Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak

dae6476eb70f5a6fc578aba9c4c568dbFaith. Faith. Faith. No, it isn’t a typo. I meant to type it more than once because I have grown to have to be reminded that faith is what I used to lack and still sometimes chip away at when life’s circumstances spring forth. Again, God gives me the flow I need to write and He tends to speak to me through the word delivered by the man of God I sit under. It’s uncanny! I’ve written great stuff prior to ever knowing of this ministry, but now it’s like new life has been breathed into a gift God gave me so long ago.

“Living Hands Free” was the title of the message. I’ve heard a plethora of sermons on having faith, believing in God, let God handle it and so on and so on. I sat there and listened. I sat there and made a mental declaration that from here on out, I’m going to let God do what God does in His time. I sat there and LIED! It was more like, “God, I’ll let you do what you do for a little while, but if things don’t change, I’ll take over from that point. Thanks but no thanks.” How DARE I say that to the only sovereign God! Over and over again, God has shown the power He has, and it’s just an inkling of the power He REALLY has. He saved my and my son’s life from a fiery car crash by sending medical professionals to the scene of the accident who were just passing by (miracle). I used to be afraid to get out my car and go into work because I was afraid I’d have a panic attack. God brought me out of that. I could name other “But God” moments in my life, but this blog post would be extremely long.

ee6b2421cce4cdca9a7a0c9302b003f0There are truly things in our lives that we have no control over, but we will try to the bitter end to take the reins. We get tired and then go to God to say, please take over. The thing is we never HAD to take the reins. God didn’t ask for our assistance, but what He will do is let you do your thing, fail miserably, yet still love you enough to pick it back up for you. True faith is never putting your hands in it, but I’m confessing. I’M A CONTROL FREAK. This blog post is a Control Freak’s Anonymous group. My name is Vyce and I’m a control freak. The group responds, “Hi, Vyce.” Allow me to tell you how much having control of a situation meant to me.

I’m not saying I’m some obnoxious, bossy, mean girl. What I am saying is while I love God and believe in Him, I don’t WAIT for Him. I believe faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I believe we should speak things that be not as though they were. BUT…I may believe it’s true but I don’t trust it when it’s time to live it. Not until the “Living Hands Free” message, did I truly take a long look at myself and where my faith stood.

On May 19, 2006, my daughter, Triniti Lauren, was stillborn. There was nothing I could do…and I mean nothing. Pregnancy is one of those things that you might can control it happening but once the seed is planted, it’s out of your hands. After suffering this devastating loss, I was done. God? Where was God? Where was He when my child was fighting to breathe? I’ll take control of this and make it so I don’t have to have faith to believe I could have a successful pregnancy and delivery. When I developed fibroids, I could have just had them removed and tried again; however, I opted for a hysterectomy because then I knew I’d NEVER have to endure that pain again. You see, I took control of the situation and wasn’t going to allow faith to interfere. In the midst of this tragedy, my fearful and faithless decision, God was creating a path for a very special little boy to come into our lives by way of adoption. My faith was at ground zero and God still saw fit to bless me and show me He had a plan all along.

I haven’t had a steady paycheck since October, 2015. I gave my job a 30-day notice. In the back of my mind, I was thinking,”Ok, God has 30 days. 30 days is enough time.” I was giving GOD a deadline! I was riding home with a dear sister from church and we were discussing this. She said, “And even if He doesn’t come in 30 days, He’s still God.” I agreed but was secretly hoping and praying He would come through in those 30 days. What a testimony of “faith” that would be! Well, 30 days came and went. 60 days came and went. 90 days came and went. 120 days came and went. 150 days have come and gone. I still don’t have a job. A couple things…

  • Faith without WORKS is dead. Yea, I believed God would bring me a new job and bless my business financially, but I had no true plan of action. I didn’t know without a faith-without-works2
    shadow of a doubt what I was called to do.
  • We don’t tell God what to do, when to do, how to do. The bible says in Matthew 8:27 “What kind of man is this that even the winds and waves obey him?” Part of the hook in James Hall’s song “God is in Control” is “God can do just what He wants!”

God could have opened up the window of opportunity in those 30 days, but that wouldn’t have strengthened my faith. I would have had my chest out as if God did what I said and met MY deadline. God had a different method. He had to break me to make me live hands free. He provided for us being that we went from a two-income household to one. When I took my hands off it and got to work, the phone rang for 1st and 2nd interviews. People are calling me to do freelance social media and creative multimedia work. Every little bit is God’s doing. I came to understand what my calling and purpose is – I am an educator in all I do. I love to train people and see the lights come on when something I taught them becomes a little more clear. I enjoy making a difference and an impact through my writing and social media. That’s what I’m called to – to educate and enlighten others as well as invoke their imaginations through written word. Had I not taken my hands off, I would have never come to discover this and own it.

I have some other personal situations that only God can handle. Getting in God’s way is only going to delay His work. He continues to work on me and through me because Vyce is the only person I can control. Changing yourself internally will change your external environment. I’m stronger than I ever thought I was because I’m learning one day at a time to live hands free. I titled this blog post “Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak” because it is a daily decision. I like to know that I have things together in the way I want, but God doesn’t work that way. He will shake all you knew to be together in an effort to get you to worship Him, His way and His will. Our flesh wants to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, and God will let you do that. He’s not pushy or invasive, but when your T is an X and that I comes just short of that dot, God will be there to pick up the pieces. I thank Him for covering and loving me through all my hands on living. Faith in God with an assist from me is not faith. I get it. I got it. One day at a time, I’m recovering.e87152a7cbeb2c3262d51598e1de52d5

A Friend Indeed?

il_340x270.446304490_tu9iDuring the month of February, my pastor did a teaching entitled “REALationships.” In it, he quoted Proverbs 17:17, and it is from this premise that I’m writing this blog post. Before I get into what’s on my mind and heart, let me give this disclaimer – this is my blog, my space of expression. The tag line is “writing when there’s something to say” for a reason. Life happened and I didn’t have anything to say about anything for a while. Nothing was flowing and no new ideas were springing forth. Words can’t roll out of a clouded mind – at least not for me, so I’ve been silent. However, during this written silence, I sat under this teaching and my mind started to get clearer on this idea. So here goes…

As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that we throw around the word friend like loose change. It has no meaning to some. During the “REALationships” series, pastor said a lot of what I’ve been thinking and have had conversations with real friends about. You can’t have friend degrees and categories. You do for this one but that one is kinda ok; this one you’ve known forever but that one you’re still feeling out; this one I can tell stuff to and that one not too much. On it goes. The truth of the matter is whoever you’re crowning in the friend court is really just an associate or acquaintance; colleague or neighbor; basically – someone you know of but not someone you’d “loveth at all times” because that would make them a friend when in fact, that’s not what they are to you nor you to them. Let’s be real.

Even if you have been the Proverbs 17:17 kind of friend to someone, you may have missed the memo that that’s definitely not what they are to you. Case and point, when the “friend” calls you or texts with a request, no matter what the request is, a Proverbs 17:17 friend will drop everything to meet the need. When the reverse takes place, you have to check your phone to see if you put it on mute because there’s no ring, no ding. Did the battery die by chance? When life hits you hard and all you need is a listening ear, the “friend” rejects to voicemail, yet you will awake from your sleep at 3am to listen through their tears and cries for understanding. If your car breaks down, I pray you have enough strength to push because the “friend” won’t even call AAA for you because they will miss your call or simply ignore it. Get the picture? Yes, you missed the memo.

One thing that I believe strongly is if I call you friend, that’s exactly what you are. However, it’s very hurtful when you do all you can for them and your thank you is their “busy”ness. You support them in every way you can, and when you need just a pinch of the same support, they’re silent and nowhere to be found. It doesn’t matter to me if I met you two months ago or twenty years ago. I don’t pick and choose with my loyalty. It’s a very important quality – loyalty, and when it’s abused or unappreciated, it dissolves. No, I won’t be petty and blast you all over social media or verbally to mutual friends, but what I will do is nothing – meaning, I have nothing for you; bye; it’s been real.

We must be ever so careful who we deem friend. Your true Proverbs 17:17 friends are few and far between. Pray for discernment because folk will try to squeeze the blood out your friendship turnip and before you know it, you’re dry and they’re all filled up with your free flowing goodness. A REALationship in the form of friendship isn’t always one where you talk every day or hang out all the time, but as the scripture says, it “loveth at all times and born for adversity.” I take that to mean no matter what, love abides in a true friend. In good or bad times, up and down times, celebrations and corrections – love abides in a true friend. Tears and fears, distance and time, hype and hoopla – love abides in a true friend. We can’t place high expectations on others based on our personal character traits. Not everyone has your heart. Not everyone is going to give back the same level of loyalty you give them. Such is life. Watch the actions of others, not the speech.

 

2015…BYE!

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While I’m totally thankful for every day of life God granted me in 2015, I must admit that I’m glad to see a new year dawning because the first half of 2015 is a blur and the last half was just one aggravation after another with glimmers of light here and there. However, this blog post isn’t a pity party, it’s my lessons and insights moving forward into the coming year and beyond. I like lists, so that’s how I’ll approach this particular blog post.

  1. Who matters? Mike and Xavier Johnson…all others take a ticket and wait. For years, I chased after external things and neglected the two fellas who love me the most next to God that is. My first priority is to my home and the two guys in it – period. Building a strong family unit is important to me and those two are my family unit.
  2. I laid my daughter to rest. She’s in my heart and not a day goes by that I don’t miss her, but the reality is God prepared Xavier for us and His will was done. It is finally well with my soul.
  3. I will be prioritizing my life a LOT better in 2016, and some folk may find that they hear, “No” more often than not. I’m truly not trying to be mean or all about the money, but folk drain you and think what they have for you to do takes precedence over what you have to do for yourself. To THAT, I’m saying no.
  4. FREE is not something I will allow going forward in my business. I launched VMJ Media Group in July and I thank God for the guidance of a great brand manager to get me to this point. I, however, allowed the free work I do to completely overtake building my brand and my business.
  5. I know who’s in my corner and who’s not. Nuff said…
  6. I can’t praise God enough for placing people in my life who truly help me be a better VYCE. Not a better business owner or technology specialist or whatever – I’m grateful for them too, but when you have people who challenge you to be your authentic self and change – hold on to them and hold on tight! When you’re a better you, then being better at other things comes with the territory most times.
  7. The truth can be heavy and I’ve had to cry a lot, but at the end of the day, it’s still the truth and the bible says it will set you free. Thank God for freedom.
  8. When you talk to God, He will listen. When you ask to hear from God, He will speak. Sit in silence and listen to Him! #thatisall
  9. Depression tried it, but I was delivered from that. No more and I mean it. It’s a daily decision.
  10. Loyalty is of major importance in my life. If you can’t be loyal, then I need not have you in my space. I tend to be a very loyal friend, family member, or customer.
  11. I knew it before, but in 2015, it became all too real – God will NOT leave you nor forsake you.
  12. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:7) Pastor said in a sermon that if God gives you a vision, then He also gives the grace to carry it out. Amen to that!

Moving into 2016, I have nothing but a praise and a thankful heart. While 2015 was a challenge on many fronts, I’m still here. I look to 2016 and beyond with peace, hope and a renewed mind. Happy New Year to everyone!

A Few Unknowns about VMJ

  I realize that while you may know what I do, I’ve never really shared much about myself outside of the normal stuff like marital status, if I have kids, and things of the sort. I would like to take time in this blog post to share some little known fun facts about VMJ. Enjoy and don’t judge me! 🙂

  • I LOVE high top sneakers (Jordans to be specific). They’re comfortable and give great ankle support. If they could make them for every occasion, I’d wear them for every occasion. I’m so serious.
  • I’m not a girly girl, so the whole dress up thing isn’t my bag, but I like to be cute, so I will bring the fierce if and ONLY IF wearing jeans, sneakers and a nice blouse are inappropriate for the occasion. Don’t get me wrong. I always look nice; just not overly dressed and accessorized.
  • Starbucks is a drug habit for which I’m NOT seeking help, nor will admit I have a problem because I don’t. #thatisall
  • Cows scare the crap outta me. They’re too big – those eyes and that gigantic mouth!
  • In addition to cows, I will break down in hard tears if I see a rodent scurrying across the floor.
  • Add to the animal list lizards and frogs.
  • My son and I survived a car crash in which my vehicle flipped several times before landing tires up and catching on fire. God is good!
  • I have never been to Six Flags over Georgia or over anywhere else for that matter.
  • I hate being late for things, but am a bad judge of time. For example, if I have to be somewhere that takes me a half hour to get there, I will leave in exactly 30 minutes before time – not factoring in getting in the car, traffic, quick stop for gas – which brings me to my next bullet.
  • Stopping to get gas is just the worst to me, so I hardly ever stop to get any. I will ride the fume train until it gives out. It has given out a few times, and nothing like getting told all the way off by your friends who think you’re having real car trouble just to discover you didn’t put gas in the car. Thank GOD for cars that warn you! Great will be the day when I pay attention to my car’s warning and beeping gas icon.

I think it’s important that people have some inside information about you to show your human side. I’m not all social media and writing biz. I’m a normal girl with a few eccentricities. I love what I do and sharing it, but I also love getting to know people in their true form outside of the what they do.

What you do and who you are is very different. These bullets are a part of my “who” – funny and not so funny, miracles and triumphs, phobias and sneaker fettish – all of it. So tell me, who are YOU? It’s nice to meet you in advance.

 

“A Christmas Fix” Character Sketches

Since last week and this month, I’ve been focused on developing characters, I thought I would blog about a current group of characters I’m working with. Most people listen to a sermon and take notes for review later in the week. I, on the other hand, listen and wonder how can this message be heard on stage with a colorful cast of characters. I suppose this isn’t typical behavior but for a writer, a creative writer at that, it’s absolutely normal! Writing stage plays tops my choices of the types of writing I prefer to do. There’s something about writing words and watching what you write come to life on stage. It’s an amazing feeling and I give God all the glory for this gift.

“A Christmas Fix” was born out of a sermon series my pastor taught last year entitled “Trace It. Face It. Erase It.” That series helped me to understand that the way I am and others are isn’t by sheer happenstance. You can’t change what you don’t confront. Once you know and accept the root of a situation, circumstance, character flaw or whatever, you can then move toward change. In the midst of this series, the cast of characters I used for a previous play was reborn in brand new way. I had to repaint them, if you will, and create new sketches. When writing for a stage production, character development is even more important because you’re going to have different people becoming the characters you created. If you don’t choose wisely, the message you’re trying to send could be lost. An audience will meet these characters along the way through promos or short excerpts, or they could be meeting them for the first time while perusing the playbill or program. Either way, the synopsis you give them need to match what they see.

Chelsea Marie Knowlton-Powers is the successful CEO of PowerUp Electronics. In the previous play, she was an executive at another company and was so focused on her work that she almost lost her husband. In “A Christmas Fix,” you find more of the same, but then there’s an antagonist added to the mix that makes a tight situation even tighter. She has to look into her backstory and understand who she is and more importantly why she is before her world comes crashing down to a point where it can’t be rebuilt.

Ricky Powers is Chelsea’s husband. A prominent attorney in his own right, there’s nothing he won’t do for his wife. He had a great example growing up of how a husband treats his wife. What he doesn’t know is he’s in a fight for his marriage that he is completely unaware of because he was gone away on business. He has to find a heart of understanding, forgiveness and unconditional love when dealing with Chelsea. At the same time, there’s a different antagonist, so to speak, in his ear.

Kerri Hastings is the Senior VP of Marketing at Chelsea’s company and is also her best friend. We all need at least one friend like Kerri. She’s going to tell you the truth no matter what you think of that truth. She will also be there when you fall in a completely nonjudgmental manner. What you won’t do, however, is try to get one over on her. She values her friendship with Chelsea and tries to give her fair warning when she sees impending disaster. Even though her friend doesn’t heed her advice, she’s still there with a shoulder, an ear and more advice that now you best take. She’s beautiful, smart, and corporate with a touch of hood.

Emmanuel “Man” is also an attorney who works with Ricky. He’s Ricky’s best friend and a happy bachelor. His entire game is keeping a few women in the “rotation” so he never has to commit to any one of them. Amazingly none know of the others – we hope! Because his family dynamic was more different than Ricky’s, he didn’t see the need to be tied down to a wife because his own dad wasn’t. When trouble hits, he’s there like a friend should be, but he’s like the buzzing in the ear. You don’t want it there but you will hear it.

When creating these characters, as they are the main ones, it was important that they each had backstories and a clear visual. If you’re picturing a player like Emmanuel, you don’t see an unattractive man. You don’t want to like him, but you do because he’s so alluring and pleasing to the eye, for sure. Because the entire story is coming from the standpoint of the sermon series main ideas, it was also important that the viewer (since this is a play) understand where these characters fall in the overall message being conveyed. That can’t happen if I don’t fully develop the lead characters. There are supporting cast members in this production as well.

Harris Parker, III “Cash”is the CEO of Mindmatters and is preparing to partner with Chelsea’s company on a huge business deal. He’s suave, smooth, wealthy, and very handsome in a slightly eccentric sort of way. He meets Chelsea for coffee while she’s on a business trip unbeknownst to her. When they meet again, it’s in her boardroom and everything moves from there!

Chelsea’s parents, Jack and Mattie, love their daughter. Her mother is a nurturer who demands respect and has no problem getting it. Her father is supportive and little rough around the edges. He just wants to enjoy his wife in their empty nest. Being a part of their only child’s drama is not his idea of a good time. Mattie, on the other hand, has to deal with Chelsea and her own husband, whom she loves dearly, but at the same feels compelled to see to the well being of her daughter even though she knows she’s wrong.

Chelsea’s granny, Jamesetta, rounds out the cast. She’s the resident keeper of all things holy. If it’s prayer you need, she got it. If it’s anointing oil you need, she has that too. If it’s a good lashing you need, yep, she got that on lock as well. She doesn’t look or act like any typical granny. She’s upright, fiesty, and youthful.

If this were a book, I would make it my business to make you “see” this cast in every possible way. In these short character sketches, I give enough to go on so that if you see this performed, you’d say, “Oh yea! That’s how I pictured Kerri to sound and behave! Humph, that Chelsea is a piece of work. Yesssss, that Ricky is some kind of fine.” Great character to reader or viewer connections start with great character sketches.

 

Reflections of a Thankful VMJ

  

Today we sit to celebrate all that we’re thankful for. Our families will be milling around the house, and they dare not touch anything in the kitchen if they don’t have experience doing “real” cooking because such is the requirement for Thanksgiving. At any rate, I thought I would blog about my lifelines; translation my friends and family. I also want to make special mention of some new folk in VMJ land. Not that I don’t have several people I could name, I’m gonna be specific on a few.

My parents – I have the absolute BEST parents in the world! I’m thankful that God has preserved their health and they live active lives going on trips without telling their children and such (lol). I couldn’t ask for more supportive parents, and their only grandchild couldn’t have better grandparents. Who else goes to the grocery store in preparation for their grandson’s visit and asks him what he wants and GIVES him what he wants just to send him home to be reprogrammed. Thanks ma and da!

My brother and sister – For YEARS, we did nothing but argue and seemingly fight to the death, but what you won’t do is mess with my brother. We probably didn’t actually talk like we “have sense” until we were grown, and oddly enough we both share the same techyness! My sister and I are years apart in age and at different places in life, but I do love her and want nothing but the best for her, and if she doesn’t call me more, we’re going to have problems and situations. Just sayin…

My relatives – My side of the family can be nosy, pushy, a hair controlling, and nosy (yes, I said it twice), but when it comes to loving you, there’s nothing like them. I’m thankful for their support, advice  (solicited or not) and humor.

My besties – They know who they are and they know I love them dearly. We may not call each other every day, but if one calls, the others are coming. We balance each other better than a seesaw.

My church – I’m a LIFER and proud of it! I’m thankful for Kingdom Life. I have grown so much in this ministry. My relationship with God has been strengthened and I’m forever grateful for the people who have entered my life as result of being a part of this body of believers.

I’m thankful for my business, VMJ Media Group, and the person responsible for branding it, Tamika L. Sims. I probably fought her more than followed her, but in the end, what I have is an amazing brand with room to be even greater as I continue to discover who VMJ is. I have something to offer that is useful and much needed. I have the ability to educate others on the importance of leveraging social media and helping them to get it done. I tell stories in my plays and novels that pull viewers and readers in to the lives of the characters. I never thought I had that or at least not what the masses would deem worth it. VMJ is no longer the girl who just wanted a new logo. She’s helping individuals and businesses tell their story via print and social media and that far outreaches a logo. She’s writing books, blog posts, social media posts and plays. That goes so much further than a pretty logo. I get it!

MY FELLAS! I can’t leave out my husband. We are complete opposites but I’m thankful we love each other through it. We have our ups and downs, and we aren’t perfect by any means, but there’s something to be said when you stick it out and watch how God works it out. I’ve gained a new appreciation for my husband, and for that alone, I’m thankful. Xavier, affectionately known as Sir in social media land, is our gift from God. Some choose various ways to grow their family, and after the loss of our precious daughter, we decided to grow ours through adoption. It was one of the single best decisions we have ever made! This child was MADE for us. He couldn’t have been anyone else’s child but ours.

The bible says in ALL things give thanks. That “all” includes the good, the bad and the ugly. My life is not all roses, but for every bit of it – every tear, every gut chuckle, every up and down – I thank God! Every day of is a day to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Be grateful!

American Education Week – School to Parent Digital Connections

 

c39d84a24912e61993130d4c70554db5_originalIt’s American Education Week. It’s a week dedicated to those who make an impact on the education of our children. The village consists of more than your child’s teachers and administrators, and this week gives the flowers, so to speak, to all who have a hand in your child’s education. I was in a traditional classroom setting for 13 years and a technology coach in a school for a year and half. I’ve seen the ways in which schools communicate with parents change drastically over time.

The above illustration was on a site for a product schools could use to digitize their communication with parents. However, I found it to be a great illustration of how many schools try to communicate with parents and how most parents would prefer to get pertinent information. This blog post is about school to parent digital communication. I’m going to offer tips to help you either enhance what you’re doing or implement a new method of communication. For parents, I’m going to offer you some helpful information as well to become a more active participant in the life of your child the student.

Many schools now have digital means of checking grades or sharing important information. On the flip side, while I was employed in a very technology rich district here in SC, the school I worked in was made up of many families who were less fortunate with a heavy free/reduced lunch population. Because of this, the school was hesitant to utilize technological means to communicate because the assumption was that parents will not have access to it.

Today, I challenge you to reconsider your expectations. If you have none, then there’s nothing for parents to strive to reach and/or exceed. When a standard is set, with proper training and preparation, I believe that most will get on board with the vision. In teacher preparation at Winthrop University, we were taught that high expectations should be present for every student who walks into our classrooms. If you enter into a school year with the attitude of what students can’t or won’t do, then that’s exactly what you’ll get from them even if they could do more. The same is true for adults. Even though there was a high percentage of households in the school I was in who didn’t have internet access in the home, they would find a way to make sure they stayed abreast of what was going on with their student(s) if that was the expectation of the school. Libraries have free wifi. Parent may have access to wifi at work, or they could use their mobile data. My point is to give them the opportunity. Let’s examine a few ways to open the doors of your school or classroom so parents, whose schedules do not always permit their physical presence in the schools can still be a part of their student’s school life. Effective communication tools are vital.

Tip 1 – Create school social media.

Even if some parents don’t have internet in the home, they have cell phones and have access to social media. Create a school Facebook page and post the great things going on in your school or classroom. Share important announcements via Twitter. Post images or short clips of events, field studies, or lessons via Instagram. The possibilities are endless. As a parent, my schedule doesn’t always allow the opportunity for me to be with my son, but through his teacher’s blog and other digital means, I don’t feel left out of approximately 40 hours a week of his life.

Tip 2 – Digitize the school newsletter.

Let’s face it. Paper gets stashed under some mail or accidentally thrown away or intentionally thrown away. The average parent today gets their child from school and no, they don’t go straight home. There’s karate, soccer, dance, cheerleading, basketball, football, church, and a myriad of other extracurricular activities. At what point, do you think they are going to take out a piece of paper and read? Create a school blog. It’s an excellent tool for displaying the school newsletter. Parents can read it on the go without having to wonder where they put that piece of paper.

Tip 3 – Calling posts, text messages and email lists still work.

Sometimes, I think my son’s school has TOO much to say. I get a phone call, text, email, blog post from the school AND his teacher! I almost want to say enough already, but I  have grown to appreciate all the various facets of their communication strategy. You have access to parent emails and phone numbers (most of which are mobile). Use them. I may not have time to listen to a recorded message, but my voicemail picks it up. If I don’t get it that way, an email will come through with the message in text form. The key is to find us where we are.

For Parents

Now for parents, here are some ways you can be an active participant in your child’s education even if you can’t physically be in the school every time the opportunity presents itself.

Tip 1 – If your school district uses a parent portal like PowerSchool, create an account for yourself.

In Richland School District 2, here in SC, PowerSchool is a system where you can track your child’s attendance, grades, graduation credits, etc. Gone are the days where we don’t know until weeks into the marking period that our student(s) is not performing well in a particular subject area. I’m able to see his progress as often as his teacher updates it, and if it isn’t updated, I have the right to call and inquire on when it will be. This is an excellent resource to open the lines of communication between parents and teachers.

Tip 2 – If your school sends pertinent information via email, text or voicemail, make sure your information stays up to date in the school system. 

Your email should be one that you check often. I have all my emails on my phone so I don’t miss anything. If you change phone numbers, let the school know as soon as possible. Emergencies happen, and I have worked at three different schools in the same district and have witnessed serious incidents unfold and no one has current contact information for the parent. For general communication purposes, keep all contact information current. Wonderful events are going like Veteran’s Day programs, Black History Month assemblies, sporting events, and school pageants. You can’t always count on your student to relay the information, so having current contact information keeps you in the loop.

Tip 3 – If your child’s school is using social media, like their page or follow them.

How cool is it that even though you had to work, you were still “present” at your son or daughter’s school assembly he or she had a part in? How proud would you be to watch the graduation of your child because you’re overseas? How important would it be to know right away via tweet that busses are running, so your child may not be at the bus stop as early as expected? Inclement weather is approaching, so school is closing early. That kind of information is needed immediately. Social media can give you immediately. Social media opens up the doors of a school or classroom and allows you entry for those special moments in your child’s life.