Back to School Edition Part 2-Letter to the Parents

Texas Metro News Published-September 23, 2018. http://www.texasmetronews.com

Dear Parents

School is officially back in session! You have been dropping your children off in front of the school house with glee in your hearts. Before you burn rubber again, the following information is to be embedded into your mental psyche and spirit.

  1. Supplies-while we run to the store at the beginning of the school year collecting every pencil, pen, notebook paper, binders, etc.; kudos to you for that. When buying supplies, consider you are buying supplies at the beginning of the year. You have at minimum of 185 days to get through. Please keep in mind to replenish your child(ren)’s supplies as the school year progresses. Paper and pencils run out. Classrooms teachers are always baffled how parents think certain supplies purchased at the beginning of year will last for the entire school year. Also, while you may not like the “community sharing”, one reason that students share certain items is because you all do not supply throughout the year. You may not like me saying it, but that’s one reason community sharing of tissue, hand sanitizer, construction paper, is so common in schools. As a former teacher, I can attest teachers come out of their own pockets purchasing supplies for their classroom because students have run out. A teachers’ salaries cannot afford to do that all the time. So, please make sure your child has the necessary supplies and tools that they need throughout the academic year. One thing I always tell parents to do is replenish at each break. During the fall semester, use the month of October to do a spot check to determine if supplies need replenishing. Depending on the supplies and the quantity you purchased at the beginning of the semester, you may can wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to replenish. The likelihood you will need to buy everything is very slim. However, take inventory on what your child needs so that when they return for the next semester all rested up from the Christmas break, they will have a fresh set of supplies to get them through the second half of the semester. You will do one more spot check at Spring break just to make sure that they have what they need. It is essential that you start your child off with their supplies but also to maintain. So, help your teacher out by replenishing your child’s supplies throughout the academic year.

2. Student health-Part A Whether you like vaccinations or not when you decide to put your child in school, public or private, you are agreeing to the rules of having your child vaccinated. Children’s immune systems are not strong and when you put a weak immune system child in the room with someone who has not had their vaccinations, it can cause a lot of problems. Therefore, when you see those notifications from the school nurse saying that your child needs to have their shots updated by the time the academic year rolls around, please get it done. Do not wait until the school sends you a notification stating your child cannot return to school until your child’s shot records are updated. When you receive the notification, no attitudes please. What’s the attitude for anyway? You knew all year that your child was turning a certain age and needs the appropriate vaccines. Therefore, work with the school by ensuring that your child has their updated shots. Another point that bears mentioning is to always keep your child’s original shot records for yourself. School officials are human. Things can get lost. So, make sure you always provide a copy of your child’s shot records but keep the originals. Part B-GERMS! In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, the lovely germs are a part of the school year. Hanging around bullying students is the arch nemesis germs. If your child has a fever when they wake up in the morning, do not assume by giving them a 4-hour dosage of Tylenol it will stay in their system for the entire school day. You did nothing but bring them to the school and made other students sick. While you have your reasons of wanting the sick tot out of the house, in the long run it’s hurting you because at some point you will have to keep he or she at home. If your child has a fever, it is important to get the fever under control so that they are not contagious to others. Maybe the next day, your child can return to school. When you decided to take the germ-stricken kid to school while they are still contagious you are making matters worse. So, please do not drop your child off at school when they are sick. They are contagious and can spread those germs to their fellow classmates and teachers.

3. Think before you ACT!-As a former teacher, I remember parents saying to me and my fellow colleagues, “I have no problem getting arrested from this school for the sake of my child.” I need you to think before you speak such volatile statements. As school shooting continue to arise, if you are being disruptive, the school will call the police on you. And no, you cannot have an attitude when they do. I really need you to think before you are conducting yourself in a manner that is putting a school and/or your freedom in jeopardy. If you are being belligerent, do not expect the situation to end in your favor. Regardless of what the problem is that brought you to the school, maintain control and handle it in an adult mature manner. We do not live in times where you can be confrontational at the school and think security will not be called on you. Your child’s biggest advocate is you and school officials do want to work with you to resolve the issue that brought you to campus. Stay calm and work with the administrators to get to the root of the issue. Consider this. If you are in jail, how will that help your child. Keep your attitude and your temper in check because the one thing you do not want is your child to see mom or dad getting arrested and escorted out of the building in front of all their friends.

4. Home/school Communication-It really does take a village for our children to be successful. Therefore, it is important that when teachers call, email, or text you, respond back. Regardless of life circumstances, working numerous jobs, etc it is imperative to show interest in what your son or daughter is doing at school. The worst thing for an educator to experience is to see a child struggle with the content, want to help, but is unable to get the parent(s) on the phone. The teacher feels helpless because they need to schedule a parent conference but the parent is not returning the calls. Keep the lines of communication with home and school open. If you know your child is Chucky or Rosemary’s baby, that is not the time to not answer the phone. You know what you dropped off at that school. The school didn’t create that little hellion you have at home. When you go missing in action, it is very easy for the child to play you and the school against each other. Trust me, they know when home and school is not on the same page. Therefore, to keep the disruption to a minimum, make sure that you keep the lines of communication open.

5. Be the Cheerleader-Children need support. If no one else believes in them their parent or guardian needs to believe in them. Yes, they may struggle in math but do not give them excuses as to why they can not be successful. Don’t say things like, “I wasn’t good in math, so my child is not” or “my child has a learning disability because they struggle with reading/writing.” Do not give them a pass to being unsuccessful. When you give them these types of crutches in their mind, it is hard on the teacher. Did you ever wonder that your child is behind in reading because you never required them to read at home? If the only time, a child is reading or working on math is during school hours, they will struggle but it does not mean they have learning disability. It means that they are academically behind and need to catch up. Which can happen with hard work outside of school. Speaking for those who work at the collegiate level, it is sad that college professors and advisors have to deprogram students on statements parents have told them when they was a child. Here they are in college and they are still fighting negative comments that was said to them. We want you to be your child’s advocate. That support is so needed. Continue to give them encouraging words, pray with them in the morning, have motivational quotes that they can recite back. In other words, show them that you know they can achieve anything they put their mind to. If the child does not feel somebody in their house cares about their well-being, teachers, principals, counselors are working double time fighting the negativity that’s going on in your child’s mind. So help the school out by being your child’s biggest cheerleader in a positive non-disruptive manner because again we do not want you to get arrested from the school house.

Parents before you burn rubber and drop the child off again at the schoolhouse remember these five things and let’s have a great year.~Doc Shep Speaks

Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd

Twitter @getfinessed

Facebook-facebook.com/fnsconsulting

http://www.fnsconsultingservices.com

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Back to School Edition Part 1-Letter to the Students

Texas Metro News Published-September 5, 2018. http://www.texasmetronews.com

A Message for the Students

Dear Students,

Your time of sucking up food, water, and air has come to an end. No more going to bed whenever you felt like it. No more eating up the food just because it was there. How you can get through the school year on barely two meals a day but during the summer you need four meals along with an endless supply of snacks will always baffle parents. Daily hygiene routine resumes. No more taking baths when flies start circling around you or only brushing your teeth once your breath smells like dead carcass. Going back to school means starting a new year! New beginnings of going to a new grade level. You may even be at a new school. Isn’t that exciting? As you continue to go down the educational road of life, each year brings anew. This letter to you students is to share a few tips on how to get through this academic year with minimum psychological damage to your teachers and parents.

  1. Reinvent Yourself-Let go of the past. If you was the poor struggling student with the bad attitude last year, allow this school year to be the opportunity to show what you can do. You do not have to go through another school year with that stigma attached to you. You define the person you want people to see. Do you want to be perceived as the dumb jock or the mean girl? Do you want to be the person whose so unmotivated that you choose once again not to do your homework and find it humorous that everyone thinks you are the most stupidest person on the face of this Earth? I think you deserve better than that. Let this new year be the year that you will reinvent yourself. Out with the old and in with the new. Which brings me to my next point.
  2. New Study Habits-Decide on new study habits this year. It’s okay to crack open a book and study. Whether you are male or female, as you to continue to grow up, your education is essential in being a successful productive individual. We are well aware of the issues that come about within our culture, however you have the power to not continue to feed into those stereotypes. To feed into the types that our males are thugs and hoodlums who cannot read or write or that our females or just nothing but sluts in the street having babies after babies. You are more than that. Choose this year to pick better study habits in order to be a better you
  3. Ask for help-Ask for help!! You know what makes you stupid? Not asking for help. People get through life with assistance from others. We cannot do everything ourselves. When we decide to be prideful and not ask for help, it will be detrimental in the long run. If you do not understand what the teacher is saying take notes. Write it down and ask questions. When you choose to leave the classroom not understanding what the lesson was about, you then go home confused and now asking your parent for help. Here’s the problem with that. You were the one that was in the classroom not your parents. Ask for help. You may have a math anxiety. Teachers are aware of the frustration with their students the moment they see a fraction or an exponent. You all immediately shut down. You can master the math skills by simply asking for help. If you are not reading on grade level, you can fixed that. Start reading! The best way to improve your comprehension is by reading more and seeking assistance when you have read something you did not understand.

In summary, (1) Reinvent yourself, the past is the past. Do not take old habits into a new year. No one knows you can be the “Troublemaker” until you show those tendencies. Pick better friends. (2) Be the learner with better study habits. Study information before you go to class. Do not wait for the teacher to put it all in your mind. Your brain is a sponge. Soak up all the knowledge you can. This is showing the teacher(s) that you care about your education by being prepared when you come to class. Last, (3) ask for help. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. What is dumb is not allowing that question to be asked in order for it be answered.

So students, I wish you the best this academic year. I will be watching. Go be great!~Doc Shep Speaks

Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd

www.fnsconsultingservices.com

Twitter @getfinessed

Facebook-facebook.com/fnsconsulting

Sooo..When will Peter Pan Grow Up?

Texas Metro News-June 16, 2018

It’s graduation season. Young people across the U. S. are graduating from high school or college making their families’ proud! They have proof they cracked opened a book every now and then. So what’s next? In the past several weeks, I have asked this question to recent college and high school graduates.

Let’s start with our college graduates. After four plus years of staying up to 3 a.m. “studying”, writing papers (courtesy of the internet), involved in campus organizations, while ensuring their parents they have not developed a substance abuse problem; young people across the globe are strutting across the stage from their respective colleges/universities with a college degree. They graduate with no clue as to what they want to do with the next stage of their lives. They accomplished graduating from college, shouldn’t that be enough? I’m confident its parents may say “No!” I remember that beautiful day in May 1998 when I graduated from Texas Southern University (All roads lead to Texas Southern University-Yes, a shameless plug). When the family gathered to take pictures with me, my mother looked towards the camera, posed and whispered to me, “You’re getting your car note in 30 days”, so sentimental mom.

From that moment, I knew I needed to add an addendum to my plan. I was already in my own apartment but now I had to be more grown-up to make enough money to now add a car note to my budget. I knew I was going into education but I did not have a job under my belt yet. So I decided to work at a temp agency while working on the additional education courses needed to be a certified teacher. See Mom, a plan! What is occurring now is graduates are completing their degrees with no clue what they want to do next. So instead of working to obtain job skills, they go straight into graduate school. Do not get me wrong; it is nothing wrong with an individual enrolling into graduate school soon after completing their undergraduate studies. The issue is when graduate school is used to “buy” them some time. At some point this generation has to face the real world. It is difficult to say you are “grown” when Mom and Dad is still paying the bills.

Let’s move on to our high school graduates. Across the United States, Generation Z walked across the stage receiving their high school diploma. The families are proud and the graduation parties commenced. After the ceremony, the congratulatory hugs and gifts, and picture taking, what’s next? In my day, you had three options: colleges, military, or get a job. The first two options are self-explanatory. The third option requires clearer instructions. My mother’s generation and up belief system is, if you are still living in their house post-graduation and do not wish to go to college or the military, the young graduate is expected to get a job in order to remain in their parent’s house. It sounds straight to the point but it is not. The addendum to the clause is The Graduate is expected to work full time to save money to be out of their parent’s house within six months to a year. Now this is where the helicopter parents missed the memo. This parenting style that allows children to work and stay at home have it easier than my generation. The theory sounds the same but it is not. When old school generation says get a job it is made clear the child is to find full-time employment. Rationale: You no longer have the constraints of school and have time to work and obtain your own money. Helicopter parents are allowing their child to remain in their house with a minimum of a part-time job with the rationale the child is trying to “find their way.” Question, they can’t “find” their way working full-time? What are they doing during that idle time? Reflecting on their life’s purpose is not what they are doing.

How can Peter Pan or Petra (gender bias) grow up if the parents are enabling the immature mentality and behavior? It’s not too late to save this generation and those following behind. Students in college, should be WORKING in order to gain experience to add to their resume along with the earned degree. This notion, “I do not want my child to work while in college” is crippling them on becoming independent. A degree without experience will not equal a career that comes with an livable wage.

For the under 18 still in grades K-12, parents should help their child(ren) by guiding them towards independence. Start by having realistic conversations on life aspirations and goals. Do not squash dreams but discuss with your child if the career they have chosen is attainable. He can’t be a professional football or basketball player if he has NEVER played the game or if he does not play he does not invest time in practicing to perfect his skills. What about your daughter? She can not be a Grammy award winner singing if she sounds like a one legged cat who has been hung up by its tail looking in the eyes of a ferocious dog. Not pretty! Or if he or she says they want to be a doctor but their math and science grades are so low you wouldn’t want them to check your pulse.

Is college for everyone? No, but a life’s plan is necessary to ensure you do not have a 30 year still living in your house working part time at a local sandwich shop. Congratulations Class of 2018. Go be great!(out of your parent’s house)~Doc Shep Speaks

Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd Twitter @getfinessed Facebook-facebook.com/fnsconsulting

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, & Artillery!

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Published: Texas Metro News-March 11, 2018

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, has once again shined a light on the lack of gun control legislature in the United States. The presenting proposals and counter proposals that the bills should have been written in pencil. Years later no resolution has transpired on the regulating of gun control to assist with preventing school shootings. No worries Americans, President Trump has provided a solution to this ongoing debate. President Trump solution is to permit teachers to carry guns inside their classroom.

As I reflect on my time as a former classroom teacher and school counselor, I feel I can honestly say if the current educators were anything like me it would not be wise to allow them to carry weapons into the classroom. As a classroom teacher, I was not very good with organization. So because I would not feel comfortable keeping a loaded gun in my classroom, the bullets would be kept in locked box with the gun. Now I placed that box and key for that matter would be the issue. If a shooter came into my classroom, what would you like for me say? “Sir, don’t move let me find the key to the box that I have my gun. Better yet, hold on sir; let me load my gun real quick. So I can shoot you.”  

Teachers already have it tough with teaching, now you want to stress them more with determining if a situation warrants pulling out a gun and taking someone’s life? Speaking of taking someone’s life. Our fearless leader, as he sees himself, feels not only should teachers be permitted to have guns in a classroom but also they should receive a monetary bonus if they elect to carry a gun into their classroom. Interesting. When it comes to school funding, lawmakers are reluctant to give salaries increases to teachers, money for textbooks, and will cut the art and music programs as a solution to save money. However, there is money in the budget to provide bonuses if they decide to be  “strapped” when teaching. If Miss Washington wants little Timmy to pay attention in math class, having a holster strapped to her waist while teaching long division will definitely keep his attention and maybe wet his pants.

Gun policy in America is needed. With mass shootings becoming so commonplace many feel Americans are becoming desensitized. Are we? We are saddened and frustrated but it is back to business as usual until the next shooting. There is no such thing as a perfect policy on this issue. However a policy that limits who can purchase guns is better than no policy at all. To the educators, parents, and students, continue to fight to be heard. The president may not hear you, but the rest of Americans do.~Doc Shep Speaks

 

Doc Shep Speaks

Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd, Founder/C.E.O FiNeSse Consulting-FiNeSse Enterprises, LLC

Twitter-@getfinessed

Facebook-www.facebook.com/fnsconsulting

http://www.fnsconsultingservices.com

 

Generation Z takes it to the street!

Texas Metro News-April 2, 2018

We continue our series on the growing concern of gun violence in America. According to Gun Violence Archives, (http://www.gunviolencearchive.org) there has been 27 mass shootings in America resulting in 19 deaths and 60 injured since the tragic shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th.  The disrespect of life continues, and many are weary that no gun control law will ever be passed in the United States.

Well look out America because Generation Z is mad as hell and they are not taking it anymore! Those troublesome teenagers have said enough is enough! Teenagers across this country have banned together to send a unified message that it is not OK to be gunned down in their schools and neighborhoods. They should feel safe in a place of academia as well as in a place of worship. Now whether they are paying attention and not on their cellular phones is irrelevant. They should feel safe in the knowledge they can ignore the teacher or preacher while playing their favorite game and not having to worry if someone is going to burst through the door and open fire.

Generation Z took it to the streets! No breakdancing battles for this group. This compulsive texting, Tide pod eating challenge, renegade teenagers scheduled school walkouts and marches? What! To see the transformation of this generation, unfold, the onlooking adults should feel a sense of pride with this group who is known for being reckless when it comes to human life. Unfortunately, Generation Z is being criticized and berated by adults. The kids’ message is very simple. They are simply saying they are done with accepting that it is okay for an individual to come into their school with an automatic weapon killing and injuring them and their friends as a means of retaliation.  

Do not get me wrong, bullying is not okay. Everyone has the right to go to school and not be harassed based on their gender, sexual orientation, appearance, etc. We can agree, bullying is bad but who’s the bully now? Grown adults have lashed out at these teenagers for using their hormonal super powers for the greater good. Instead of praising these children, narrow minded adults decided to insult their intelligence by saying there is no way this generation could pull off organizing a protest march. They go one to say other adults are brainwashing these kids to come out in support of gun policy legislation. Really? When I think of my teenage nephew, if I had the power to brainwash him to do anything I would send a message to his brain to clean his messy room or take the trash out on Fridays without an adult nagging him. Many things I would like use to my “Doc Shep powers” on with this generation but gun control legislation is not on the top of my list.

So how did these disorderly, rambunctious teenagers pull this off? Hmm. Two words “SOCIAL MEDIA “people! This is not rocket science America. Generation Z will send you a text message before talking to you and they are sitting in the same house with you. I have witnessed college students plan a party in less than 10 minutes.  You must give them credit. When they put their minds to something, positive or insane, it’s a done deal. Using their itching fingertips, Generation Z organized walk outs and protest marches using texting, Snapchat, Instagram, and even the archaic Facebook (Facebook is for “old folks” according to this group). On March 24, 2018, March for Our Lives rallies were held across the United States. Adults did not feel left out of this rally. Remember they are teenagers. They are broke! Mom and Dad did have to contribute to the cause to get the child to Washington D. C. Kudus Parents! Don’t worry, I am sure your son, daughter, or both paid you back by doing the laundry, cooking dinner, washing your car, and being an overall nice kid for a minimum of 24 hours post-rally.

It has been over 45 days since the massacre in Florida and our children are still demanding action for gun control policy. Adults, instead of criticizing this generation, how about we congratulate them on continuing to talk, scream, and of course text to ensure their message is not being lost because of their age. This will be a long process but as this generation continues to fight to be heard there are more adults listening.

For those who still do not understand why Generation Z is taking it to the streets. I shall leave you with this. While many teenagers are getting ready for prom and graduation, let us not forget the chairs that will be empty at graduation, the dinner table, family functions, because someone decided to take a gun into a school, church, or event and cut their lives short. ~Doc Shep Speaks

Dr. Felicia N. Shepherd

Twitter @getfinessed

Facebook-facebook.com/fnsconsulting

 

 

 

GHOSTS, GOBLINS, OR MEAN GIRLS!!-WHO’S WORSE??

Greetings FiNeSse Family!

Fall is officially here! I love this time of season..not to hot..not to cold. Love it! The school year is progressing nicely but this is the time that conflicts can begin to surface. During the fall season, issues between girls that have been simmering and simmering since August now explodes into World War 35! Maybe its the weather. Who knows with girls 🙂 Halloween is around the corner but I have to wonder who or what is worse, ghosts, goblins, or a ticked off teenage girl?

I know many of you work with young girls and ladies motivating them to be successful and to work through conflicts in a productive manner. TEAM! (in my coach’s voice) This is not the time to let our guards down! We have to be ready when the boiling pot explodes. Its coming…

Therefore, it is imperative to continue to keep the lines of communication open with our girls and young ladies. When you talk to the females on various issues, remember one important thing: Meet them where they are. Sounds easy in theory; however, when a young girl is crying on a topic that may seem trivial to you, it is important to remember, this “crisis” is important to her. We have to be understanding, compassionate, and most importantly restrain from using “adult language” (i.e. “It will be okay”, “Is that all”, “You are young…”) In my experience with working with girls and young ladies, this is Kryptonite to our Superman approach to Girls’ World communication.

So remember to meet them on their level in order to establish and maintain a productive line of communication.

Happy Fall!!

A Message from FiNeSse Consulting

Don’t forget to check out my book promotional webpage at www.omgnomeangirlsbook.com

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Mean Girls-The Untold Story

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a high school football game. I have not been to a game since…well I think I was in high school. (No funny comments). I could not help but to be observant of how the girls were interacting with each other. I went to the restroom, because it was clear I was not going to miss any important football action…(Score was 71 to 0) I congregated in the area I saw the most teens. As I was listening to the girls talking amongst each other, I was warm with joy to hear them talking about girly girl stuff (clothes, boys, and even school work). I saw girls just enjoying each other’s company at a high school football game. I couldn’t help myself. I walked up to a group of girls, introduce myself and told them I was author of a book about mean girls. “Cool!” “Awesome!” “Much Needed!” was the response I got from them. They were in the 9th grade.

I asked one question “How do the girls get along in your grade level?” They first was hesitate to answer my question. I said it is for research for the book. I will not use your names. This adorable Black girl said with a bubbly voice,”Oh Ok” and started talking. lol She said, “I can only speak for myself, but I think the girls are pretty good at getting along with each other here.” The others nodded in agreement. The White girl next to her chimed in and said “Yea..we have our good days and bad days but I think we get along fine.” She goes on to say, “Messy girls was at my last school but they are pretty cool here”.

I thanked them for talking with me and gave one of them my business card just so they can see I was legit and wasn’t interrogating them for no reason. 🙂

My point of this post. These are the untold stories. The stories that suggests it is possible for girls to get along. So Kudos to the girls, parents, and the school. Even though this same school bullied (joke) the poor team they were playing. I mean really, 71 to 0! That’s just cruel. 🙂

Those young girls gave me motivation and validation and they didn’t even know it. They validated why I am passionate about what I do. I want to see girls understanding how to get along with each other in a positive constructive manner. Its ok if you do not like each other. That’s ok because depending on personalities, clashes may occur. However, it is important to remain respectful towards each other. I am not asking girls to hold hands and sing “We are the World” but I definitely don’t want to see them acting out scenes from the Bad Girls Club.

Thanks freshman girls! You are ok in my book!

Message from FiNeSse Consulting

Don’t forget to check out my book promotional webpage at www.omgnomeangirlsbook.com

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