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THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER

THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER

Sadness - an overbearing feeling of unhappiness. You know it’s that lump in your throat you feel before warm rivers of water run down your cheeks. Sadness is an achy heart. It’s a horrible feeling that makes you hurt all over. It’s like a bad thunderstorm going on inside your mind and every time the lightning strikes it strikes you right in the heart and makes you cry. It’s a feeling that even a cupcake won’t make feel better. That dark and gloomy feeling was the feeling I felt the night that changed my LIFE forever.... I swear my heart was pounding a million beats per minute. I tried to stay calm and as low as I could so they wouldn’t see me. We had fallen asleep in the backseat of the car playing campout. There were flashing lights everywhere, lots of red and blue lights but it definitely wasn’t the 4th of July. All I could hear was doors being slammed and guns being cocked. The sound of a gun being cocked instantly sent a paralyzing fear all over me. Nothing ever good happened when I heard that noise on the block. I kept asking myself, “What is going on? Why are the cops here? What did Mama do?” There were cops swarming everywhere. Two cops jumped out their car and ran up on the front porch. One of them banged on the door while the other officer stood there with his gun pointing straight at the door. BOOM BOOM BOOM..........”come on out with your hands up!” Kam and Russ, y’all wake up! Something bad is about to happen to Mama. Wake up now!!! We need to run and tell Big Mama that something horrible is happening. I was afraid to open the car door because I knew as soon as the cops would have seen us, they would have taken us straight to Child Protective Services and I just didn’t feel like going through all that! Before we could open the door to the car and get out, Mama came out with her hands up. She dropped to her knees and began to cry. I had never seen Mama so sad in my whole 8 years of living. They quickly cuffed her and put her in the police car. I didn’t see my Mama for another 5 years after that heartbreaking night. We finally got out the car and ran up the street to Big Mama’s house. All three of us were screaming and hollering about the police taking Mama to jail. Big Mama hugged us and that alone made us feel safe. I asked Big Mama why the police locked Mama up? She said, “Sometimes whatever the Good Lord needs to teach us comes in ways we don’t understand. Your Mama is my baby girl and I’d do anything for her to be here right now. But the Good Lord above had another plan for her and whether it seems fair to us or not, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes life isn’t fair. It’s a hard lesson for folks to learn and most people don’t have to learn it this young. Little Derrick your Mama is gonna be alright and so will you, your brother and your sister.” When my Mama got locked up it had a horrible effect on me. It was a really sad time in my life. It honestly broke me because I love my Mama so much and I just broke down when they took her away. Now I feel like I’m the care taker at 8 years old for me, my brother, and sister. Children with Parents in Prison · Many young kids who grew up surrounded by violence and poverty end up making similar mistakes · 25% of African American children will have a parent incarcerated at some point raising the risk of them entering the system themselves. · We can help stop the cycle of kids entering the system before it starts just by trying to understand where their anger, rage, and aggression is rooted. · If we can show our at risk youth that there’s another way and that they don’t have to choose the streets, then we have a chance of preserving their future. We can’t control who our parents are going to be and how they will treat us but we can control how we respond to the unpleasantries that sometimes happen in LIFE. Which road will Little Derrick take in life? Are we doing what we can to understand and emotionally support children whose parents have been incarcerated? If you know any children who live in untraditional home settings, please don’t judge them because of their circumstances. They just want to be loved, understood, and encouraged. Please love and share this short read. What are your thoughts on emotionally supporting children with these disparities? Please leave me a comment down below or at KTTEEV.COM. Feel free to also email me at LearnMrsWright@gmail.com . I’d love to hear your feedback! Who knows, you just might meet a Little Derrick somewhere along Life’s way. “People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care.” Until Next Time, Live, Laugh, & Learn With Mrs. Wright

Where Change Starts Pt.2 - Positive Self Talk!

Where Change Starts Pt.2 - Positive Self Talk!

Did you get a chance to self evaluate since we last talked? What did you find out about yourself? Have you tried to be intentional with the way you think? Is it working? Probably not and that's ok; it's a process that takes time. This post should help you be more intentional, more consistent and more open to the change. You ever notice how, that a lot of the time we are usually the hardest critic of our "mess-up"? Or how we never highlight or celebrate the little goals and achievements in the same way we celebrate the big stuff? I know I get it, we don't want to seems arrogant or boastful but trust me there is a difference. I can remember when I was in high school and I would make the honor roll, I was always so excited to get my name posted in the newsletter or the announcement board; it was a big deal and then as I got to college, I celebrated less, then once I graduated from college and transition into the workforce the celebration became even less. The focus instead become to out perform a co-worker, or to be the best sales person for the quarter and so on and so forth. There was no time to celebrate the accomplishment because I was too busy trying to figure out how to win, not that winning is a bad but I was too busy trying to strategize my next move and to hit the next achievement target. However, in this process of just trying to win, I started criticizing my achievements. I started finding everything wrong with my performance and spent more time comparing myself to the people around me. Here is the thing, you can not sustain growth and success if all you have in your thoughts are negative reflections. This is why we have to get rid of the negative self talk and replace it with positive self talk because the positive dialog is more conducive to self motivation, growth and success. Can you think back to a time in your life where you spent more time criticizing your accomplishments because you did not feel it met the standards of others? Are you still doing it? This is call negative self talk. There's a difference between self evaluation and negative self talk. This is why it is important that we self evaluate before we do anything so that we know our strengths and weaknesses and we can address them accordingly instead of using them as a weapon against our own best interest. Let's be clear, like with everything else positive self talk is not just going to happen. You have to be intentional with the change and you have to be kind to yourself as you transition from negative to positive. To help you start the process of positive self talk I'll provide some examples of how you can rephrase some of the things we mentally or verbally say to ourselves about ourselves. Remember, we spend more time with ourselves than we do we anyone else. We have to start training our minds to speak positivity over our lives. So what can we say to ourselves to help reduce negative self talk and increase and encourage positive self talk? Here are a few examples: Negative Talk - I am not good at this. Positive Talk - What am I missing to make this better? Negative Talk - This is too hard. Positive Talk - This may take more time and energy than I anticipated. Negative Talk - I can't make this any better. Positive Talk - I can always find room for improvement so I'll keep trying. Negative Talk - I never get anything right. Positive Talk - I haven't figured out how to correct it yet. Now that you have some examples to work with, start being intentional with the way you speak to yourself. Between the process of self evaluation and positive self talk you are on your way to changing your mindset. As you continue to change your mindset you will start positioning yourself for abundance. The ability to be great is within you, you simply need to nourish it so that you can Vibrate Higher!

Surviving

Surviving

I once heard my Big Mama say, “When pressure is applied to somebody’s life, a precious gem is being formed inside.” My Big Mama was always saying weird stuff like that but none of it made any sense to me. I always wondered what she meant. Little did I know that the beginning of the gem making process was about to begin for me. Hi, my name is Little Derrick but they call me Little D. I’m 8 years old. Welcome to my hood. Talk about having fun…..man we knew what having fun was all about in my neighborhood! We would hang out in the driveway watching all of the shiny cars drive through playing the latest tracks. When the beat would drop, I could literally feel my chest vibrating. I can hear the music playing now in my head, “Kiki, do you love me? Are you riding? Say you'll never ever leave from beside me.” Man I love that song! We played outside a lot at night because mama always had company. Mr. Charlie and Ms. Darlene would come over almost every day. They mostly sat around and listened to music and drank beer. Sometimes when mama would send me to the cooler to get a beer for her; she would let me pop it open and sometimes I would take a swig cause I wanted to see what the beer tasted like. LOL!! It tasted kind of nasty. It sure didn’t taste like soda pop, that’s for sure. I remember when I popped open my first can. White bubbling foam would come gushing out of the can. Mama would get mad at me when that happened and she would send us in the back room. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that I have a brother and sister. Their names are Russell and Kamryn. To be completely honest with you, it was never fun when mama had company at our house. I didn’t mind the loud music and the drinking. It was the other stuff that I hated. I could always tell when something weird was about to happen at the house cause Mr. Charlie would have those funny looking science tubes with him. You know the skinny glass tubes with the round bulbs at the end. I use to get excited when he brought them to our house because I thought him and mama were doing Science experiments. Mama said that we couldn’t participate because the experiment involved using fire and she didn’t want us to get burned. In my heart I never felt like Mama was telling me the honest truth. When they got ready to start the Science experiments she would say, “Little D, ya’ll gone in the backroom and do your homework now. Make sure Russ and Kam do all their work cause I don’t want them teachers calling me tomorrow. Gone on now and make sure ya’ll get something to eat before ya’ll go to bed.” I would try my best to make sure that we did what Mama said but we would always end up playing the game and having fun laughing and talking until we fell asleep in our clothes and shoes. We may not have had our homework done but we were already dressed for school the next day because we never got undressed like Mama told us to. Teachers have you ever had a Little Derrick in your classroom? He comes to class most days of the week with incomplete homework. He sleeps through some of your lessons. He might be aggressive and start fights with other students. He isn’t always well groomed or happy to be at school. How are you choosing to connect with this student so you can build a relationship with him? Is he scolded for not completing his homework repeatedly? Have you been forced to write him a referral because he just won’t stay awake in your class and comply with your classroom rules? Do you send him straight to the counselor’s office so they can deal with him? Or… Have you asked him, “How are you doing today? I noticed that you are sleepy a lot in class. Were you able to get enough rest last night? How are things going at home? Would you like me to help you with your homework during lunch? That would give us some special time together so we can visit. I’m here for you Little Derrick if or when you want to talk to me.” I cannot express this enough, it is utterly IMPORTANT for educators to connect and build relationships with our students who may live in environments like Little Derrick’s. We want our classrooms to be a safe haven for all students; not just the students who are complicit with our expectations. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Our students are people too. Please Love and Share this short read with other educators and parents alike who are trying to make a difference to show compassion and kindness in someone’s life. Until next time, Live, Laugh, & Learn With Mrs. Wright

Where Change Starts - Self Evaluate

Where Change Starts - Self Evaluate

What was the last thing that triggered a change in you? Did you change because you wanted to or where you force to change because of the circumstance surrounding you? Change is triggered by many actions and reactions but the reality is this, change won't happen until you have mentally acknowledge it is needed and you make an intentional effort to change your mindset. When you change your mindset you change your life. So, are you currently in a place where you think some change may be needed but you don't know where to start? In the next three post starting will this one I'll explore a few thing that can kick start your process for changing your mindset and changing your life. The first area I want to explore is SELF-EVALUATION. Why start here? Well, if change start with our mindset; wouldn't you say doing a self-evaluation is critical to the process? The answer is, absolutely. Self-evaluation will help you identify your strengths and your weaknesses. Once you understand both, you can now use this knowledge to start creating a plan to intentionally change the way you think and feel about specific areas of your life. Does this make sense? It should, but to better help you understand the process here are a few question I want you to consider: Are you ultimately living at a maximum in all areas of your life, or at least the areas that makes up the majority of who you are? Are you investing the same time and energy into the areas of your life that are important to you? Is there a balance effort? Does all the activities you do in your daily life, adding value to your existence? Be completely honest in this moment, exactly! you have been short changing yourself because of the way you think. Maybe, because of fear, or because you think someone else can do it better, maybe because the last time you tried you fail; I'm sure you have lots of reasons but would you believe me that the number one reason is simply because of the way you think? it's all a mindset? And changing your mindset start with self-evaluation; you have to be able to identify the things that are holding you back before you can change them. You can't change what you don't identify. The good news, your strengths are usually easy to identify but your weaknesses might take more time to identify. However, do not overstate or understate your weaknesses instead decide to fix them, commit to change them and most importantly implement an action plan to improve them and your mindset will follow.

Virtual Elementary Classrooms

Virtual Elementary Classrooms

Shrieking sounds of feedback from friends as they try to have conversations with one another. Screech!!…….”What’s up Johnny, you got a haircut?” Michael puts his hands over his ears because the LOUD noises are piercing. Beep, Beep…….the ADMIT button continues to pop up each time you try to greet a student. Who on EARTH is “I am Nothing??” Mrs. Brown says, “I am Nothing would you please identify yourself so that I can rename your screen.” “Mrs. Brown, I can’t hear what you are saying.” Lilly begins to cry. She can’t get her video working so her friends don’t see her. Johnny continues to repeat loudly, “Hey, can ya’ll hear me! Hey….Hey!” Margie has a princess castle as her virtual background. Hi Sarah, can you play Roblox with me after class today? Genuine Complete Chaos. 25 little voices speaking all at once. Students talking in the chat. This virtual classroom is on the verge of becoming unhinged! Mrs. Brown quickly mutes all participates. And just as soon as Mrs. Brown begins to calmly restore order to her virtual classroom………..a nude parent appears glistening with tiny droplets of water running down their forehead. Little eyes begin to widen and you start to see some smirks on kids’ faces. NOOOOOO!!!!! Could this be happening? Please NOOOO……not on our first call! Has a parent accidentally crossed the pathway of their child’s camera as they emerged from the shower?? Let’s admit it friends, stuff happens. Mrs. Brown’s little meeting participants are only 7 and 8 years old. They are very tech savvy when it comes to playing video games on a phone or their iPad but a conference call for learning is a different story. Teachers, let’s not forget that classroom rules and procedures are needed in a virtual classroom just as you would need them with Face 2 Face instruction. Here are a few important rules for students you should keep in mind: · Have a quiet space to work with a wall as your background. · Screens muted when you enter the virtual classroom · All cameras are on so your teacher can see your bright and shinning face · Please be dressed, have your supplies and be sitting upright · Use of Virtual backgrounds can be earned through appropriate virtual classroom behavior Virtual back to school has surely had its ups and downs but we have to admit as educators it has been so delightful to see all those sweet little faces entering our virtual classrooms everyday. Until next time, Live, Laugh, & Learn with Mrs. Wright VIRTUAL TEACHING IS TOUGH but so are YOU!! Please share the virtual classroom rules and procedures that are working for you. Comment down below.

The Art of Networking

The Art of Networking

“ If you believe business is built on relationships, make building relationship your business.” - Scott Stratten Why in-person business networking is critical Having a big social media following is one thing but investing in face to face networking is still more important. Why? Because it is easier to put value to and leverage access to the people you have actual in-person contact with. Meeting people face to face create a more intimate relationship with that person. Yeah, I know during this time of COVID19 it’s hard to build these types of relationships, but it is still very important. You must be creative. Well explore some ways to develop your networking skills but most importantly we want to expand those connections to business opportunities and access to audiences that you would not normally have access to. But first, let talk about how this collaboration came about for me and KTTV. Yes, of course it was networking. A friend, of a friend, of friend and it just so happen that we had similar objectives as far as community services goes. I am the administrator of a Facebook group called “Mastering Life Group Therapy” _ I’ll explain the details of the name and what the group does in another post in the future. KTTV is a part of the group and has been instrumental in posting enlightening and educational material to the forum. So, when this opportunity came up for us to collaborate on this project it was an easy “Yes.” I saw all that to say this. The art of networking. A lot of people have a hard time networking for business because they go into the event as an option for making money, this approach automatically creates anxiety. The art of networking, is kind of like dating, you go out to meet someone to see if you have anything in common and then if you do you make a determination if you want to explore the commonality further. Same with networking, not everyone will have the same values and views as you do when it comes to business, the purpose of networking is to explore those opportunities. Here are some tips that can help you ace your next networking event: The purpose is to build rapport, remember that, you are not there to negotiate a million-dollar deal. You are there to invest in gaining access to new people and new opportunity if it presents itself Be prepared to add value and expertise in your skills area. If people see you mingle and you are confident in conversation about what you do and how well you do it, you add value and people will automatically gravitate to you. This is your opportunity to establish a connection outside of the networking event to explore collaborative opportunities Do not take the networking opportunity for granted, do not assume that you will get another opportunity to have access to the people you meet at the event. Make connection, exchange contact information and most definitely schedule an appointment to discuss details of any potential business opportunity. People respect effort. Networking can help build your reputation and your influence. When people can meet you in person and feel your energy, they are more likely to trust you and want to work with you. Think smart, come prepared and leave your expectations at the door. Networking is not easy, because meeting new people is never easy but having preconceived notions about the people and the event is never a good thing. As with every business opportunity put your best foot forward and put in the effort to make a good impression

Three Innate Psychological Needs for Intrinsic Motivation

Three Innate Psychological Needs for Intrinsic Motivation

As children we loved to play and learn. We were active, curious and excited about engaging the world around us. As children this was the stage we did the bulk of our learning. To some extent as grown ups we still love to play, engage and learn. When this is done eagerly and willingly, in both children and adults, its done intrinsically. In this stage we learn the most about ourselves and our world. According to https://psycnet.apa.org/ there are "three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness—which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being". Lets begin our dive deeper into these needs and how they relate to educators by looking at the competence theory first! "The  central thesis of the theory is that individuals are attracted to  participation  in  activities  at  which  they  feel competent or capable." (https://psychology.iresearchnet.com) As education is constantly evolving and schools are taking on more and more new initiatives, it is of utter importance that leaders ensure a follow-up and feedback loop of support to all parties involved. In order for teachers and staff to stay intrinsically motivated about the task at hand, they must feel comfortable enough to take the risk but knowledgable enough to earn the reward and see the success. High perceptions of competence increase feelings of pleasure which in turn raises the amount and level of intrinsically motivated members on your staff or faculty. The competence theory of motivation is very powerful as it relates to leaders and their staff; its just as powerful for teachers and parents as we relate this theory to our students and children. What ever area or domain of life we build them up in is the area they will become more motivated to engage in and take ownership for. Please remember the opposite of this statement has the same or greater effect on staff and students. We must continually become better at being intentional about our actions and our words. "As indicated in the original Harter model, significant others, such as parents, teachers, coaches, and peers play a major role in the development of individuals’  perceptions  of  physical  competence  and effectance  motivation". (https://psychology.iresearchnet.com/) In conclusion, when focusing on creating a culture of intrinsically motivated staff members, take in mind the amount of training and time you as a leader put into ensuring their success. As a teacher or parent, be mindful of the words you use and the areas that you build kids up in. Whichever domains they see success they will own and engage in. Leaders and Educators, lets try to make this all domains for EVERYONE one step at a time. Next week we will dive more into the three psychological needs and discuss autonomy. Let me know your thoughts and let's discuss. Until then this is KT signing out. #100

Increasing Intrinsic Motivation

Increasing Intrinsic Motivation

By: Kendrick Thomas Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards according to verywellmind.com. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is naturally satisfying to you. Whenever we want to do something with no reward at all it means we are intrinsically motivated by that task. Our reward comes from some form of emotional satisfaction or better feelings on the inside of us. As educators we know that we don’t do the late nights and early mornings for the for the money. Therefore it has to be motivation inside of us that pushes us to perfect our craft on a daily basis. The factors they identify as increasing intrinsic motivation include: (verywellmind.com) Challenge: People are more motivated when they pursue goals with personal meaning and when attaining the goal is possible but not necessarily certain. These goals may also relate to their self-esteem when performance feedback is available. Curiosity: Internal motivation is increased when something in the physical environment grabs the individual's attention (sensory curiosity). It also occurs when something about the activity stimulates the person to want to learn more (cognitive curiosity). Control: People want control over themselves and their environments and want to determine what they pursue. Cooperation and competition: Intrinsic motivation can be increased in situations where people gain satisfaction from helping others. It also applies to cases where they are able to compare their own performance favorably to that of others. Recognition: People enjoy having their accomplishment recognized by others, which can increase internal motivation.

Creating Intrinsic Motivation in People!

Creating Intrinsic Motivation in People!

By: Kendrick Thomas Why do we do anything in life? Is it to receive reward and recognition for everything, or is it related to our internal wiring which states we do things simply to appease ourselves? Some people would argue both! We do all things as a result of either being extrinsically motivated (outside of us) or intrinsically motivated (inside of us). Some even at the same time. When it comes to exercise, I do it because I want to look good, but I also exercise because I worry about heart disease and associated illnesses. In Shreveport La, during my time growing up, and coming from my neighborhood or side of town, I did not run into a lot of college graduates. A lot of the knowledge I have now, my drive and ambition, and my willingness to fail to learn comes from wanting to be better within myself or intrinsically. As I started school and moved away from Shreveport La, relying on this same intrinsic motivation worked for me simply due to the fact I’ve seen both sides of the coin. I’ve seen the world of working in a career that I love and I’ve seen the world of eat what you kill. Needless to say which one I am intrinsically motivated to never go back to. When I talk to kids, I always tell them find something to do for a career they would do for free! After reading information about extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation, I ask the question is there anything we would really do for free? Throughout this blog I’m going to take time to learn about intrinsic motivation and how we raise that level in others. Once a week I’ll share some of my research, tips, links and pages so that I can pass this information on to other leaders and professionals within my reach. I encourage readers to weigh in on subjects and respond. If you have a different viewpoint by all means please share your thoughts. Debate and discourse is always welcomed.-Kendrick