Handling COVID-19

“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:15 NLT

Two weeks ago we were in school waiting to hear the direction our district was going to take to handle this health crisis. I knew I would miss my students and I do and here we are now “officially” on Spring Break. Parents went from working their full-time jobs to becoming full-time teachers in a matter of two weeks. Some parents have had to juggle both. Teachers went from explaining work to students to explaining to parents. It’s been an adjustment for everyone.

As a mother finding balance with my career and chasing my dreams of being a writer and influencer has its moments of uncertainty. And with the world panicking right now, it is so unclear as to what direction we are actually heading in life. I have stability in my career, but right now with the shift to education online, test suspension, and suspended attendance accountability, even my career is questionable. At times the drive for more is my push to do more. I talk about it, but truthfully entrepreneurship is hard. 

Now is a time for reflection and I think about my early ambition as a author as I shared my transition into teaching, the dissolution of my marriage, and my trials as a new teacher in my first book, My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching and that was such a huge mountain to get over. Sharing my story, my ups and downs have become my survival guide because now I persevere when things get tough. But so many of the self-publishing gurus have a tricky way of making you feel like even when you share you story that you need their expertise to take YOU to the next level. Who knows? I mean I dropped this book in 2016 and it is still a staple for how my career started and a conversation starter for people considering coming into the field of education.

Now the classroom is enjoyable and teaching my students has its days, so right now 12 years in I’m holding up because the reality is I still have children to take care of and this pays the bills until something catches for me and I’m able to take off into other things. Not being in the classroom mid-March was unthought of it crazy as hell when you think about it. So now I have time to work on this next book. I plan to do things completely different with this one. It’s time that I DREAM BIGGER!

I’m not rushing. I’m creating things in my own lane and bringing forth my personality in my content. Gentle reminder and #notetoself , I don’t have to do what everybody else is doing and my next book will explain it all. I’ll prove to myself that I can and I will. That’s all that matters to me. 

We are living one day at a time in my house and I’m praying for the hearts and minds of everyone still out working and saving lives.  

These are my thoughts today as a mother~author~teacher.

Tip Tuesday

Listen teacher moms… you have a whole life outside of the classroom so some days it’s going to take a little more effort. I mean let’s be honest, good teachers obsess about observations because they want everything to go perfect: students engaged and on task, even transitions from task to task and a positive learning environment.


We spend countless hours planning engaging lessons because we want leave a lasting impression. Then on the day of observation nothing goes as planned. On the flip side of this is that good administrators understand which is why they randomly visit your classroom to catch you on your “good days”.


So here are more tips on surviving:
1️⃣Being observed comes with the profession. At times you will have multilevel leadership in your room, It happens.
2️⃣Show your students that you are human; you don’t have all the answers. Sometimes you’ll learn from them.
3️⃣Some days you just won’t feel like teaching, and that’s okay. Nobody’s perfect‼️

Check out my ebook store latilyarashon.selz.com for my tips on maneuvering the classroom as a newbie teacher or even a veteran teacher.

You Inspire People…Trust Me

Crazily there are people in this world that want to see you fall. In fact they are counting on it. It is up to you to show them what you’re made of. It’s not easy being a mom trying to keep it all together with tears in your eyes. It’s tough being an author when you’re independent and just out here trusting God. It’s equally difficult being a teacher and pursuing your dreams and you keep trying until you find your groove.


So being a business owner or entrepreneur or whatever you call yourself just make it happen. You have an unofficial fan club that’s watching your every move. Wave 👋🏽 at them through your content and keep shining.


You inspire people that pretend not to see you. Trust Me!

Be sure to check out my ebook store latilyarashon.selz.com

God is Helping You Write Your Story

Photo by Courtney Watkins Photography

God is helping you write your story and share your gift with the world. Be less concerned with the people that won’t like it and focus on those who will embrace your work of art.

Let’s just be clear. If you are sitting on your skills and talents and think opportunity is going to find you, you are sadly mistaken. It may be a cliche but well behaved people seldom make history.

If you’re afraid to use your skills and talents then you’re blocking yourself from creating the life “you say” you want to live.

So even if you feel you’re in the right track, I know for a fact Closer to Purpose Than You Think can help you stop second guessing yourself and start creating the life you want to live.

Head over to my ebook store latilyarashon.selz.com or even read my first book My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching for free on KindleUnlimited.

It’s time to level up!

Freedom Friday

Want to be an author’s friend?

➡️Buy their books (ebooks $9)

https://latilyarashon.selz.com

➡️Like their post (Algorithm)

➡️Comment in their posts; engagement

➡️Share their posts for more exposure

Some things are free!

But businesses costs! The right people will find you and I’m thankful for the teacher moms that support me.

Teacher Tip Tuesday: Own Your Curriculum

Teachers get frustrated with teaching, new initiatives and things changing constantly but we continue for the love of the profession. As a veteran teacher more has to be done to bridge the gap between experienced and new teachers to create a common ground for growth.

📘📘📘📘📘

Sadly the teacher turnover rates increase by the year resulting in 50% of new teachers leaving the profession within five years because they experience burnout.

📘📘📘📘📘

A common pedagogical phrase is to begin with the end in mind. However, for a new teacher, to begin with the end in mind is difficult because they’re just getting started. It takes time and effort to get procedures, routines, and structure implemented succinctly in the classroom.

📘📘📘📘📘

This is what beginning with the end in mind looks like:

1️⃣ Take ownership of your content and your classroom. The more knowledgeable you are, you can plan easily. Own your curriculum.

2️⃣ Instructional planning and Classroom Management are a perfect pair. Establish order and structure from the start.

3️⃣ Education is a continuum of change. Be flexible!

Check out my ebook store for more books about teaching and balancing your life within this profession.

latilyarashon.selz.com

Teacher Tip Tuesday

I’m sure all educators can attest to the obstacles they faced when they first began teaching. Taking a walk down memory lane I can laugh at the good times and bad, as well as put things into perspective about approach, instruction, and impact.

#FirstYearTeachers and #VeteranTeachers learn that:

-Finding balance in your work and home life takes time. Each class, month, year is different.

-Finding solutions to instructional planning and classroom management is individual. Your approach determines your effectiveness.

-It’s bigger than oneself. Teacher are preparing and educating the future of our society. We must add compassion to our skill set.

.

.

1️⃣My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching (Teacher Focused)

2️⃣12 Ways To Survive Your First Year Of Teaching (Teacher Focused)

My books give insight on how to teach with fidelity, be your authentic self in the classroom, and finding balance in your career.

LaTilya Williams, Ed.D. (Professionally)

Social: @drlatilyarashon

Check out my ebook store: latilyarashon.selz.com

Writing to Heal Parts of Me

I have been asked how to write books, how to start a blog and my simple response is just to start writing. This is not my first time putting my story into the atmosphere, but this the space that puts the pieces of me together. I had a beloved blogspot but when I decided to step things up a notch back in 2016, I was not clear. I was simply stringing thoughts together and calling it a blog.

It was not until I sat down and outlined my first book that I realized I was diving into territory that was uncomfortable but was my wholehearted truth. I was nervous but I shared the tragic dissolution of my marriage in my first book and that was a huge mountain to get over. See, in my second year of teaching, I had only been separated from the Air Force a little over a year, I was still a new teacher, finishes up my alternative preparation program, and sadly my life was in turmoil. I was separated from husband of six years, and I was completely devastated. In the midst of all of those emotions, I still had to be a mother and figure out what I was doing in the classroom. I cried a lot that year, and simply felt like I had no control over anything in my life at the time.

I felt misunderstood by coworkers and even judged at times. I was completely ostracized from spouse’s family, and the only person I relied heavily the most on was my mother. She struggled with watching me deal with pains of my marriage because it was an pain that she had never experienced. She could’t tell how to fix things or how to navigate through the problems because she had never been married.

I was separated for two years before the divorce was final. We tried briefly to try to reconcile, but one day I asked him, “What are going to do?” He looked at me and said, “I don’t even like the word marriage.” That is when I knew I had to let go, as hard as it was. The reality of that pain is that I survived. Dealing with personal problems outside of your profession surely is a test of wills and each time there is a set back and life gets in the way, you learn how to bounce back. Of course at that time I was 30 years old, finding my voice as a woman and refusing to be treated as less than an equal partner. Now my tolerance for things that aren’t conducive to good vibes, I gladly shy away from.

Sharing my story, my ups and downs have become my survival guide because just when I thought I was ready to give up, my strength takes over. I know that I am strong but sometimes when I’m tired, I want to be able to be vulnerable in the arms of someone that will be my strength when I feel weak. We will lose ourselves many times in life but it’s always worth it to see the pieces get put back together as if they were never touched.

My heart as a mother will not let my children down because everything I do is for them. They make me better. My love for writing as an author gives me the ability to share my trials and triumphs. Some days are better than others, so I focus on the good even when I don’t feel like it. When I am in my classroom, teaching continues to add layers to my life and give me experiences that I would not trade for anything in the world.

The parts of me that make me unique, I gladly share and each time I reflect on my trials and my blessings, I am eternally grateful.

~xoxo

LaTilya Rashon

Mother.Teacher.Author

Taking a personal inventory of myself and my skills, I knew that I wanted to do more than ordinary things. Ever since childhood I have had words floating around in my head that I have forced out onto paper over the years. Recently I sat down and faced my business, my approach to book marketing and my journey into entrepreneurship and realized I needed help. Furthermore, I needed to help myself get better positioned and edpreneur.

I base a lot of my writing on education because I began teaching in 2008 when I was over halfway done with my Masters in Public Administration. I had a plan for how my career would go as I completed requirements for my new teacher portfolio for the TAPP program. When MGRESA changed the submission dates for program completion, I was already a month into my Educational Specialist program because I had no traditional training or pedagogy. I set goals early in my teaching career based on where I would be in 3 years, in 5 years, and even 10 years. I met my 5 year goals within 3 so I know the power of manifestation.

https://LaTilyaWilliams.selz.com

By the time I had completed my educational specialist degree in 2010, I was ahead of my 5 year plan. Towards the end of my 4th year of teaching I had the bright idea to pursue my doctorate and from there my idea to write my book was outlined. It was not until 2013 that I put my most memorable experiences onto a word document and I began sifting through the details. I have always been ambitious and in between a divorce in 2011, school transfer in 2013, getting remarried in 2014, and stalling on my dissertation proposal I managed to graduate in 2016 with another degree, Doctor of Education with an emphasis in Higher Education Leadership, while simultaneously self-publishing my book.

Being a mother is my single most important job in my life but offering ebooks online, becoming my own boss, creating helpful content for other moms, teachers and ambitious individuals infusing my passion for writing and helping people together. Through my education, mixed work experiences, skills and training I’m confident that’s reading my books will help with personal development of individuals who struggle with finding balance in their careers and personal lives.

I have journaled and set new goals for myself my whole life and made the necessary adjustments when needed. Being asked was getting my degrees hard, do I like teaching, if I weren’t teaching what would I be doing, and are you going to keep writing is the reason I keep creating.

There’s no one size fit all but I like to think that I have a way of naturally understanding people and not judging their individuality. I have something for everyone!

Being You is Your Superpower

By definition pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching.  Regardless of your training as a new teacher, being you is what will make you relatable to students.  Books give you the idea of student-centered and teacher-centered instruction, but as the facilitator of you classroom you have to use common sense.  I say use common sense because teacher approaches and style is not one size fit all.

Using your superpower in your classroom means to tap into your strengths and your opportunities to grow as a teacher.  Your personality should be heavily embedded in your lesson plans and teaching style because that becomes your voice. Your style of teaching becomes your trademark.  Ironically, when out your strengths and personality together in your classroom, that becomes your brand as a teacher and no one can take your style away from you.

I personally am known for being firm, loud, and serious about my content.  That is my classroom persona because while I want my children to have fun in class and engage with me, I still have to let them know that I am the boss.

Show your human side to your students because that is what they will respect the most.  For instance, during my fourth year of teaching my students uncovered an invent from my past while browsing the internet.  See the misconception about teachers is that we are always in teacher mode and we do not have a home or personal life. Also before getting to the point of being you, please know that your students and administrators will search for you on social media and the internet just to see what will come up about you.  So with that being said, I had assigned my students a tic-tac-toe board of assignments to complete that went with a novel study we were doing in my class. One of male students quietly called me over to his computer and began to whisper.

“Hey Ms. Bird look what popped up when we tried to find the page to complete our work”.  I had not thought about my students finding a mugshot of me from years before but they did.  The student went on to explain that he was not sharing it with anybody but the majority of his classmates knew about it.  I did what I felt was right in the moment and said to him, “Baby that is from three years ago, it is a matter of public record so I’m not embarrassed.  Just know that it did not affect my job.” It was a lot to say, but it was a teachable moment for my students and I felt the need to address it with all of my students class by class because I wanted them to know that I had nothing to hide.

It completely had escaped me when I gave my students the assignment.  All I knew is that I wanted them to have a discussion board about posted topics and blog posts created by me that were book related.  See I used differentiated instruction to get my students involved because technology is the way of the future. I just did not anticipate that piece of personal information popping up on them.  Even though I gave them step by step instructions on how to access the assignments through my schoolwires page, my students opted to just google me and go from there.

I became a hot topic for a couple days but it died down and we got back to the business of teaching and learning.  One of my strengths based on skillset was to face the problem head-on and not sugar coat a thing. Students respect your truth as a teacher over perception.  Now adults on the other hand go by perception and do not care enough to ask for your truth. Knowing who you are and what you are comfortable sharing about yourself adds to you invincibility as a teacher.  Theoretically, you are a superhero to your students and they like when you put on your cape in chaotic situations. Your life is the canvas for your classroom.

Being you goes a long way when you are trying different approaches and instructional strategies in your classroom.  Students pick up very early on when you are nervous about doing something new in your classroom and they will exploit that opportunity.  This brings me back to not being a pushover in your classroom. There will be times where you have to walk students through assignments and tasks one by one.  There will be other times that as you set the expectations for the lesson students will be able to shift without disrupting the learning environment. Honestly there will be times you have planned a great lesson and after couple of attempts, you strike the whole idea.  

You decide what best for you in your classroom and when your students understand the method to your madness, it makes for a shared learning experience.  There’s a quote that says being transparent and vulnerable keeps you transparent and vulnerable, so be open anyway. So try not to doubt yourself and your ability because the students will only know how far to push you if you know how far you are willing to stretch yourself.  Be you like no one else can inside of your classroom. Staying true to who you are is the best approach to teaching because no one will have the ability to manipulate your style.