Tag Archives: Education

“Dr. Tutt”- On a Mission

Confession: Sometimes people throw shade when they find out I’m in school for my doctorate. When they first find out that I’m back in school again, they look confused and ask me if I’m going for a second master’s or something like that. It’s almost like they think I’m confused about my life and I don’t know what I want to do so I just keep going to school. They’re fine with it when they think that I’m getting a master’s. However, when I tell them that I’m going for my doctorate, the vibe quickly changes. They start telling me how tired they are of school, how they feel getting a doctorate is not worth the trouble, and how they are so done with school and never going back…. as if to imply I am wasting my time.

That’s fine. We each have our own journey. The truth is, they have no idea why I’m doing what I’m doing. They assume that I’m just trying to exert myself into a place of authority. They assume that I just want to be an administrator and in charge of everyone else. Sometimes, they even assume that I think I’m better than them because I’m trying to put letters behind my name. In other words, they think I’m doing too much and they do not have a problem telling me.

The truth is, I have been a teacher in the same ‘hood I grew up in for 14 years now. I have seen our education system fail our students for all of my 14 years working. I have seen them treated like robots and their humanness ignored. When I got my master’s, I did a very thorough research study on the best practices for at-risk students in inner cities across the country. I combined all of those practices together and created a Civic Leadership curriculum. I convinced my job to allow me to pilot my program there. I knew that it would work, but I knew that they would not hear me if I just gave a presentation. I knew that they would have to see it for themselves. Unfortunately, they rarely come and observe anything that’s going on in my room. Therefore, the beauty and magic that is happening with our students is going unnoticed.

After piloting the program for 2 years, the students were ready to lead. They wanted to combine all of the things that they have been learning in our class and take action. Since I care about them and listen to them, I created a student government a few weeks ago. We have six officers per grade level from 5th through 8th grades. We had our first meeting last week and it was outstanding! The popular kids who are notorious for their behavior were elected to be officers. Rather than turn them away, I challenged them to step up.

They are excited, empowered, and they were the most professional I have ever seen them in that meeting. They stood up when they wanted to speak. They learned about Robert’s Rules of Order and I demonstrated them for our first meeting so that the Sergeant at Arms of their grade level would be able to do it next time. They had meeting agendas and took notes. They came up with a constitution and bylaws for student government, as well as a good fundraiser and community service project to get started on. I am so proud of them!

This semester, I had to do a great deal of research on our school specifically and how it measures up to other state statistics. The things I found while doing that research were staggering and quite frankly, upsetting. As usual, I became extremely passionate and somewhat distraught about the discoveries that I made. Knowing that the people in charge will not make time to listen to me or even take what I’m saying seriously, I have to go another route.

The letters behind my name will cause people to stop and pause before they brush me off. When I write a book about my discoveries, they will want to read it if I have letters behind my name. If I ask to do a research-based presentation, they may allow me to, and they may even listen, if I have letters behind my name.

However, without the letters I am just another emotional and dramatic teacher. They will continue to tell me to stay in my lane and focus on testing. My school is just one school out of many across the nation. Our students are a representation of the greater whole. There are kids all over the country that are being ignored for their humanness and treated like robots instead. I advocate for them.

If you were to ask me why I am going to school for my doctorate, the answer is simple: so I can advocate for the students that are being ignored.

Additionally, I am a single parent of two small boys. I don’t know if I will ever get married again, but if I don’t, I want to position myself so that I am in a higher income bracket. I want to be able to take care of them and give them opportunities, experiences, and exposure so they can grow to their fullest potential. I don’t want to work for anyone else. I want to be able to be there for my children and pick them up from school, do homework with them, take them to all of their activities, and expose them to things all around the world that I would never be able to do if I was stuck in a building full time. Being a teacher causes me to focus on other people’s kids more than my own. While I love all children, it is critical that I show my own children they are the most important to me.

I got tired of devoting my weekends to lesson plans and grading papers and not being able to simply play with my sons. I am tired of the pressure to focus on testing and ignore the humanness of my students. I am tired of seeing what is wrong, knowing how to fix it, and being dismissed without any consideration.

Therefore, I made a plan. I am sticking to it. And if all goes well, I will only be working about 6 to 8 days out of the month and I will be able to spend the rest of the time with my own children. I will be able to provide them with incredible opportunities and exposure without stressing about money. They will be able to travel, participate in school activities, as well as other special workshops and classes. I want to show them that we can be whatever we want to be in life and that there is no limit to the success we can attain. We have regular conversations about delayed gratification. I want them to know that Mommy is making a huge sacrifice right now so that we can have a much better life later. I am doing everything in my power to make things better for my own children as well as the students within the American education system.

I don’t just have goals. I have a mission. People don’t have to understand it or support it, but I will not stop until I make a difference. 💖

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My Truth.

When I get emotional, I don’t talk. I process. I go within and examine my pain. I ask the questions, “Why am I feeling this way?” and “What is this about?”

Three of my students have been placed in foster care. They are siblings and one has been separated and placed in another city.

After learning the details of the situation, it triggered and stirred up many memories from my abusive upbringing. I remembered my interviews with judges and CPS workers. I remembered having to go see Protective Services while they photographed my injuries and bruises. I remembered going to the judge and him granting more visitation time to my father after seeing the proof of what happened to me while I was there. I remembered being threatened by my mother if I were to call CPS on what was happening in the house with her. I remembered daydreaming about being removed from the household. I remembered feeling like I had no choice but to remain silent while the social worker questioned me at school and the therapist grilled me in the evenings once or twice weekly. I remembered my mom telling me not to discuss family business with anyone at the school. I remembered my dad telling me not to tell a soul what was happening in his house. I remembered being caught between both of them and having nowhere to go for help. I remembered being the same age as my students and having to hold all of that emotion and information within my little body and keep my mouth shut.

Thinking about how their guardian could do the things that she allegedly has done, I realized that I have had some thoughts that are extremely brutal in nature. I have had them since I was a kid. I didn’t understand at the time where they were coming from, but this situation has cleared that up for me. I remembered asking my mom to put a steak knife in my throat and spin it around when I was seven. I remembered fantasizing about being told to cut the grass with scissors. Those thoughts were unexplainable and as I got older they did not stop. I learned to push the thoughts away and choose happier ones instead. I learned to make choices and decisions that were the opposite of things my dad would have done. I have become the parent that my parents never were. However, until this crisis arose, I never realized how much mental and emotional healing work I had to do in order to accomplish that feat.

It is still difficult to discuss deep feelings of vulnerability and emotion, even with people that I know love me and I can trust, but writing has always been therapeutic.

Being a teacher is hard for me because I once lived a life that is similar to the lives of the students in my classroom. Although it makes it easier for me to connect with and understand them, it makes it harder for me to support the system that employs me. For me, the gaps are so obvious. I can see clear as day where we are coming up short and why. However, who am I? In the grand scheme of things, I am no one. The decision-makers and stakeholders have no interest in what my views or opinions are. They don’t care if I’m hurting. They don’t care about keeping our kids from hurting. They only care once things have already happened and they are no longer in control. It makes them sad, but they don’t do anything different. The system remains the same…. no matter what. In many ways, I feel that my career is my new abuser. There is nothing I can say, nothing I can do, and I’m better off if I just put my head down, do what I’m told, and keep my mouth shut.

If you are in my inner circle, please don’t ever take it personal if I stop talking for a little while. It’s just the way I have learned to cope. It is the only way I know to remain safe and keep my sanity.

Only Love Lives Here!

This work week has been very interesting.  Monday was rough!  VERY rough!  I literally wanted to go to my car and never return! 💯 
As a result, Tuesday was more emotional than usual due to the retrograde of 5 planets last month and the full moon in Scorpio this week. But God always knows what we need at just the right time.  He sent me three students that I love me and they also love me back.  They are awake and hungry for conscious wisdom.  They asked how I was doing and if I was okay when they sensed something bothering me.  Instead of being “strong”, I decided to share so I told them the truth-
How I get so frustrated coming to work and being trapped in a room with people that are consistently disrespecting me.

How mad it makes me that they get little to no discipline from admin and they act up more because they know they can get away with mostly everything. 

How much it hurts that I care about most of my students more than they care about themselves.

How angry I am that I have to fight just to do my job.

How irritating it is to force-feed knowledge to students who act like they are anti-education.

How helpless I feel in this system that is committed to overlooking the real needs of students by forcing me to overtest them and restrict their physical and creative energy.

I told them how painful it is to see the future of every student..Including the poor choices they make and the regrets they will have for not listening to me. 

How irritating it is to have my family and co-workers make lame justifications for all of the bs I go through and tell me to just suck it up and because I’m “strong”.

They understood.

I said I needed to clear out the negative energy in my room and fill it up with positivity and  love.

They said they wanted to help.

I let them.

One covered the window on the door. 

Another opened the window.

I made a crystal grid on the center table of my room.

We sat around it at the table and meditated together for a couple minutes.

I instructed them to pull up beautiful thoughts and see everyone being good and feeling calm, loved, and safe. 

While in that space, I asked them to say,

“Only love lives here”.
I got up and lit a tiny piece of sage and cleansed the room and furniture. 

I shooed the negative energy out of the window.

Then I infused healing energy into each student’s desk.

I sat back down with them and we held love in our hearts together.  I told them to fill the room, then the school with a beautiful healing green light of loving energy.

When we finished, I left the crystals there and told them not to let anyone touch them.  

When my afternoon classes came in, I moved the crystals to my desk and decided to take my students outside for some fun team building activities and connect it to a lesson around being proactive vs. reactive.
Twice this week, a student with severe ADHD took the initiative to ask me if he could meditate in my room to help him be calm and prevent himself from getting in trouble.

I asked if he wanted guided or just music.  He preferred a guided meditation.  I shared my meditation oil with him and sat on my beanbag to join him.

I’m an empath as well, so I could feel him as if his body was mine.  I allowed the feelings of jittery distraction and anxiety run through my body…. Then I breathed.  I inhaled his energy and exhaled all the busyness that is no longer serving him.  I could see his life and the stress he feels.  How he is basically on his own…  

Then, I got downloads!  I made a green smoothie for myself this morning.  I was instructed to share it with him.  “Let him taste it and feel how good it makes him feel”.  I was told to talk to him about his diet and how to manage his energy through God’s food and meditation.

Then, suddenly, I felt him feeling calm and relaxed. 

We opened our eyes and  I obeyed my orders.  I got him a cup and poured some of my smoothie in it. He liked it. I told him how to make it. I told him what foods to avaoid and what to eat more of.  

While walking him back to class, I got another instruction:

 “Make him an obsidian chakra balancing bracelet this weekend.”  
I don’t know how to define what I do.  I’m labeled a “teacher”, but it doesn’t seem like I’m teaching anything academic that will be on these standardized tests.  

However, it feels like what happens in my room is sacred and life changing….when I can get through.

I don’t exactly know where I’m headed, but I do know I’m being led.  Instead of stressing trying to figure it out, all I must do is obey.

For now, it looks like this teacher has some homework for the weekend.  

What Change Looks Like…in Education.

After teaching my students about their chakra systems, they asked to do a full chakra meditation.  We did.  Some of them had unpleasant memories resurface, others had repressed thoughts emerge, and they cried….together. 
Fortunately, since my Third Eye is strong and activated, I was  able to see them, allow them some time, and offer the right words to help them release and move forward. 
Throughout the week, they enjoyed playing with their energy fields by creating energy balls and allowing each other to feel the tingly vibrations with their hands.  They learned to create magnetism with their fingertips and touch themselves and each other, without physically touching.  They learned about their ability to heal themselves and others with this gift. 
Instead of me forcing them to shake my hand at the threshold when they enter class, they began to offer me threshold hugs! ❤
Friday, was our first day of service. We did a heart chakra meditation before volunteering to do different things to help teachers and students throughout the building.  

My 8th graders went to a third grade class and picked a partner, then listened to the little ones read to them.  The love and warmth in the room was indescribable.  

We returned to the room, where I showed the video of Kate receiving her new guitar.  

Their homework assignment was given: 

“Do one nice deed for someone you don’t know.”  
My purpose for showing them the video was for them to know that I would never ask them to do something I wasn’t already doing myself.  This is a leadership class.  It starts with me.  Not just at work, but in my daily life.
We have the power to not only create improved communities, but also a loving society.  

All we need to to do is sit, listen, and obey.

DOT-TO-DOT

USA dot to dot 

Dot-to-dot

We’re all connected by gunshots.

Your brother, his cousin, my student, her friend,

He was important and we will all miss him.

I know you’re mad, but just wait-

You are still here, and you know what’s right.

You have your whole life ahead

I can’t let you forget.

You want to be a doctor

And you’re really good at soccer.

I know what ‘hood rules say,

But that will just get you locked away.

Then we would all be missing two

Of the most remarkable dudes.

I heard the shots too.

What did I do?

I hit the floor, just like you

At least, that’s what I assume.

No matter how much I don’t flinch

I still get scared when

They sound too close to my comfort

Or I can see the spark like a starburst.

I don’t know how it is

They could be so foolish

To blame this all on you

I mean really, what could you do?

You are but a child yourself

They are adults doing this mess.

Killing our economy,

Forcing you into poverty,

Then throwing out some red tape,

Just to make you hesitate

In trying to be your best.

So you start to second guess

Everything you once thought you could be.

You are doubting your dreams.

Now you don’t believe in you,

What else is there to do?

If I hadn’t been there before,

I’d be a stranger at your door.

I wouldn’t know what to say,

Thank God for all my heartache!

The political system is full of flaws,

But controls the most delicate system of them all.

We trust our children’s futures

To be guided expenditures.

“How much is each one worth?”

Sounds eerily familiar…

We don’t trust the water,

But we trust our leaders?

Even though we have evidence

And a few witnesses

We still can’t get them to see the truth.

They are the dots that connect me and you.

They take money from our schools,

While demanding me to do more.

Putting you in the middle

Of an economic war.

A battle between forces

One side unheard-

The other side bullying

Whenever they have a turn.

We give them an opportunity

To be forthright and upstanding

But every time, it never fails

They are standing back laughing.

Watching us scramble

Trying to get enough votes

All the while, the system has effectively-

Demolished all hope.

I am supposed to be the dot

That leads you to a way out,

But when I look at the big picture,

We are just pawns in this venture.

Freedom is an illusion

Disguised in confusion

Causing all of us to work for their goals.

Our households are scarred

From them going too far

Hitting below the belt

Dividing family units

Putting dads behind bars

Or worse, killing our sons.

Dot- to-dot

We are all connected by gunshots.

beaded flag