Pursue Your Dreams and Align Your Focus

So you say you want to be a writer. Do you know how to draw on your strengths and maximize on your gifts?


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Tomorrow is today!

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.


The Reason Behind “12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching”

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Walking around my house at the very end of the summer I could not find rest for my hands or my thoughts as it hit me that teachers would be returning to work very soon.  I was not ready and I could not wrap my head around why I was reluctant to return then immediately it was revealed to my psyche that the start of a new school year is always rough.  New rules, new administrators, new colleagues, new initiatives, and new students. In 180 days we all are supposed to work miracles and pat ourselves on the back at the end of the school year and say, “Job well done”.

See 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 Alternative 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 have developed a sense of humor about teaching and I just want to be real and say it louder for the people in the back that, “There is nothing easy about the first year of teaching”.  I have been through enough first days of school to know that as an educator we walk in hoping for the best then find ourselves overwhelmed and maintaining the status around mid-year. So yes, I learned to march to beat of my own drum and do what works for me.  

My first year of teaching almost broke me in half emotionally and mentally.  Emotionally because I was no longer behind the security of a military base and cypher locked door.  I was now a civilian facing a world I had no idea how to maneuver in comfortably. Mentally I was not prepared to teach while learning how to be a teacher through my teacher alternative preparation program, so at the first thought of hostility, I was ready to say goodbye to the profession.  It was a tough first year for me which is what prompted me to write this book. The simple fact is, that rookie teachers need support and not be ridiculed. They need true mentorship and guidance, not to be picked on for what they do not understand.  

My first three months into teaching looked vastly different from my third year of teaching.  And even now here in my eleventh 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 it 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 job to do and I had to do it 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.

I walk in and stand by my truth that though my method is questionable for those outside of my classroom, and the least liked; people will have to respect what I do. I am guilty of telling new teachers not to follow my example when I’m marching because my teaching style is different but yield results. I laugh a lot at myself because the things that I took so seriously my first year are miniscule in terms as I reflect on my years of teaching.  Perhaps I should take everything seriously but that would make teaching boring and being in my district is far from boring.

By year ten of being a traditional classroom teacher, I had seen enough to know that as long as I followed the rules and did not color too much out of the lines, I was safe.  I spent nine years between two middle schools, five different principals, and a lot of misunderstandings before deciding to move up to high school. Moving up to high school was the best decision I could have made, I felt more at ease in my classroom and besides I knew the student population well.  I did not leave my zone. I pretty much looped with them.

Now after a decade of teaching, I feel that it is time to reinvent my identity.  Yes I have multiple degrees, all the way up to my doctorate, but I will not hide behind my degrees and be defined by the titles.  I would rather display my hard work by doing what I love doing. I love to write so I’m channeling my energy into being an educator, author, and entrepreneur.  Just call me an “edupreneur” or a “bookpreneur” because I’m not a one dimensional person.  

It is good to find your voice when you know who you are as a teacher.  I know that my first book, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching made a splash, but I’m sure that the 12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching will enlighten my readers in a completely different way.  I’m not out of colorful stories to tell. My approach this time is to offer tips to make that first year a little more manageable. 

Realistically, a bad first year contributes to teacher turnover rates.  As veteran teachers, we are responsible for helping our new colleagues adjust just like we are responsible for teaching our students.  

I feel strongly about mentoring new teachers because even though I was blessed with an awesome mentor teacher, everyone is not fortunate enough to have what I had.  Sure, things have changed as far as brick and mortar training, and even alternative preparation programs but teachers come into the profession to become stable. Surviving the first year lies heavily on the professional development new teachers receive and the support they have as they are learning their true duties and responsibilities.

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. Teaching is a great career to have and I want to tell you how to survive.

Subscribe to my email address for weekly updates as I start year 12 in new school district. This is going to be exciting! You will also receive a freebie when you complete the form.

Start Showing Up For Yourself

People often ask me how am I able to do so much and never get tired? It’s not that I don’t get tired, I just know that there are some things I simply just want to do in my life and I have to make things happen.

All of my life I kept journals, I wrote things down, and would often revisit those list to see if I have been able to check things off of my list. I have a list of accomplishments from military service to achieving advanced degrees. All of this would not be possible if I had not set down and continuously updated my goals.

I have felt overwhelmed and paralyzed by fear so I realigned my goals?  I took time to identify my strengths to take control of my life and push pass my fears?

I want to coach others to do the same and together we will do the work to help you recognize your self-worth, prioritize your goals, and speak life into your aspirations.  It is important to LOVE yourself intensely, create opportunities for growth, and step into your purpose with authority.

Working with me will help you gain:

1. Clarity as you position yourself for greatness.

2. Love for yourself through affirmations.

3. Purpose as you set attainable goals.

4. Understanding as you reflect on your life.

5. Sense of self as you CELEBRATE you!

“Closer to Purpose Than You Think” is my 30 day self-paced success guide that will be available August 1, 2019. I cannot wait for you to unlock your magic.

~Dr. LaTilya Rashon

LaTilya Rashon~Author and Creator of PSB2 Publishing

LaTilya grew up loving to write and share her talents with her family and friends.  In school she was often questioned about her writing style and realized that she had a unique approach to expressing her ideas.  As she was completing her doctoral studies and birthing the idea of her first book, she realized that with some refinements, all things are possible.

PSB2 Publishing is LaTilya’s independent publishing company named as a tribute to her sons (Phillip Steven and Preston Sahir Bird).  She desires to leave a legacy for them to hold in high esteem as she works hard to build the company and her authentic brand.

In her day to day career, the author and creator of PSB2 Publishing is a full-time public school educator that takes time to focus on teacher mentorship and the help that is needed to sustain quality educators in the field.  She is set to release her second book, 12 Ways To Survive Your First Year of Teaching .

In this second book of educational revelations and real world approach, the author examines the frustrations of teaching and bridges the gap between experienced and new teachers to create a common ground for growth. The lighthearted approach to standard teaching practices creates a conversation needed as teacher turnover rates increase by the year, getting to the root of difficult truths of educational expectations, and the weight teachers carry as they shape the minds of the future.

LaTilya released her debut self-published book titled, My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching July 2016.  Her debut book richly recalls the obstacles she faced teaching at-risk, African-American youth at a southern middle school for eight years.  This book centers around her experiences and lessons learned transitioning from active duty military service to becoming a  professional classroom teacher.

It has truly been a learning experience as she ventures into the educational niche and start conversation about teacher mentoring and retention. Please take the time to read her books and leave a glowing review. Be a friend and share with aspiring educators.

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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