences
from life lessons.

Behaviors when mixed with alcohol, drugs and other substances
blur the lines between common sense and irrational behaviors.
When combined with technology we display a side of ourselves
that we normally would not. We act and react differently because
our thoughts are either clouded irrational actions and our youthful
excitement of the moment.

The National Football League Draft of 2016 will be seen as a lesson
in Social Media  caution and accountability. The lessons
learned are not just for athletes, but for everyone seeking to
achieve their goals, dreams and career aspirations.


Laremy Tunsil’s high school mistake is a wakeup call for
high school and middle school students that use Social Media.
The events that happened no matter how they took place
shows several things, people will try to use Social Media
content to hurt others, you are accountable and responsible
for your content that you post from videos, to photos
and we cannot predict our futures.

This lesson in a way was experienced by Vanessa Williams
years ago when she was the first African American
to win Miss. America, but her crown was taken back
because of photos from her past. She survived with
the support of family and friends and her determined
will to be successful.

The term, hind sight is 20/20, I’m sure if she knew she
was going to be Miss America she would not have taken
those photos and chosen another course of action to support
herself. Tunsil, I’m sure would not have participated in the
events shown online and not recorded them. The actions of
youth mixed with substances that take control of the
mind are a dangerous combination.

Social Media is not a crystal ball into the future, but a
window to the past, it can show positive and productive
events or behaviors that show lack of  thought and
maturity. As I have stated in many conversations at
conferences, seminars and workshops:
“Your digital devices can be your best friends or
worse enemies, depending on the type of content you
create and post, share and associate with.” William Jackson

Social Media platforms are growing and allow unprecedented
opportunities to share content that shares our lives,
parents must be sure to talk to their children to
get them to understand that everything they do does
not have to go online and their behaviors, actions
and associations can be a curse for the future.

“Privacy is dead, and social media hold the smoking gun.”
Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO Tweet This!

Internet Caution

Internet Caution

As I have blogged parents need to “Google and Hash Tag,”
their children from time to time to protect them from
themselves. To talk to their children, set ground rules
and have expectations for behaviors. Along with this if
the rules are broken consequences for actions that can
ultimately be detrimental to future careers.

Social Media is a reflection of society, there are wonderful
resources that allow for personal growth, educational
access, networking and social interactions that build
dynamic and global relationships, but the other end
are areas that promote chaos, confusion and even death;
physical, moral, psychological and spiritual defecation to
logic and common sense.
Parents are their children’s first line of defense to
protect their children from physical and digital mistakes.

The Internet has created an atmosphere where children,
youth, teens and young adults feel they cannot live without
access, they have to be connected to friends and resources
that can influence behaviors outside of their “normal”
influences. Tuncil is not the only one that has been
exposed, there are others, some were lucky, but there
are others that have heartbreaking stories resulting in
unemployment, shame and embarrassment. The issue with
Social Media is that others are influenced because of the
“connected communities.” Everyone else can see
your business and if you allow only a select few,
this does not stop the spreading of rumors and innuendos.

Caution in the actions and reactions of situations and
circumstances is important. Think about how or if what
you post can or will affect you and your family. It only
takes a few seconds to change to course of your future
when posting on Social Media.

“Social media is changing the way we communicate and the
way we are perceived, both positively and negatively.
Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you
are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal
Brand.” Amy Jo Martin

The dangers are not just employment and social stability,
the dangers are destroying your Brand that you have worked
hard to build. From your E-Brand to your e-Reputation
and even your e-Personality all are affected. In some cases
it is easier to destroy your personal Brand and almost
impossible to rebuild it after a mistaken posting.

“How valuable your e-Brand, e-Personality, e-Reputation and
e-Value are cannot be determined until you do something to
damage it on Social Media.” William Jackson


August 29, 2015

African American Parents Empower Your Child with Reading

African American Parents Empower Your Child with Reading
William Jackson, M.Edu – Edward Waters College

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs
to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

The school year brings new opportunities for academic success and
excellence. Each year provides 180 days of learning that can build a
student each year in preparation for higher education, vocational
school, military service or other educational opportunities.
Public education is a foundation for greater learning and the
development of a child’s mind in critical and higher order thinking.

Having over 25 years of public educational service and higher
educational teaching I have seen the power of education expanding
opportunities for African Americans if there is consistent parental
involvement, the travesty and truth is too many parents are not
encouraging their children in reading and literacy. When are more
African American parents going to grow tired of hearing that African
American children are the lowest readers, struggle with literacy and
have low comprehension skills? There must be a point where parents
grow sick and tired of being at the bottom and creeping up and down.
Education can empower children for dynamic and successful
careers or the lack of education can place a child as unemployable,
under employed or not employable.

There are developing careers that will allow a child to witness the
genetic structure of the human DNA and research cures for cancers
or birth defects, the future ability to travel to Mars and planets beyond,
explore the deepest oceans, live and work in the international space
station, develop cures for illnesses that have killed millions globally,
feed people in desserts and other careers in STEM, STEAM, STREAM
just to name a few.

As I have blogged previously: “the engagement of technology allows
African American children and children of color to expand their intellectual
and creative abilities beyond sports, entertainment and the stereotypical
elements that society deems appropriate for African American children.”
Parents must set the stage to encourage reading and literacy to grow
and strengthen comprehension.

The world has embraced technology to a point that toddlers are attracted
to the shiny screens of tablets and Smartphones. This is an automatic
affinity to the engagement of technology and empowerment that
technology can provide; every opportunity parents should incorporate
reading and comprehension skills. Games are for entertainment, fun and
enjoyment, learning can have an awesome effect if parents would direct
their children to educational sites online instead of foolery.

“My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the
rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” Malcolm X
More African American youth, teens and young adults need to
have this philosophy and thirst for knowledge. Parents set the
educational platforms at infancy by reading to their children,
introducing them to books and learning materials.
The critical part of any successful educational endeavor is
the involvement of parents. Critical to valuing education, the
empowerment of learning and the direction of continued
educational success are from parents and their collaboration
with teachers and schools. Technology has opened up a new
period of educational and social evolution. Parents must be
willing to be involved and put their children in situations
of academic and technical growth.
Parents need to understand their part and get involved in
their child’s education. If they do not more cities will close
schools just as in Philadelphia, Chicago and other cities of the
past years.

Many schools closed will be in African American neighborhoods
where parents are not involved, seem to not care about working with
teachers and allow their children’s educational opportunities to
be destroyed. If African Americans are silent about their educational
thirst they will be ignored and moved from sight, allowed to wither
away by intellectual dehydration, a slow death of unemployment,
lack of community re-investments, dying economic opportunities.

The words by Malcolm X ring true even in the 21st century,
“People don’t realize how a man’s (woman’s) whole life can
be changed by one book.” Malcolm X

Encouraging your child to read is not always a game, it needs to
be planned, engaged and active in the home.

Reading Resources
Photo Listing of African American Nonfiction Books

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: