My Quest To Teach

December 15, 2017

Hip Hop Nutcracker – Blending of Hip Hop and the Classic Nutcracker

William and Aida, Bloggers and Digital Innovators
in Jacksonville Florida #MyQuestToTeach

Hip Hop Nutcracker – Blending of Hip Hop and the Classic Nutcracker
William Jackson, My Quest To Teach Edited By Aida C.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker was a musical explosion combing
old school Hip Hop with classical music and the grace,
elegance and power of Hip Hop dancing. The back drop
story line of the Nutcracker provided the framework
on a story that is relevant generationally dealing with
the diversity of relationships and family. Using music
to transcend dialogue, the dancing of the actors
(yes the dancers are considered actors) showed
that emotions, passions, fears, desires and love
help to form our humanity and used to tell a
unique story.
In its own right Hip Hop has cultural and gener-
ational significance, inspiring musical artistry
allowed story-telling to be told in a dynamic
and electrifying production that literally has the
audience reflecting on their memories of Hip
Hop in the 80’s.
Kurtis Blow still has a masterful way of getting
the audience hyped and providing avenues of
remembrance through the decades. The 80’s
when real Hip Hop was formed and had
audiences of all ages dancing in the streets,
in house parties, schools and even some
churches that Hip Hop as a way of community
connection and unity. There is a cross
generational connection of memories when
the 80’s Hip Hop is heard.
As the transition of background images of
New York neighborhoods and subway artwork
joined together by the concrete and steel of
those days made communities more than
buildings, they were families of people with
similar family values, challenges, celebrations
and expectations. The visual elements of
Hip Hop Nutcracker brought a visual appeal
of life in New York and a back-drop of a New
York Bridge.
The connection that allowed Hip Hop to travel
throughout New York City and across the country.
The Nutcracker has international acclaim which
combined with the athletic artistry of dancers,
gymnast and those that appear to defy gravity
if just for a brief moment excites and brings
true the abilities of youth, teens and young
adults as artists.
Building a unique musical journey that draws
in a generation that may not even know about
the classical Nutcracker story that has
many variations. The challenges of relationships,
overcoming misunderstandings, relational realities
of life.
Woven into a story decades old and combining
with not just a dance style, but a way of life in
Hip Hop.
The melodious manipulations of Hip Hop songs
and classical music as manifested by a DJ
(disc jockey), collaborated “scratches” building
on the tempo, scales and instrumentation
of accompaniment and unity.
The music radiates a yearning to connect with
the finest details related to instrumentation
on an electronic scale.
The two hour show is fun, electrifying, skillfully
choreographed and the acting is first rate even
though displayed through dancing and the
expressions of the actors. No words are
exchanged which brings a unique perspective
that means as you watch the performances
you are engaged and encouraged
to think about the events unfolding.
The human spirit is seen at such a high level
that in  the engagements, violin solos and
other events Hip Hop Nutcracker
will move you to find those old LP’s, CD’s and
even YouTube videos and relive the feel of
the 80’s and the nostalgia that only
music can bring.
If you’re a child of the 70’s and 80’s you
will enjoy the show and want to tell your
children about the simpler time when
there were arguments and conflicts that
were many times solved by dance offs or
creating on the fly raps that were
creative, innovative and allowed the brain to
flow using language not bullets to settle
disagreements.
Parents should take their kids to see Hip Hop
Nutcracker to show them the power of a
musical genre still shared around the world and
as powerful and moving as classical music.
The combination is so Dope and Lit it can carry
you way, back to a time when life seems built
on music, love and family.
Resources:
The Florida Theater
http://floridatheatre.com/event/hip-hop-nutcracker/

The Hip Hop Nutcracker
http://hiphopnutcracker.com

 Hip Hop Nutcracker 2

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October 6, 2017

Writing and Storytelling for Africans

Africa

Writing and Storytelling for Africans
by William Jackson, M.Ed. @wmjackson Twitter
Speaker at WordCamp DC, WordCamp Jacksonville,
WordCamp Wilmington N.C.

“Writers have to recognize the works of the artist and
those of the activist. Creating content is more than just
throwing words, video, pictures on a digital sheet of
paper. There is serious intellectual thought during the
writing process. Sometimes writing will be in a zone of
creativity and innovation to create new content that has
an intended outcome, but sometimes the outcomes are
unknown.” William Jackson
Professor Soyinka “Just sit down and write….” as he has
stated to the growing African writers across the continent.
The ability of a blogger / writer to write also means that
they have a responsibility to tell the story of those that
cannot write, those that are silent and have no voice.
Digital content is powerful and enabling to bring recog-
nition, attention and urgency to civic issues that need
to be addressed.
The growth of the blogger / writer is composed of periods
of growth, reconciliation, enlightenment and a civic
responsibility to write / blog not just for oneself, but for
those that do not have a voice and will not be heard.
The ability to share a story comes from the ability to listen
and apply knowledge from a person’s experiences,
interactions, goals for growth and even how mistakes are
made and learned from.
The diversity of culture influences a writer’s ability to
“touch” the people they are writing to or writing for.
When past writers applied their skills they shared stories
that could be connected to real life, to the experiences
that many knew they could connect to.
The diversity of African bloggers represents the diversity of
a continent that influences not just the global weather, but
has digital extensions that influence business, commerce,
entrepreneurial spirits of the dreamers, creators and
innovators that have ideas to change the world around them.
Africa is in a constant state of flux economically, educationally,
culturally and the future is unknown, but it is becoming
brighter and brighter a business and entrepreneurial
opportunities become available.
Writers like author and Professor Wole Soyinka who are
involved in civic issues, governmental policies and the
educational growth of youth, teens and adults. He
is of the past, but there are modern writers waiting
to be read.
The African continent has birthed intellectual and
intelligent writers that have embraced and applied
digital platforms to awaken and encourage others in
the African diaspora to spread their digital wings and
write. The storytellers of the past have grown and adapted
to the Bloggers, Vbloggers, Podcasters, Facebook Live
and Instagram Live visionaries building, creating, designing
and posting content that influences thought not just
emotions.
Stated by Soyinka, “when Africans learn the power they
have in their hands in writing, they can influence their
communities and make important and needed changes
because they will have a voice that others can hear and
follow.”
Writing is a grassroots process that builds knowledge in
Africans of all ages and can influence generations. The
educational process is key because as can be seen in Africa
it is dangerous to allow your colonizers to educate your
children. Their goals are not the goals of those being
oppressed. The goal of the oppressor is the keep the
oppressed ignorant. So that their resources can be drained
dry before the oppressed realize what is happening
to their lands, to their people and their very existence.
Stated by Prof. William Jackson of My Quest to Teach
“If we (Blacks) are not speaking for ourselves or writing
for ourselves, someone else is going to describe who we
are, where we came from and ultimately where we are going.”
This creates identity problems because those that are doing
the writing are not looking through the eyes of those being
written about. The people are not seen as people they are
seen as little things with no value, as Chinua Achebe states,
“as funny things.”
Too many stories are wrong in their direction to offer solutions
to issues that Africans are experiencing. Africans must be able
to tell their own stories because there is a story to tell…..
“Your pen has to be on fire.” Chinua Achebe
Resources:
How many people use social media in Africa?
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/13/africa/africa-social-media-consumption/
BBC Africa
https://www.youtube.com/user/bbcafrica
10 Best African Speakers
https://www.africa.com/ted-global-2017-meet-the-10-africans-on-the-list-of-speakers/

September 1, 2017

Thoughts for Male Teachers in the New School Year 2017 – 2018

Wm Jackson and Harris Family

 

Thoughts for Male Teachers in the New School Year
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Public and Higher Education Educator
Teacher of the Year 2014 – 2015 Venetia Elementary
#VESOMA Venetia Elementary School of Medical Arts
#MyQuestToTeach on Google

As the new school year begins there are many duties that a
teacher must perform,  male teachers the mental preparation
is important and planning is vital for success.
Teaching over 25 years and seeing other male teachers excel and
some meet with difficulty I hope these reminders / suggestions
help male teachers have a great year.

1. Keep your eyes to yourself. The eyes are the windows to the
spirit. Your not trying to impress any kids mom just because she
may be cute or attractive. Remember the mission of your
profession. Too many male educators get distracted by a smile,
a flirt, a handshake, a seemingly innocent hug.
Be a professional always……….
2. Your not trying to be a substitute daddy, sugar daddy,
surrogate daddy or potential baby daddy. Focus on what your
trained to do and be, a professional educator. As a male professional
you have to set boundaries and not overstep them and not allow
others to disregard them. Your boundaries are for your protection.
If you break these you run the risk of loosing your credibility,
hurting your reputation and Brand as a professional.
3. Don’t get in the habit of telling your personal business
to students to share at their homes. Students want to know as
much as they can about their teachers this is natural for children
to make connections and build relationships.
Teachers should build relationships, they should be in the proper
context of always being a professional and as an adult.
As a teacher you’re not their friend nor their substitute parent.
4. A school is not your personal dating pool for conquests
and booty calls. Temptation is a dangerous thing and so is
the attraction of others when you do not have the correct mind
set. Relationships with parents and even other teachers and
administrators have boundaries, as amale educator keep your
distance and your hormones in check.
5. Male administrators are always under the microscope
and being watched. Too many times they are categorized, labeled,
stereotyped and even judged before the first day of the school
year. They must remain focused and mission driven.
6. Always be professional in your dress, actions, behaviors
and interaction with teachers, students, parents and the
community. Do not get in the habit of allowing others to call
you by your first name (this is my opinion). That may open
doors for students, parents and even educational peers
to over step personal and professional boundaries of respect.
7. You’re not Black Panther, Luke Cage, Captain America,
Iron Man. You are not there to save the world, you profession
is to educate. Do not take on someone else’s burdens or social
challenges. Use the community resources to refer for help.
The best way to help others is to empower them with
information to help themselves.
8. Do not put yourself in a position of people questioning your
intentions as an educator. “Integrity”
Never talk to students, parents and even other teachers alone
with the door closed. If you think meetings maybe uncom-
fortable take it to administration first.
9. Have a caring, genuine and a listening ear to others, but do
not get caught up trying to be someones savior.
10. Manage your money, finances and pay your bills on time.
If you have a teachers union use their resources because you
are paying for them with your dues.
11. Surround yourself with a good support system of veteran
teachers. Have a mentor that will guide you and provide honest
ideas and suggestions for professional improvement and
stability.
12. Consider joining the teachers union there are benefits
that help you grow professionally and personally.
13. Start investing early for future retirement and higher
educational degrees. Don’t wait to be pushed into
doing it or losing your teaching certificate.
14. Always seek professional development opportunities
thatbuild your strengths and address your weaknesses.
15. Each paycheck should have a purpose and a plan.
16. Your not a taxi service, do not volunteer to pickup
another teachers child / children unless there is a
understanding of behavior and length of time to do this.
17. If you do not want your personal business spread all
over the school, city, community do not friend students
and other teachers on Social Media. Social Media can kill
your professional reputation.
18. When you go out on the weekend remember someone
may be watching your behavior and actions. No one cares
that your a grown “A” man or a grown “A” woman, you’re
teaching children and your actions can be
perceived differently.
19. Be careful of your associations, collaborations,
assimulations, and other “isms” that may influence your
performance in the classroom.
20. Have a good foundation in ministry at your place of
worship with prayer, praise and biblical teachings, but
do not share this with students. You may connect with
teachers with similar doctrines but keep school and
church separated.
21. If possible get to work 20 minutes early to alleviate
rushing and forgotten duties and responsibilities.
22. If parents have concerns have them make an appoint-
ment to talk, do not allow any parent to run your class or question
your professional behavior in front of other teachers and
students.
23. Keep your lesson plans updated, they are legal documents
that should be consistent, do not fail to do this you will
be held responsible.
24. If you mess up or make a mistake take ownership and
responsibility then move on to do better.
25. If you don’t know ask questions. The first 3 to 5 years
are the toughest because your finding your educational
strengths and abilities.
26. Don’t bring your personal dramas to school/work.
They will destroy your professional and personal
Brand.
27. If your going to date a students parent be sure to
to keep it honest and never set expectations of you
working the system for them. Keep your business off
campus even in a playful manner.
28. Social Media can destroy you, so be careful who
you tag, who your friends with and associations.
29. Never Sext…..
30. Obtain a mentor to run ideas and questions by.

The school year can be stressful, make sure you get rest,
exercise even if you’re just walking during the week and
drink plenty of water. Get regular checkups and mentally
unwind when you can. Follow your rituals and routines to
keep yourself consistent.

William can be found online at:
Instagram: http://instagram.com/williamdjackson
Twitter: @Wmjackson
Tumblr: http://Tumblr.com/WilliamDJackson

 

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