How I Find Balance With My Work

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I took a chance at something that is changing my life and it has nothing to do with money.  Well it indirectly has something to do with money but here goes.

So here’s the back story.  Back in 2012 I signed on with this lady to become a distributor with a company called It Works!  I was gong ho and I just knew that I was going to make a lot of money with this company at 30 years old because in my mind, “Who doesn’t want to lose weight and get fit?”  I was in for a a rude awakening and with little to no training or mentorship, I was lost, so not even three months after I begin I quit.

I’m generally not a quitter, but I had no idea what I was doing and my “upline” was not helpful.  By this time I focused more on finishing school, I had just moved into my house and I was adjusting to my life as single mom.  Divorce had been finalized in September of 2011, so I was a free woman, but I was scared as hell.

Fast forwarding six years, here I am now, 36 and I’m an It Works! Distributor again but with a FAR BETTER team and support system.  The things that my leaders poor into us to keep us motivated is what I needed in 2012.  All I can think about is how might my life been a little different had I stuck with the company?  But I don’t have time to be concerned about that now, I can only make the best of everything I’m currently doing?

But to keep myself organized and not overworked I have implemented a “Pearl List”.  The FIVE things I must do daily in order to reach my goals.

  1. Self-Development:  It is so important to have my time alone with God and communicate with him the desires of my heart.  Reading devotionals and praying keeps me grounded because I know that everything happens is his timing and not mine.  I cannot be selfish in my efforts.  Through praying and affirmations I know that there is a time and place for everything, so I’m running my own race, keeping God first and being realistic about my success.
  2. Messaging:  In network marketing I contact anywhere from 30-50 people daily or I at least try to.  I follow up with potential customers that have interacted with me on social media to gauge their interest and open up the lines of communication.  I will be met with some no’s and disinterest, and I understand that I may even be blocked or ignored.  But that does not deter me because failure is a display that I am trying.  People are paying attention and pretty soon that NO will turn into a YES.  I’m very OPTIMISTIC.
  3. Intentional Posting:  I try to start my day off with inspiration and affirmation.  I know that no one is going to believe in me more that me and even though I have support from others, I have to be PUMPED every single day to handle ALL of my tasks at hand—school, business, and personal. I share opportunities to try any of my 40+ plant-based products and even showcase the blessing of being able to work from home when I feel like it.  I grasp the concept that what ever I put into my business, with God’s blessings it will be returned to me.  I intend to reap what I sow. And lastly, my children are my why and my push.  So I always talk about the highlights of my life and my children because they keep me grounded.  I’m a business woman, but I VERY grounded.
  4. Networks:  I try to keep my content reel in my Facebook (@LaTilyaWilliams and @tilyarealeyes) updated because sometimes people just like simple pictures, quick stories, questions, and polls.  I can’t lie…my stories be LIT!!!! I do the same for my IG (@docwilliams81 and @tilyarealeyes).  I know, I know 4 accounts…absolutely and once you visit them all you’ll understand why.  I’m also trying to figure out Captivate…so pray for me saints…LOL!
  5. Expand:  I will send a friend request with the quickness.  I can’t lie though I was apprehensive at first but with the guidance of my business mentor, she said, “Add them, expand your network because that give you more exposure”.  She was right and as my numbers continue to grow I am excited about the things that are to come.

I have labeled this time in my life as my season of yes because I feel really good about what’s going with my blogs, book projects, and business.  I am relying on…

  • my experiences because I’m willing to share my missteps and what works for me
  • my patience because I’ve learned that hastened moves and immediacy can ruin me when not well thought out
  • my ability to model and be an example so that people see that I am reliable and can be trusted.

I leaped back into the business and the good in my life is being returned to me.  I have heard and will continue to say since I heard this… Your season has nothing to do with a set day, time, or age.  When it is your time the opportunity will knock.  Ready or not you have to decide to trust his will or your own.

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Check On Your Strong Friend

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In a world of cliches’ it is very easy to get caught up in what’s trending?  Conversations about loyalty. Ideas about authenticity. And the thought that everyone around you is fighting a battle so practice being kind.  However being kind and turning a blind eye often gets you looked over, underappreciated, and becomes overwhelming to a fault.

Even when you practice the pause, you still have to show up for yourself and let others know just who the hell you really truly are.  I wrote this quick note to all of the strong people I know.  I’m checking for you!

A lot of the STRONG PEOPLE are:

  1. Dealing with life one day at a time because they have finally realized that trying to do too much at once is tiresome.
  2. Thinking of ways to better themselves so that they can continue to bless others even when their effort goes unnoticed.
  3. Face each day with greater expectations of being blessed by the small things because the little details are what matter the most.
  4. Suffer in silence because they would rather mask their disappointments than share with other people that really are glad to see them in turmoil.
  5. Deeply bothered by the lack of compassion and instead of lashing out; they cry tears that are washed away then face the world without a trace of sadness.
  6. Really just want to be asked if they are okay and if they say “No”; have someone who will listen to them without judging and say, “Good, I’m glad you got that off of your chest.”

Take Care Of Your Tribe!

3 Things I’m Completely Obsessing Over

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In the second quarter of 2018, I find that I am more centered and focused on my holistic existence.  In a round about conversation with my mom this morning on my way to work I laid these words upon her ears, “If it does not feed my soul, I’m not interested.”

My mom is more than just the person I lean on most of the time, but she is truly my closest and most relied upon friend in my life.  Every time I talk to her I get life just by her listening to me and pouring her love and encouragement into me. And after last week I am completely obsessed with a couple of things in my life as I work towards accomplishing these new goals and tasks.

So here’s a little of the back story before I focus on those three things.  A teacher friend of mine down in Coastal Georgia purchased both of my books last week and left me with glowing reviews on her social media.  I am forever grateful because it’s not that I didn’t think that I had the power to be influential, I just had to let my presence be felt through my blog.  Being told, “Baby you gave me my fire and spark back!”, was right on time.

I was totally surprised when I checked my instagram (@tilyarealeyes) and realized that I had been tagged in a couple of post.  My work being acknowledged by one of my peers and someone I’ve know for a long time has me pumped about other things that I want to venture out and do.  So with that being said, now that it’s May here are the 3 things that I’m completely obsessing over in no particular order…

Thing 1:  I have been toying with the idea of a fictional book and while the story line is clear in my head, I don’t want to rush it.  I hear the characters speaking to me all of the time and I know that they cannot wait to continue telling their story.  Just understand that Lauren, Black, Kira, and Zamir are a trip!  However, the only reason this is a pressing matter for me is because I overthink every single thing I plan out for myself and really truly just want every thing to be perfect.  Then I have to remind myself that the first draft does not have to be perfect, it just has to get done.  There are some other pieces I’m working on simultaneously, but getting this fictional story out first is my priority.  I’m sure that through discipline and time management I can get this story out mid summer… WOOSAH!  No pressure, but I will get it done.

Thing 2:  I have been pinning my life away on pinterest as I sort through my feelings about life, love, friendship, and business.  It’s no secret that I like to have a cocktail or two and the liquor, beer, and partying industry is only flourishing.  I want to learn how to be a bartender.  For one, I think that it would be fun to learn how to do and secondly, I want to make extra cash on the side just to be honest.  I have a vision about bar-tending in my mind, that just like with anything else I set out to do… I WANT TO BE GOOD AT IT!  I’m also learning to that a lot of people are doing the same thing I’m doing— 1)perusing pinterest for ideas then 2) adding their own little twist to concoctions that basically have the same ingredients.  What can I say—bar-tending, story telling, and then blogging about would add the spice I want to add to my blog.

Thing 3: I am completely obsessed with maintaining balance in my life.  Ever since I decided to block out the noise and take inventory of myself, I’m much more at peace.  Placing my energy and focus into self-caring my way through this year has me centered and not focusing on the many things that can occur in a day that are out of my control.  I have taken charge of my life and plan to be my own hero when  need be.  I have to pour into myself more, encourage myself more, because as the strong person I am—I have neglected my peace of mind at times.  If I want consistency in all areas of my life, then I have to be consistent with myself.  Having balance in my life protects me from situations that are detrimental to my growth…I have to safeguard my heart, my intentions, and my conversations because my path in life thus far has been very enlightening and I just want to restore my well-being and be the best me that I know how to be.  I’m learning to dig deeper, listen to my intuition and trust my process.  I have never had an issue with self-love, but right now due to what I need in my life, what I’m allowing around me looks different.

As I continue to listen to my intuition more, I recognize what is real in my life.  I ran from one of my strongest attributes for a while.  I’m taking back my power each and every day and choosing me.  I’m glad that the lessons in my life have helped me to arrive here at a place of gratefulness.  I may be obsessing about things, but I’m focused and driven towards my personal victories and success.

3 Lessons I Have Learned Since Becoming A Teacher

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When I entered the field of education I had a five year plan which was quickly exceeded due to my determination and commitment to teaching.  I entered into the classroom not having the slightest clue about what to expect from my students but I learned very quickly.

I was certified through the Georgia Teacher Alterative Preparation Program (GATAPP) and I was taken aback by the amount of work that I had to do in order to gain my certification.  Let’s just be clear, there is a major difference in being traditionally trained through brick and mortar colleges of education and alternative programs.

I want to help new teachers acclimate to teaching and not be overwhelmed by the daily tasks and responsibilities and it is my hope that the lessons I’ve learned along the way will be helpful.

Today I am going to share my experience as I transitioned into teaching and how I found my calling in the classroom.  Come along for the journey!

Lesson 1: Transitioning Careers

In the back of my mind even in high school there was a thought that I would become a teacher.  I thought that I would major in English when I first went off to college and minor in Spanish because I had big dreams of completing a semester abroad in a Spanish country and broaden my horizons.  My educational journey didn’t quite happen that way.  I graduated high school in May of 2000, attended the University of Florida for a glorious year (July 2000-April 2001) then took a six year detour in the United States Air Force from August 2001 to August 2007 before ultimately landing in a middle school classroom.

I had big ideas when I first got out of the Air Force but much to my dismay those plans went to the left and I found myself unfulfilled in the civilian sector.

I’m a people person and while at times I can be off by myself rarely interacting with others and enjoying my life when I first got out of the military working for the Georgia Department of Human Services, that career path was not the choice for me.  So it made sense to plan an exit while still performing my duties as a Child Support Enforcement Agent.  I will be the first to say that the system is not fair and I saw a lot of struggling fathers do the best they could while some fathers simply dropped off the face of the earth.

Some of the noncustodial parents I encountered were decent in their efforts, but the office politics was enough to deter me from this career field and really put my education to work.  I knew that in the classroom I must showcase myself as a lifelong learner, and acquiring my master’s degree was a necessity.

I knew that my willingness to continue to learn was heavily influenced by my past teachers, and in transitioning careers, I wanted to give back to students what had been given to me in a positive way.

In my book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching I share an experience I had with a middle school teacher and a high school teacher that fed the fuel inside of me to let education be my escape.  I learned that education was my stepping stone to a better future and I wanted children to believe in themselves the way I had while matriculating through school.

When I found my way pursuing a teaching career the natural leader in me accepted my calling.  Read an excerpt of my journey hear:

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Lesson 2: Maintaining Balance When My Life Was Falling Apart

My first three months into teaching looked vastly different from my third year of teaching.  And even now here in my 10th year of teaching I’m still learning things but coping with the copious changes and trends in education by the day.

As a new teacher is very easy to become overwhelmed with lesson plans, professional development, additional duties such as being a club sponsor or coaching, but I had to take care of my mental stability at the same time.  No one told me that in the beginning there are long hours and none of those hours are paid overtime.  No one told me that I would be in a meeting almost daily.  And lastly no one told me that I had to learn how to separate my home life from my work life and focus on them one at a time.

Needless to say in my second year of teaching I grappled with separation and divorce and my two young sons were on an insane schedule that shifted them to daycare by 6:30 a.m. while I had to be to school by 7:15 a.m. daily.  I cried so much this particular year of teaching but I had to find balance.

I had a school me and I had an at home me.  At school I didn’t talk about my personal life with anyone really other than my gracious mentor because I didn’t want pity or for anyone to feel sorry for me.  But my face was telling of my troubles at home.  At home my sons watched me cry often then wipe the tears away and carry on with my day even though I was screaming on the inside.

I had a job to do and I had to do my job despite my emotions being all over the place.  My family was a priority and so was my career.  I found my balance in letting go of the things out of my control and let all of the work I was doing speak for itself.  My school obstacles became the backdrop to my career which led me to want to help new teachers.

People think teaching is about holidays and summers off.  But a lot of times we become second parents to the children we teach and have to fight off jealousy from other teachers in order to be effective.  My students always showed up for me because I never not showed up for them.

Lesson 3: I Found My Purpose and Niche

Over the course of the years of teaching, I have acquired multiple degrees.  As mentioned I exceeded my five year plan which was to obtain an educational specialist degree.  I completed that degree program entering my third year of teaching.  I had no educational pedagogy so I wanted to learn more about curriculum, instruction, and assessments.  Being a lifelong learner propels my energy to help, teach, speak, and write.

As a blogger and teacher, my journey inside and outside of the classroom has been impactful to those that have sought my help.  Writing is my purpose and education/teaching is my niche.  My platform is my classroom.  And my audience is those that want to hear my stories and follow my career and I surge into a bigger light.

My book, my journey, my transitions in life give me a story to tell and I want to share my story and experiences as often as possible.  I am my brand.  My career and writings are my baby.  New teachers, old teachers, brick and mortar schools and alternative preparation programs need a voice that speaks from experience.  I have not degreed myself out of positions.  Being a lifelong learned has positioned me to take the stage.

I love teaching and it is in my DNA.  Go read a free sample of my journey and share my experiences.  My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching is a worthwhile investment found on Amazon ($4.99 Ebook or $7.99 paperback).

Grab a book, leave a review.  Feed a writer!

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3 Steps to Living a Better Life

They say that you should smile at the people around you because you never know what somebody is going through.  But when you can’t smile at people I say you should be a beacon of light that shines so bright that your positivity and inspiration speaks before you say a word.

I have been asked how I keep a smile on my face while dealing with the struggle, and I say it is because I know my worth.  I was specifically asked how I am so happy while my life is in transition.  My answer in short has been that I have to remember who I am, remember that my sons need a WHOLE mother, and I must place value in myself.

People that walk around “Happy” all of the time are living in a false reality, because hardships are a part of living and we all go through the struggle from time to time.  However, we have to not remain stagnant in that struggle.  We must deal with REAL life and move forward, but most importantly LEARN.

Taken from my post on Facebook a short list was born…in order to live my life more abundantly and Not Dwell in the Past…Sometimes you just have to speak things into the atmosphere, enjoy life to the fullest, and create the life I want to life.

new life loading conceptStep one of my process is gaining a new lease on life.  I had to realize that losing people in my life was not always a bad thing.  Some losses are out of my individual control.  Death is inevitable…but a breakup be it a long term relationship or marriage is NOT the end of the world.  It may feel like the end of the world when you lose someone you love, but there is a blessing in losing someone that didn’t value your presence in the first place.  Eventually you get tired of feeling unappreciated and realize that you deserve better.  You will cry, flip out, reflect, question, scream, not understand, and then realize that it is time to LET IT GO!  You can try to hold on, but if the relationship was meant to last it would.  Sometimes letting go is hard to do but in order to have peace of mind it is necessary.  No one person is perfect in a relationship, but when you know that YOU have done all that you can, make peace with your circumstances and know that YOU DESERVE BETTER.

goldfish-bowlStep two is to challenge myself and step out of my comfort zone.  I am VERY black and white when it comes to rules because I have too much to lose.  That does not mean I am perfect, don’t get upset and am not confrontational.  It just means it takes a lot to get me to that point.  Everything does not need a reaction, but when I do REACT be ready because it’s not going to be how you would expect.  I’m very comfortable in my skin, so now that I am deciding to sit in front of the camera I am setting myself up for criticism from others.  I am already hard on myself when it comes to my writing, so in order to grow I have to throw myself out there even more.  Whether it’s writing academic content, working on my upcoming projects, or making VLOGS in order to get better I must first not rely on being comfortable.  So PUSH yourself to do things differently and enjoy learning more about who you are and what makes you tick.

6e5988ba841544b4118bb3a88019ea9eStep three is having fun while I fumble through my new experiences.  Whether it’s a dinner date, movies, throwing back a few cocktails, or getting some new ink (I LOVE TATTOOS), there is NOTHING to STOP me from having fun.  After being thrown completely for a loop, and having my world shaken up I have rebounded and know that I will LIVE my LIFE ABUNDANTLY WELL.  My sons are growing and maturing into awesome little men.  They are well taken care of and are happy to see their mom living a little rather being bogged down by sleepless nights and endless tears.  I am deserving of a stress free life… I am not afraid to give love another shot.  I removed toxic people from my life and while others want to assume, they have no idea just how GOOD my life really truly is.  I have spent so much time taking caring of others, it feels good to have a friend in my life that makes things a little easier for me.  I am able to relax.  So I say to my followers and encouragers, OPEN UP an LIVE A LITTLE! Try NEW things…Don’t be so Quick to say NO!

Make a list, check it twice. Life is better with lists! Come back for more in the list series.

~LaTilya Rashon

10 Things I’m Proud Of

When you are grateful.  Fear disappears and abundance appears. ~Anthony Robbins

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I have been inspired by list posts and recently took a second look at my 35 Randoms Thoughts on the eve of my 35th birthday and the 7 Things You Should Do in 2017 and my oh my have I enlightened my own self.

I am in such a different space in my life from the restart of my blog (March 2016) as I pursue my writing and grabbing opportunities to express myself (Pursue Your Dream Career).  I love lists….I write everything down and look back at the things I affirm in myself and feel a sense of pride when things come to fruition.

Right now there are so many thoughts in my head about what I’m trying to do and where I’m trying to go and I know that the next few years are going to push me closer to my purpose.  In the meantime I’ll just focus right here at Tilyarealeyes.com and put things into the atmosphere and watch them come full circle.  

So here’s to the 10 Things I’m Proud Of

10.  I began my college journey at the University of Florida the glorious summer of 2000.  My #1 school of choice and I had a blast…my very first Blue & White weekend, being introduced to Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. by way of the fabulous Mu Epsilon Chapter…endless memories…oh what a time I had.

9.  Due to the fun I had at UF, I subsequently enlisted into the United States Air Force and spent six wonderful years on active duty.  I met some amazing people…but I also walked away with 2 associate degrees and my bachelors when I separated in 2007…Honorable Discharge…Veteran Status

8.  I have given birth to the most amazing little boys on the side of heaven.  I’m supposed to be proud as their mother…that damn Lil Phil (3.4.04) waited 20 hours to make his appearance into this world…after contracting, I stalled at 5 centimeters so a c-section it became and he’s still stubborn to this day.. #Big   Then came the baby, my Preston (2.9.06) my little genius and scheduled c-section.  He melts my heart…so innocent…so sweet…so caring… #Little

7. My trials and tribulations in life remind me that everyone struggles at times and it is a part of life but it’s ultimately about how you handle things.  I have no choice but to be resilient…I have children to take care of.  I am defined by my experiences and that is what completes me.  db42f1c66ab6b254f78baae55b330a64

Taking a deeper look though, my first name has 7 letters in it…L.A.T.I.L.Y.A.

Loyal…Ambitious…Talented…Intelligent…Loveable…Yummy…Amazing

My journey makes me aware of who I am…7…the number of completion!

6.  I have been in the traditional classroom for 9 years and I love it!  It’s not easy each day or each year.  In time middle school will be my foundation as I move up to the next level.

5.  Five years ago…April 2012 I closed on my first home…ALL by MYSELF at the age of 30. God is so Good!  These past 5 months have shook me up…my marriage ended…a financial setback…but I’m home!  The devil got busy, but I’m grounded in what’s mine and I give it all to God.

4. I have survived what might drive others crazy.  I am not ashamed of my second divorce, nope not one bit.  Marriage 1 changed me, matured me, and birthed me my 2 delicious babies.  Marriage 2 taught me what I deserve and I don’t deserve to be cheated on, lied to, disrespected, or unappreciated.  It was not all bad but the truth of the matter it was a struggle.  I have my dignity and I learned my lesson. I’m not sure if 3 times is the charm… Who Knows…But You Already Knew That…I Want The Magic.

3.  Writing my book, My Fourth Year in Middle School will always be a proud moment.  Personal, honest and something I always wanted to do.  So stay tuned for my next body of work.  Because I’m super critical of myself, when The Journey to Here is complete it will be because I’m ready for you to see it.  Being a creative is not easy…I’m passionate about MY words and how I intricately weave them together.

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2.  My education!  I’m modest about it, but having someone speak life in me and say, “You should introduce yourself as Dr. Williams”, it is a constant reminder of my accomplishments.  Surround yourself with people that SPEAK LIFE into your existence, your being, your soul, your day…those are the kind of people to have on your team. Community College of the Air Force…Thomas Edison State College (now University)…Bellevue University…Nova Southeastern University…Since 2000 I pursued my education and ultimately became Dr. LaTilya Williams.  No easy feat…but yes I did it.

1. My spirituality!  I luh God!  He is the author of my life.  Without him I would not be able to stand strong.  I am where I am in life because of him and I embrace all of my blessings.  My life is changing for the Good…the Great…the Better.

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7 Things You Should Do In 2017

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In this New Year things will be different for some people, will remain the same for others, but it will ultimately represent completion for the risk takers, over-achievers, and GOAL DIGGERS!  I am a few months shy from the rebirth of my blog and with all of the things I have done with writing, experimenting, and finding my niche, I am moved by LIFE!

So as I was sitting home on New Year’s Day I had a burst of energy and the title, 7 Things You Should Do In 2017 popped in my head.  So here goes…

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Turning 35 in December put me smack dab in the middle of my 30s and Lord it hit me and I wasn’t READY!  But now as I look at my career over the past few years, six years in the military, a near year of working at Child Support Services (Not ideal for the working man), and in the middle of my ninth year in the traditional classroom (middle school teacher)…I am ready for something different.

I have earned multiple degrees (A.A.S., A.A., B.A., MPA, Ed.S., and Ed.D.), so now I want to transition into Higher Education.  So on with the pursuit!  If there is something that you want to do, the worse that can happen is being told no, but that does not mean give up.  That just means pour yourself into your pursuit.  It’s time and I feel in my gut that it is going to happen. This is my year!  So follow your instincts and take a leap, you just might enjoy the ride.  *Refreshing my resume, LinkedIn, Higher Ed. jobs account, and EVERYTHING else.*  Wish me luck!

Plan the Vacation You’ve Always Wanted to Taketaking-a-vacation-in-the-middle-of-a-class

I found, booked, and fully paid for a cruise to Jamaica in 2014, but due to extenuating circumstances I was unable to go so I loss $1500.  Sounds like chump change right?  No the hell it don’t.  But after sitting at home these past two holidays…Thanksgiving and Christmas… I have decided I bet I won’t be here next year.  It is time to plan my trip to Jamaica and anywhere else I want to go.  I will escape my home life and you should too.  Whether it’s domestic or international, invest in yourself, your peace of mind, and take yourself somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go.  Jamaica…Aruba…Virgin Islands…Turks and Caicos… I swear I must have been an islander in my past life and thank goodness I already have a PASSPORT.

Write and Publish Your Own Book61yromeb5hl                                                      Everyone has a story or two to tell.  We are all made unique and our life experiences shape us into divine individuals.  For some my life as a country girl from a single parent home that has grown up to do the things I have done is inspiring and for some it might be a bore.  But what I know is that regardless of your backstory, somebody is interested in reading it.  Writing My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching was extremely personal because it was my journey into teaching.  It’s not about the money; it’s about sharing my words, my talent, and my expressions.  So I challenge you all to put it on paper and watch it grow.  Tell your story…someone needs to hear it.

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Being recently separated after being married for a couple of years, I am suddenly facing no longer being married (I’m not mad, I’m GOOD and so is LIFE).  Oh My Goodness I was blindsided by some things but clearly it was time to let go.  But there are some really good looking men in this world so when a man steps correctly-spend time with him, get to know him, Netflix and Chill with himJ  Ain’t nothing wrong with kicking it with the opposite sex…respect your space…set your boundaries….but be an adult about all of that.  Have a crush, get you a kiss, hold hands, go to movies…throw on some Xscape and Just Kick It! YOLO! LOL!

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I have decided that I will purchase gift cards each month leading into the holiday season, but I need my NEST EGG to be back where it used to be.  Don’t get caught up in helping others (the parentals are not included) that you tell yourself NO.  I used to be able to have a few thousands in my savings but when you HELP someone too often you end HURTING yourself.  I don’t know anything about 501ks, stocks, bonds, cd’s…so that is going to be my next INVESTMENT…  I need my duckets lined up in a row.  My teacher retirement is one thing but the way my mind set up… Give Me More!  I’m trying to save enough for all of those rainy days…besides by the time my rays of sunshine (Lil Phil and Pressy) go on to college, I’ll be paying out of pocket! Jesus Fix It!  I need and you need your savings to match your mortgage and car note for at least three months.  I’m Just Saying!

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Blogs are the new diary.  Everybody can become Bridgette Jones.  Yes everyone has one but what is the message in your blog?  Crazily everyone is taking this blogging business haphazardly as I look around at people with profitable blogs.  You may not be looking today to express your thoughts, share your life, or build your platform but you have something to say and share.  I love my journey.  I love my blog and the feedback I get from it lets me know that I am reaching further than I imagined.  I am not really stuck on lifestyle, spirituality, or beauty…but now people are turning their personal interests into a business, and so should you.

Don’t Dwell on the Past

No one cares about your past unless you make it a reoccurring topic.  You have to ask yourself how am I going to build a brighter future.  Dwelling in the past does not propel your future.  Jobs/careers are not always dreamy, relationships fail, and life is always a battlefield you just have to decide to have faith or stress about what you can’t control.  Everyone has a past.  Live for today and take nothing for granted because your life has already been designed, outlined, and determined.  Because of my faith I am where I am supposed to be and I don’t REGRET a single thing.  Let Go and Move On!

In this New Year, I will strike out like never before and accomplish more.  I saw a meme that said it nice to see girls names on degrees rather than club flyers…check my resume…check my LinkenIn… these 7 Things You Should Do in 2017  will most definitely help me and YOU #BragDifferent

 ~TilyaRealEyes

35 Random Thoughts on the Eve of my 35th Birthday

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I’m sitting here under my chocolate, velvet throw blanket on this gloomy day one day before my birthday.  Tomorrow is MY National Holiday and I have the most random, sincere, thought-provoking and heartbreaking thoughts running through my mind.

35. The holidays have seemed to go by in a blur since 2009.

34. This is the first Christmas that my children have gone without seeing their father. (I’m sure someone will make sure to tell on me for this one… good for you!)

33.  My children really do have everything they could ever ask for…go karts don’t count because they had gas powered four wheelers when they much younger (like 5 and 7)

32.  How is the world did I manage to forget to renew my driver’s license the day before my birthday.

31.  My husband’s problems overshadowed my graduation in June… I got my Doctorate, he lost his job shortly after.

30. One of my older cousins was murdered Mother’s Day weekend…we weren’t close but my mom was one of his favorite aunt’s.

29. It took me five years to complete my degree…Doctor of Education…I’m so damn proud of myself.

28. I self-published my first book and what an experience that has been.  I’m proud of myself.

27. My babies are growing up…Lil Phil will be 13 in March, I’m not ready.

26. Preston is going to be in the 6th grade next school term; I am going to cry my eyes out…he’s my heartbeat.

25.  I’m ready to transition into Higher Education…

24.  One day I have got to make it to Jamaica…that is my dream trip. (Who’s going with me?)

23.  I got so focused on someone else that I forgot to keep my “star player” in check…#LIFELESSON

22.  I decided that I really like Patron…Anejo (the orange box)…it’s so smooth

21.  I need a new hobby…I’m considering couponing (my children eat a lot)

20.  I binge watched the third season of Power and it was alright, Angela really upset by turning on Ghost in the end… I blame Tommy!

19. I really have been living separately from HIM since July…trying to support his job opportunities.  Now it’s a permanent separation! (Someone else will tell on me for this one too… Good job to you too!)

18. September introduced a shift in the atmosphere and I realized I had to get some things in order…your gut don’t lie.

17.  It was time to lose weight, and I lost 20 lbs.  I guess a little stress and watching what you eat does that to you.

16. I know most of these things on this list are not directly about me but they consume my thoughts.

15.  For the past few months I literally have been waking up at 3:30 each morning, praying then going back to sleep.  I can’t explain it, but my spirit just wasn’t resting well.

14.  Some people think that I am strong because of the things that I have experienced, but most days I feel so anti and want to stay home because I get tired of PUSHING through the BS.

13.  I have stopped trying to see the good in everybody…I either fool with you or I don’t…and if I don’t trust me, you’ll know.

12.  Football season for my son’s was LIT!  Preston got faster…he’s a beast…Young Primetime…Randy Moss in the making.  I just adore him.

11.  There is nothing wrong with coming home to the confines of my four walls and not fooling with people.  I’ll socialize when I’m good and damn ready.

10. Being friends is better than relationships sometimes because as friends there are no lines to worry about crossing…laugh, have a good time, go your separate ways until you connect again!  I Will Sing Sing this with a smile on my face!

9.  Next year my plans will be laid out clearly and I will accomplish all of the goals that I set for myself…2017 is going to be EPIC!

8.  God told me to sit down and not be so busy… I did then I was able to see.

7.  God then told me to be quiet so I did then I was able to hear.

6.  God told me to be honest so I was, then my heart became lighter; I was no longer caring the burden of unfulfilled love.

5.  I got the toxic people out of my life and I’m still standing.  Who cares what other’s think?  People are going to talk anyway and only understand from their level of perception.

4.  As hard as I work, I will never let another person bring me down again…I’ve accomplished too much.  My resume looks GREAT at 35…IJS!

3.  My heart is not hardened but I will guard my heart because it is the source of life.  Love can come later…I’ll pass for now.

2.  Who would have thought that three years after meeting someone they would become a distant memory.

1. 35 is another milestone.  In my new year the goals I have set for myself can only be deterred by me and I am too ambitious to let myself down.

Happy Birthday to Me! 35 is year of dreams come true! 2017—7 the number of completion…I can’t wait to see what I will complete in the new year.

20 Facts About Me

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  1. I am my mother’s only child.
  2. I have half siblings on my biological father’s side.
  3. I was in a secret relationship my Junior year in high school. (I hate him now!)
  4. I began my college journey at the University of Florida.
  5. Seafood, specifically snow crab legs and shrimp are my favorite food.                       
  6. I have attended 8 different colleges and universities from 2000-2016.                  University of Florida, Burlington Community College, Western International University, University of Phoenix, Community College of the Air Force (A.A.S. 06’), Thomas Edison State College (A.A. and B.A. Liberal Studies, 07’), Bellevue University (MPA 09’),  Nova Southeastern University (Ed.S. 10’ and Ed. D. 16’) img_20160518_110904.jpg
  7.  I am from Waycross, Georgia, Home of the Okefenokee Swamp. 
  8. I joined the United States Air Force in 2001, and served until 2007.
  9.  The first time I got married was in 2003 until I got divorced in 2011.                                                                                                                   
  10.  I have visited 12 United States and 1 U.S. Territory:  Florida, Nebraska, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and U.S. Territory-Puerto Rico
  11.  I am a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.20160116_112608-1-1.jpg
  12.  I have been on 3 Carnival Cruises: Bahamas twice, and Cozumel/Key West once
  13.  I worked for the Office of Child Supported Services for 8 months, and hated it.
  14.  I love the The Real Housewives Franchise, except for the Miami cast, they don’t do anything for me.  The Real Housewives of Atlanta are my favorite since I’m a GA Girl.
  15.  I have twelve tattoos…three of them are butterflies that represent the changes in my life.
  16.  I have two wonderful sons, Phillip who’s 12 and Preston who’s 10.
  17.  I have been a middle school teacher since 2008.
  18. I got remarried in 2014.wp-image-1457144966jpg.jpg
  19. I have played tennis as a hobby since 2012.
  20. I self-published my first book My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching
    20160702_170048Comment and let me know what you find the most interesting, I’ll be sure to respond.

9 Reasons Education is Confusing

9 Reasons Education is Confusing by LaTilya Rashon

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I attended Center Junior High School under the esteemed Dr. Robert T. Bussey, who was my mother’s principal when she was in school.  The city of Waycross  schools and Ware County schools merged the 1994 school term and contrary to some of the horror stories of that merger, middle school in 1996 was way different than middle school now in 2016.  Other than being two decades apart, I will explain the nine reasons education is confusing.

9. Grading System Changed: Before teachers had more autonomy of their grades because simply speaking, students either completed their work or they didn’t.  There were no categories like Assessment of Learning, Assessment During Learning, Homework, Classwork, Test/Quizzes/Projects or anything else for that matter.  There were no percentages for the categories such as 50% classwork, 40% assessments, 10% homework.  Teachers graded work as it was assigned, recorded it in the grade book, averaged the all the grades and that was what went on the report card.  Now, teachers have a certain number of assignments per category so now it’s almost impossible for students to fail a class unless they choose not to complete any work.

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8. Limited Class Options:  I had the option to Agriculture, Life Skills, Health, and Career Connections with Mrs. Ganas where we learned about the Occupational Outlook Handbook and was able to job shadow someone for a full day and receive a class grade.  Now middle school students are limited to P.E. without the Health class component, Band, Reading or Math/Study Skills class, Technology, and Art if it has not been cut from the budget.  We were somewhat ability grouped, and changed classes by crossing over with other homerooms which made a competitive and productive roster.  In my teaching environment students travel from class to class on their grade level with their assigned homeroom everyday, and the class roster is split into fours assigning these chunks of students to the same connections classes.  There is not enough variety in the day.

7.  Apathetic Students:  I was required in middle school to do a Social Science Fair project or a Science Fair project.  Teachers communicated the expectations to students, sent home parent letters, and gave ample time in school and after school to work on projects.  I was lucky enough to attend the regional science fair at South Georgia College in 1993 for my project, Does Artificial Light Effect Plant Growth?  Now students majorly choose to not complete a science fair project and accept the grades of zero that come along with it.  It seems as if students have given up to the point science fairs are optional.

6.  Standardized Assessments:  The ITBS test is now used for instructional planning and a formative assessment.  It gives your child a ranking in school based on their results, but its an ability grouping tool.  Students did not feel the pressure to test well in 1996 because everything counted, so you were expected to do well.  I am guilty of this, but when my students enter the door I start the year off mentioning state assessments that they know are sure to come.  My class is based on test results, so my students learn fast why they are placed in my Reading class.  It’s tough for students that know they struggle, but are now in middle school trying to play catch up.

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5.  Teachers Are Younger:  Now you would think that age is nothing but a number when dealing with professionals, but I know that when I was in school my teachers were older, or shall I say their dress code was.  My teachers hardly wore jeans, always wore dress pants, blouses, and dresses with modest make-up.  Now when you walk into schools there are a lot children that look more mature than their teachers.  It’s hard for urban middle schoolers to respect someone who is the same age as their older siblings.

4.  Teacher Preparation:  I came in as a TAPP (Teacher Alternative Preparation Program) teacher from a different career field, the military, so I had life and work experience.  A lot f the teacher pedagogy that is learned traditionally is valuable, but teaching by the book is a no-go for middle school.  This works well for early childhood educators, but at the middle school level when students are trying to find their identity, you have to play it by ear.  The bricks and mortar way to teacher preparation gives teachers false interpretations of a classroom, so sometimes at the middle school level, teachers don’t last long.  I’ll touch on this later.

3.  Social Media:  There weren’t computers in the classroom 20 years ago.  The classroom equipped with computers was the computer lab and that was the typing class.  We had the old typing lessons that taught you your home row keys and by the end of the semester you learned basic typing skills.  The only phone you had was a house phone.  Now kids of all ages have cellular phones, and some of those phones are better than adult phones.  Social media is how kids communicate, rather than writing friendly notes.  There is a whole new language (text talk) that is being spoken by this generation.  I’m not saying that kids shouldn’t have social media, however in school it is a major distraction.

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2.  Parental Involvement:  Open house, report card pick-up, parent-teacher conferences, athletic events, PTO meetings,  and awards banquets have low parent participation.  I remember being in school and my mom never missed an event.  Now we can barely get a parent to show up for their highly disruptive child.  New age parents are not like parents from decades past.  It is heart-breaking to know that a lot of the students today are raising themselves.  Schools need parents to meet them halfway.

1. Lack of Consistency: I entered into the profession of teaching eight years ago and I am now on my seventh district superintendent.  I live in one city, but teach in another and I see that changeover is more severe in my district.  From formative assessments, progress monitoring tools, academic expectations, and changes in district wide leadership nothing has been placed for longer than two academic years to see progress.  It doesn’t help that new state assessments have changed, so have promotion requirements.  I’m not a strategist, but it appears that once leaders leave the classroom, they become out of touch with the classroom struggle.  Teachers are now simply collecting a check rather than genuinely teaching.  Education represents stability, but in some cases teachers are providing a disservice to their students.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but these stood out for me the most.