Science And Investment Opportunities

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). For those individuals with a mind and aptitude for investing, there are lots of opportunities in the sciences. The following contributed post is entitled, Science And Investment Opportunities.

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Science And Investment Opportunities

There are many people around the world that are looking for places to invest their money. Whether it’s a charitable cause, or an investment opportunity that hopefully will bring big Returns. So when it comes to investment and the Sciences, where can we invest our money for either life and will changing reasons, or for a return on investment? It can be a minefield, and it’s important to know that the advice and and and information that you may receive when doing your research, is not everything, you have to really consider all of the alternatives and make the right investment choice for you. So where can we mix science and Investment? The first thing to think about is how much money you are looking to invest in the first place and once you know no this you will know where to start.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Education
Education is, of course, the basis for any improvement. Improvement of the way we live, and the way we look after our planet, and this is an important aspect of investment. Investing money into the education of younger people, and for the Education of people who may not otherwise have access, means that we are likely to move forward in the future. Giving access to education to many people means that one or two who are going to make changes in the world are able to do so. The way in which we can move forward and educate the population is a fantastic opportunity. But it relies on investment. Whether that’s from personal, or business investments, it makes no difference as long as as.the funds get to the right places.

Research
Research in science is, of course, essential, researching new ways in which you can treat illnesses, such as cancer, and researching alternatives two fossil fuels, for example, can make a huge difference to the planet. The only way we have reached the current medical advances, and spectacular technology we that we have no, is through research. But we need the funding to be able to drive this sort of research. And many of us benefit from these advances. So whether you’re investing gold bullion via ABC refinery, or investing your time, there is is no end to the benefits of research in science. It can take decades to reach a breakthrough, and this, of course, equates to a lot of money. But to actually advanced and evolved, we all have to make investments into this industry.

Climate Change
Climate change is a big talking point all around the world at the moment. And 99% of scientists agree that unless changes are made then the human race is going to suffer from the effects of climate change. This, of course, means that we need to have more investment opportunities, the right people, and the right research being done on alternatives and ways in which we can improve the planet. Humans are no longer and wittingly causing damage to the earth, so it is important that we invest as much as we can into reversing the effects of this damage.

What Kind Of Masters Is For You?

Three of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions, General Education and Professional/Skills. Many careers require education beyond the bachelor’s level. As such, many individuals pursue Masters degrees. Choosing the right degree is important as it will affect your career long-term. The following contributed post is entitled, What Kind Of Masters Is For You?

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When you’re looking at finishing college, or you’re thinking of further your education, you may find that you’re considering getting your master’s. However, the most important question of all, is often what should you study? Sometimes, it’s easy to work out – you may find that you want to follow your major. But it isn’t all that easy. Sometimes, you need some inspiration. Here are some great options to contend with.

Business

To start with, you may find that you could consider getting your Master’s in Business Administration. An MBA can be really handy for a lot of people that want to either move into the business field or get a professional career in the future. Whether this is right after a bachelors or not.

Education

Another really great idea is education. Sometimes, you just want to think about the way that you can further your intellectual career or shape a future generation. If you’re passionate about one topic in particular, then this could be the route for you.

Political Management

Then, we also have political management. This could be a really great master’s field for a number of candidates. There can be a huge benefit to a number of different industries and professionals, not just politics itself. These can include social media manager, attorney, intelligence analyst, public affairs specialist, marketing specialist, and communications director.

For more information on the master’s in political management, just take a look at the infographic below.


Infographic Design By George Washington University

Creating the Perfect Educational Environment

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is General Education. There are a lot of moving parts to the actual learning process. A major part is environment. Creating the optimal educational environment for students can be the key them excelling or faltering. The following contributed post is entitled, Creating the Perfect Educational Environment.

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https://unsplash.com/photos/WE_Kv_ZB1l0

When you think about the classroom, everyone has pretty much the same image. There is the teacher’s desk, a whiteboard, coat hangers, and desks. All of these are important, but some might consider some more so than others.

There’s no such thing as a hierarchy of importance when it comes to education, though. Whether it’s kids venturing into academia for the first time or adults searching to improve their skills, everything matters as much as everything else. However, some things are often neglected or even downright ignored, but this is no way to create the perfect educational environment.

A Place to Sit and Think

An indisputable essential for the perfect classroom environment is having educational furniture that means students can sit and think in comfort. There are many ways to do this, from desks to tables to beanbags, but whatever it is, your students should be able to get on with their projects without discomfort.

Lousy posture can hinder productivity and affect concentration, while awkward seating arrangements make it near-impossible to fulfill potential. It’s a simple thing, but it’s also crucial to help create a positive school experience.

An Encouraging Atmosphere

You should also strive to create an encouraging atmosphere that celebrates achievements and helps pick people up when they’re down. Classrooms of the past may have chastised those for getting answers wrong, but this is something you must avoid.

From teachers to other students and parents or significant others, a culture of support is vital for ensuring everyone feels safe within the classroom, and once they get home. By creating this support network, you give everyone the chance to succeed and enjoy their time at the school.

A Willingness to Adapt

All teachers understand that sometimes things do not go to plan, so a willingness to adapt is an outstanding quality to have if you want to create the perfect educational environment. Things change, activities don’t go as planned, and all your preparation goes entirely out of the window.

It’s easy to panic when this occurs, but while you may be screaming on the inside, you’ve got to keep cool on the outside. Stay calm, and move onto the next thing if possible. It always helps to have a contingency plan just in case you encounter difficulties.

A Space Not For Learning

A space where students both old and young can embrace the creative side of education is another way to foster a superb environment. This allows them to take a break from the rigors of memorizing and critical thinking while still working on skills that are essential for real life.

You can make the space somewhere for musical instruments, painting, or even interpretive dance. It gives the students a chance to try something new and also prevents burnout from sitting down working throughout the day. Once they come back, you’ll find them more energized and ready to get back to learning.

The Perfect Place to Learn

Students should enjoy your lessons, so doing everything you can to make their time there as enjoyable as possible will only have positive effects and positive outcomes during their educational odyssey.

Get Back to the Books

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success. Three key focuses are Career Discussions, General Education and Professional Development and Skills. Once starting a career, everyone has to eventually decide what their next steps will be. Is there the potential for promotion at your current position? Should you switch organizations? Should you go back to school? The following contributed post is entitled, Get Back to the Books.

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You might find yourself wondering from time to time what the next steps are when it comes to your career. Are you going to stick at your job and work your way up the corporate ladder or take a chance on a whole new job.

Both have their advantages and disadvantages and both carry a certain amount of risk. However, if neither of those options appeal there is a third way and that’s going back to school. We’re not talking about studying full time necessarily, there are a number of options but instead looking at ways to either boost the professional expertise of the field you’re already in or explore a new career.

In this blog we take a look at why training up might just be the right thing for you.

Professional Qualifications

If you’ve been waiting for promotion to come your way and it’s just not happening, now is the time to get proactive.

Take a look at some of the professional qualifications associated with your industry. Would taking a course and getting some more qualifications under your belt put you in a better position? Would gaining that Florida Contractors License pay off? If the answer is yes, it’s time to put yourself out there and back into the classroom.

Don’t waste your time doing qualifications just for the sake of them. Pick the ones that are recognised in your area and will allow you to leverage them for promotion or at the very least, better pay.

Image courtesy of Pixabay: CC0 licence

Distance Learning

One of the biggest dilemmas about studying is squeezing it in around your working life. This is made particularly hard if the qualification has nothing to do with your current job. One of the best options you can consider is a distance learning course from a reputable education facility.

These courses often offer part time study that fits around your schedule. While you may need to travel to an exam centre once a year or so, that should be the only time off that you’ll need to schedule. While it often takes a little while longer to complete the course, the pressure of trying to get it all done in a short amount of time is off of your shoulders.

Consider this option a long term investment into your future.

Evening Classes

The final study option is evening classes. Use these to access higher education courses later on down the track. If you’re struggling to pay for your training, consider asking the company you work for help. If your course can, in any way, help you in your current position you may be able to persuade them to subsidise your study.

If that isn’t an option for you, you may find that many education centres offer bursaries and grants for more mature students or those studying for specific industries – nursing or education for example.

When you want to change your working world, think about how education might help you achieve your next goal.

How You Can Level Up in Life and Career in 2020

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Career Discussions. Everyone wants to advance in their career at some point. Depending upon the sector you’re in, there may be some specialized steps that you must take while there are some universal steps as well. The following contributed post is entitled, How You Can Level Up in Life and Career in 2020.

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As we move towards the end of the year, now is a good time to start reflecting. To consider where you’re at currently with your life and career, and where you want to go in the year ahead. Rather than waiting until new years eve and scribbling some meaningless resolutions, have a think now and really consider where you want your path to lead. In some cases you can start planning now so that when 2020 rolls around you’re ready to get stuck right in. Here are some examples of how you can level up next year.

Take on some further education
One of the best ways any of us can level up in life is by taking on more education. These days you don’t even need to quit your day job and go back to university full time, there are courses in every subject imaginable that can be studied from home and in a flexible way. Further education could help you to reach the next rung of the career ladder or secure a better job, or it could help you change careers if you want to do something completely different and not have to start right from the bottom. It could help you be a more clued up business owner, preventing silly mistakes being made. Education can just be good for your own satisfaction, as humans we’re curious creatures and often at our happiest when we’re learning new things. Once we finish our formal education in our teens we tend to get into a rut of working and stop expanding our minds. But this doesn’t have to be the case, have a think about what you’d like to study and find an establishment that offers the course. With lots of courses you may be able to start right away, but others will have September and January enrollment dates like traditional universities and colleges. That’s why it’s worth thinking about it now, as if you want to get started in January

Travel for (or while) you work
Travel is never a waste of time or money, it expands your mind, allowing you to make memories to last a lifetime and makes your existence feel worthwhile and interesting. But if you’re at a stage of your life where you want or need to focus on your career, it can be tricky to balance the two. So how about travelling for work, or even working while you travel? It allows you to see new places in the world and get all of the benefits of travelling for leisure, but with another dimension to it. Travel for your work can help you to build new connections and liaise with companies from different countries. Set up some meetings before you go, and use it as an opportunity to speak to potential clients face to face. Travel while you work can motivate and inspire you, if for example you create content in any capacity then doing so in new environments is going to spur on all kinds of new ideas. Don’t just overlook travel as something that’s purely a leisure activity, working alongside this can genuinely help you to level up in life, as well as in your career.

Level up your business
If you’re currently running a home based business, maybe you could consider speaking to a commercial realtor moving into a new office space? From there you could start hiring your own staff members, and growing your venture to improve your profits. If you’re already running a medium sized business, consider how you could level it up. Could you open new departments, could you invest in new software or could you start selling globally to allow your business to take that next step? Consider where your business stands currently and where it can go, make plans for growth and work out what kinds of steps you’ll need to take to get there. From there you can do what you need to do to ensure you’re moving forward and not remaining stagnant. If you’re still stuck in the rat race and have been considering starting your own business venture, then levelling up could be as simple as taking the first steps to getting this done. Look into securing funding, run market research on your idea and find good stockists and suppliers that you could work with. There’s a lot to be done in the early stages and the first part can actually be the most difficult. So once you’ve done that it will hopefully be plain sailing from there. Whatever stage you’re currently at with your business, consider how you will reach the next one.

Push yourself out of your comfort zone
As the saying goes, a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. Staying well within the confines of your comfort zone simply won’t allow you to level up- if it scares you then it’s worth doing! Maybe you’ve always dreamed of becoming a better speaker- taking a public speaking course and getting up there and giving it a go could be so satisfying even though tackling your fear head on can be scary. One way to push yourself out of your comfort zone is to highlight areas where you feel weaker in life or career and then start building skills to fill in the gaps. It might involve making mistakes, it might involve getting things wrong and feeling nervous or awkward but these are all signs that you’re trying something new and will improve over time.

Have you considered what changes you’ll be making next year to put you on the right path to reaching your goals?

5 Reasons To Further Your Education

A key focus of my blog is General Education. Many people have to decide whether or not to further their educations. Today it’s a particularly important decisions as the cost of education has become costly. What are some reasons to further your education? The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Reasons To Further Your Education.

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Photo by Lonely Planet on Unsplash

If you’re considering starting your education but you’re unsure if it’s the right decision for you, you have definitely come to the right place. With so many things to consider before you get started, you need to be sure you’re making the best possible decision for you. Whether that’s moving to a new city or studying online, finding your ‘why’ is important. With that in mind, here are 5 reasons to further your education:

– It Can Help Further Your Career

If you’re looking to further your career and feel as though you can’t move any further unless you further your education, a degree may be the next best step. Whilst often education isn’t vital to progress, having that extra bit of knowledge and theory to put behind your experience can go a long way. In some cases, jobs will ask for you to have a minimum of an Undergraduate Degree in order to apply. For more information when it comes to applying for jobs, you can visit this site here.

– You Could Increase Your Earning Potential

One of the great things about getting a degree and furthering your career is that you automatically increase your earning potential. Although it may not happen straight away, getting a degree and furthering your education is a clear indicator to your current and future employers that you need a pay rise as not only are your skills more in demand, but you will also be able to back them up with theories and studies.

– You Can Learn From Absolutely Anywhere

If you’re looking to study for your Undergraduate or Master’s degree but you don’t want to uproot your entire life in order to do so, you may want to consider doing an online degree. Not only will you be able to work from the comfort of your own home, but you’ll be able to work in your own time too. This means that you will be able to fit your degree in around both your professional and private life. For more information on studying online for degrees such as a Masters in TESOL online, you can visit this site here.

– You Can Learn New And Transferable Skills

Another great thing about furthering your education is that you can learn transferable skills. To put it simply, these are skills that you can take with you no matter what job you go into. Whether you’re gaining report writing skills or improving your skills when it comes to giving presentations, there are lots of things that can be transferred across hundreds of different industry. To find out more about the key life skills you learn whilst studying, you can visit this site here.

– You Can Meet New People

Finally, another incredible aspect of furthering your education is that you will meet lots of new people. It is often said that the people that you meet whilst you’re studying are people that will become your friends for years to come, especially as you have to go through some incredibly stressful times together. Make the most out of it, speak to everyone and make some amazing new friends.

Are you considering furthering your education? What benefits could it bring to you? Let me know in the comments section below?

Ben Carson’s education story and what it means revisited

One of the principles of my blog is “Critical Thought”. I originally published this piece on the Examiner in the fall of 2015, during the historic 2016 presidential election from which President Donald J. Trump emerged. The legendary neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson was one of the many candidates in the Republican primary. His alignment with the Republican party, and his subsequent position in the Trump administration caused him to fall from grace in Black America and to be discarded altogether by some, which I feel is unfortunate. I’m republishing this piece for Black History Month 2019 to remind everyone where Dr. Carson came from, what he accomplished, and that others can do it too.

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First off, this article was not written with the intention of endorsing any presidential candidate.

Anytime an African American aligns with the Republican Party, it raises suspicions within our community and often sparks ridicule. This year Dr. Benjamin Carson is hoping to win the Republican nomination for the United States Presidency. Admittedly it surprised me years ago upon discovering his political affiliation. At the time of this article’s publication, the Huffington Post’s current data shows that Dr. Carson is second only to Donald Trump in the field of candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination. It will be really interesting to see if he’ll hold second place or even ascend to first place by the time the final candidate is selected.

Carson’s messages have included: denouncing of the Common Core education standards, securing of the Mexican border and more stringent immigration policies, and reformation of the tax code to name a few. At his own peril and at the risk of alienating African Americans, he has also openly questioned the Black Lives Matter movement. While many see Carson simply as this year’s token African American conservative candidate seeking the Republican presidential nomination, he holds a different significance for me.

During my graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Dr. Carson (a Michigan Medical School alumnus) returned as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day speaker one year. Then the Dean of Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins University, he’d already become famous. He made several points during his speech but those which stood out most to me focused on his youth in inner-city Detroit. Early in his life (during the Civil Rights era), “Bennie” as he was referred to, was actually an underachiever academically and was viewed as unintelligent by his classmates and teachers.

Through it all, his mother who was a single parent, vehemently encouraged Carson and his brother to read anything they could, as often as they could. After years of academic underachievement, the light finally switched on for young Ben Carson and he realized that he too could use his mind to achieve scholastically and make something of himself. He of course went on to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon, where his most famous feat was the separation of the conjoined twins.

There’s an empowerment message within Ben Carson’s story for everyone. Whether or not he ascends to the presidency, he’s a symbol that one can make it out of a single parent household and less than ideal conditions. His success wasn’t an accident, nor was it luck. It was due to his mother’s oversight and vigilance.

Data from Kids Count spanning from 2009 to 2013 show that the African American community leads the nation in children in single parent families over all other ethnic groups during that interval (67% vs. 25% for Non-Hispanic Whites). The reasons for this data clearly vary and are regularly discussed and debated. While it is greatly accepted that having both parents at home is ideal, not having both doesn’t have to necessarily be a hindrance. For me that’s one of the significances of Ben Carson’s story.

While money, state of the art facilities, books and computers are important, Ben Carson’s story (and messages) points to the value and love for education as being the key pieces in a child’s academic achievement and securing of an independent and productive life. This is assuming the instilling of other important values such as a work ethic and integrity as well. Once again while a two-parent home is ideal, it isn’t always a necessary circumstance for kids to go on to achieve success.

In closing, Ben Carson’s story points to the fact that schools alone can’t educate children, and that it requires collaboration with the parents. In his recent article entitled, How Can Parental Involvement in Schools Improve?, Michael J. Ryan argues that public education is a collective commitment between the school system and families where both have to do their part for a child’s success. In the end of his piece, he suggests that it is time to have all families sign a covenant, or contract with their respective schools, compelling them to do their part to help their child’s education as Ben Carson’s mother did for him.

The picture used in this post comes straight from the University of Michigan Medical School. There’s a corridor there in the vast medical school complex where the walls are lined with collages of pictures of every medical class going back to the early twentieth century. Sometimes during graduate school, I’d walk that corridor to access the medical school’s cafeteria around lunch time. I stumbled across Dr. Carson’s picture one day with his medical class. As you can see, he’s in his mid- to late-twenties or early-thirties and is wearing an “Afro”. I took this picture recently when I returned to the University of Michigan for homecoming weekend.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Whose job is it to teach Black History?
Are you Cooning? Thoughts on Black America’s new favorite racial slur, critical thought, and groupthink
A Black History Month reflection on Percy Julian
A Black History Month interview with Dr. Vernon Morris
A Black History Month look at West Indian Archie
A review of Marvel’s Black Panther

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A Teaching Moment: Boosting Your Career In Education

Two focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and General Education. While very important and rewarding, a career in education can be very, very challenging at times. Some teachers burn out and leave the field altogether, while others ascend into administration. No matter what your aspirations are as an educator, it’s important to think about your career in depth and set yourself up to succeed. The following contributed post is therefore entitled, A Teaching Moment: Boosting Your Career In Education.

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If you’ve chosen a career in the development and education of young minds; you’ll understand how rewarding a job in teaching can be. However, education also brings its challenges, and sometimes, you’ll have to deal with stressful situations. If you’re keen to work through the various highs and lows of your job role; you have longevity in teaching and enjoy your career until retirement. Some people find themselves wondering how to boost their career further, due to job dissatisfaction and lack of prospects. There are ways to push ahead with your career in education; you just have to know where to look and what to do. The following are some tips and ideas for those who want to give their job role a helping hand for a long and rewarding career in the educational field.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-notes-meeting-team-7095/

More Learning

The more adept you are to handle your class; the better you’ll be able to gain their respect and influence their educational choices, and you’ll be an appealing candidate for an academic recruitment firm. Therefore, if you’re feeling a little stagnant in your teaching role; consider furthering your qualifications, utilizing those skills, and start the next step in your job journey. Take a look at the information available online to understand how specialized courses and qualifications will help to open all sorts of career doors for you. The more strings to your bow you obtain; the better chance you have at a promotion or a fresh job placement altogether.

Perhaps there are certain areas of your job that you do not feel as strong as you’d like to; research into courses you can complete and all the avenues that are in place aimed to strengthen those elements of your career. You’ll be able to walk into the classroom with confidence, and your head held high, knowing that you’ve worked hard to get where you are and to have the knowledge and expertise that will benefit your class of students.

New Methods

If you’re struggling with your current teaching methods, and the information isn’t sinking in with your class; don’t be afraid to try something new. As long as you are teaching the required lesson, and sticking to school guidelines; you should experiment with tried and tested techniques that may seem unconventional. Do your research so that you can look for some innovative ways to teach kids, and get some inspiration to take into your own classroom. Everything from role play, to playing classical music during lessons has been utilized in the education of young minds; so be the teacher that people remember and start seeing the improvements to your pupil’s education and grades that can happen as a result.

Social Connections

If you’re struggling with one particular individual, that doesn’t seem to want to learn or be there; it’s worth investigating into their life outside the classroom. Look for significant behavioral changes and issues that may have arisen that has led to difficulties, and let them know that you’re a friendly ear if they need help, or simply to talk. The more time you put into your lessons and the welfare of your students, the better your relationship with them will be, and the quicker they’ll learn what’s needed.

Making The Most Of Your Education

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and a key focus is Education. When pursuing a college education, it’s important to know how to get the most out of the experience both in and out of the classroom so you’re as marketable as possible when you finish. What are some of the important considerations? The following contributed post is entitled; Making The Most Of Your Education.

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Making the most of your education is crucial, whether you’re going to college, university, or even doing an online course. You want to make sure you retain as much information as possible and that you are able to use what you’ve learned to do something great when all is said and done. Whether you want to start a business of your own or land your dream job, below we have three ways you can go about making the most of your education.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
You can’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling with something you’re supposed to be learning. Approach your lecturer, ask classmates, and even look at online forums that you can use to make sure you get it. Having a positive, solution focused attitude is everything.

Get A Part Time Job
A part time job can help to give you more money towards school supplies, and can even allow you a bit of a social life (if you can find the time). If you can get a part time job in the industry you’re looking to work in, or even just a voluntary position, this can support your learning and look great on your CV.

Find Your Learning Style
Finally, figure out what your learning style is so you can consume the course material in a way that is enjoyable and stress-free for you. Everybody learns differently. Some people are hands on, some are visual. There were 419 graduates from Effat university in 2016-2017, and chances are, the majority of those students figured out their learning style early on. Below, you can find more information on Effat university.



credit to Effat University

Reflections on the classroom from a veteran of the school system revisited

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success, and a key focus is Education. Dad was a critical piece of my journey towards my earning my STEM degree and starting my career. I originally published this piece in the Examiner back in 2012, shortly after he retired from education. I lived with him for almost three years prior to starting my federal science career, and learned some things about his career in education simply through watching, observing and talking to him.

Dad taught in one of the ‘lower’ two districts in New York State’s “Capital Region”, and this account captures what it’s like for some teachers who work in ‘lower income’ communities. While Dad agreed to let me publish this piece, there was some deliberation over its content as he wanted to be truthful while not offending anyone. This piece raises several key questions. Do parents have a role in their child’s education? Is it the school’s job to do everything? Lastly, what are the ramifications for kids getting passed through the system without doing the work, and what ultimately happens to them?

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Dad retired from education after 20 years of teaching Life Science in junior high in one of New York State’s eastern central school districts. When asked about being an educator and the daily issues he faced, he focused mainly on the attitudes and preparedness of his students and their parents. He also focused on an administration that highly emphasized passing its students, probably due to outside pressure which eventually trickled down the to its faculty. The issues he discussed were not unique to his district, and were common in lower income communities across the nation.

“One of the hardest parts of the job was getting the students to believe that I knew what I was talking about,” he said. The adolescent years are known to be the start of a rebellious period in the lives of young people. It’s not only challenging for parents, but also for educators. He further added, “Many of my students came to school hungry and without having breakfast. It’s hard to learn that way!”

Dad spent a lot of time discussing parenting saying, “Somewhere there was a disconnection between the parents and what the students should’ve been doing at home, particularly their homework. The parents should’ve been helping to reinforce our program at home. If we could’ve just gotten the parents on board, things would’ve gone more smoothly.”

“Parents aren’t what they used to be. They seem to act as though they can just make babies and it’s the school’s job to raise them,” he lamented about parents who weren’t proactive and vigilant about their children’s education.

“When I came home, I frequently saw my father reading,” he continued. “In some families, kids come home and see Mom and Dad watching TV and not reading, and will do the same thing. For African American and Latino kids, reading is very, very important,” he said passionately.

Whether it’s a low income district or a high income district as described in the writings of Dr. Ralph G. Perrino of the former Northern Virginia Tutoring Service, strong parental involvement seems to be a key ingredient in the success of students.

When he visited the University of Michigan when I was in graduate school, the famous (and now maligned) neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, originally from inner-city Detroit, openly acknowledged that he wasn’t a strong student early on in his life. He further acknowledges that it was his mother’s insistence that he read and continually expand his mind that set the stage for his successes.

Dad finally voiced his frustrations with the school system itself saying, “In many districts there is a lot of pressure on teachers to pass students who may not be measuring up to the teacher’s expectations and what’s outlined in the curriculum.” In short, whether intended or not, the expectations for his students were being lowered. He further encountered quite a few students and parents who expected passing grades without the work being done.

“The school district was phasing out effort, good behavior, homework, and classroom participation. My students’ grades were eventually based mostly on tests and quizzes,” he said. He closed by saying (with conviction), “The problem is that when these students go out into the real world, they’ll be in trouble in job settings.”

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I want to close by acknowledging all the educators who go to work every day preparing our future generations. It’s a very important and sometimes underappreciated career/job. I’ll always remember seeing Dad go away to school every day, grading papers on the weekends, and enjoying his summer vacations. His experiences weren’t unique, and they applied to many schools in other cities across the country.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy:

The story of how I earned my STEM degree as a minority
Challenging misconceptions and stereotypes in academic achievement
The benefits and challenges of using articulate speech
Challenging misconceptions and stereotypes in class, household income, wealth and privilege
Who will benefit from Apple’s $350 billion investment?
Father’s Day 2018: Dad’s doctor and his lawyer, and a discussion on careers
Father’s Day 2017: Reflections on some of Dad’s money and life lessons

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