My Dream for Our Nation’s Education

During the next 80 years, I see education becoming more equitable regarding gender and ethnicity as we continue to develop and fund programs that provide skilled teachers to areas in need. I also imagine that standardized testing must shift so that students may prove what they know in a more holistic way. As more options are being provided by school districts for students to take classes online, to practice trade skills or to take dual-enrollment classes, students have the best opportunities that anyone has ever seen!

For this reason, now more than ever, teachers must be consistent and remain loyal to what we know. We know the nature of math and science, the purpose of education and how children learn. All of these things point to the Learning Cycle for being the best tool to provide new information to upcoming generations. The more schools employ teachers who are passionate in the STEM fields, the more authentic our children’s experiences will be in the classroom.

The Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) is a fantastic tool to measure teachers’ effectiveness. Teachers must be held accountable to meet these domains, and if not, measures must be taken to remediate the problems, no matter their tenure. Professional development and individual growth plans must be required for every teacher, because being a life-long learner is simply part of the profession. A teacher cannot be allowed to remain stagnant in his or her practices and remain in the same position. This will negatively impact our students, thus contributing to America’s troubles.

As far as the structure of the education system, I would ask for teachers to travel with their students for at least a three-year cycle. Speaking from a middle school perspective, so much time and effort is made to build relationships with students, only for them to move to another teacher a year later. During these trying years as a pre-teen, students would benefit tremendously if they remained with the same support system of teachers throughout their middle school career.

To ensure that these philosophies are adopted and implemented, I would provide a rigorous and robust teacher training for free to any and all who are willing to dedicate themselves to serve as a teacher. Pre-service teachers would be assigned an expert mentor teacher to observe and learn from for at least two years (similar to a doctor’s residency training). These tuition-free mentee positions would be paid minimum wage while they complete the course. This boot camp-like preparation would be the only way a teacher qualifies to take a nation-wide exam for a teaching license (similar to a board certification exam). We have to take teacher preparation more seriously and be picky about who we trust to educate our children, just like we are picky about the doctors we trust to heal our bodies.

Lastly, to prevent teacher burnout, there must be extraordinary encouragement for teachers in areas of teacher pay, paid time off, support groups, maternity leave and school funding. If this all falls into place, society will view the teacher in the same rank as a doctor and education will be on its way up!


Coralee’s Toilet Training Adventure

We started Wednesday morning, March 14. She woke me up at 8:00 in the morning shouting “Mama I have poo poo!” through the monitor. I pulled myself out of bed with sleepy eyes to find my way down the hall and into Coral’s room. After I changed an overflowing diaper, I stared at her laying there naked from the waist down. She stared back and after a few moments passed, she pointed to her diapers and said “Diaper mama!” I explained to her that starting today she was not going to wear diapers anymore. This means that she had to use her toddler-sized toilet my husband and I had purchased Black Friday (three months ago).


We practiced once in the bathroom, and afterwards I left her naked with just a shirt on. As I was changing Marae in my bedroom, Coralee told me, “Mommy I be right back!” A minute later she said “Pum here Mommy, pum here!” while waving her little hand and walking toward the restroom. I walked over, Marae in tow, looked down at her little toilet and saw yellow! She had peed all by herself for the very first time. The rest of the morning went similar to this. She only had one accident… one little puddle on the tile which was very easy to clean up. For nap time and at night I put a diaper back on but told her to try not to pee and poop in it.


Thursday morning started out the same way, with successful trips to the toilet with only one accident on her chair while eating breakfast. She squatted over the puddle on the chair and said “Mama look!” Periodically she would tell me she would be right back, and then come back to report she was “all done.” One time in the late morning Corals ran with excitement to tell me “Pum here Mommy, look!” and I got up to see. She had went #2 for the first time in the toilet and it was so exciting! Each time she went pee or poop in the toilet I would give her one Skittle, so she chose her candy and “flushed” her little toilet. I even recorded it for Daddy to see. We met Daddy for lunch, so after the morning I put a diaper on her so that we wouldn’t have accidents while we were out and about.


Friday was basically the same story as Thursday with a little difference in the afternoon. She had a very hard time falling asleep for her nap, and when she woke up after her diaper change she asked for her diaper back on. It was a long, hard day for all of us so I have in and let her wear a diaper for the rest of the day.

This adventure has barely begun, but Coralee got the hang of it quickly. Dad and Mom are going to buy her some underwear tonight for Phase Two of toilet training!

Corals Junes

I just spent some time researching teething and babies and sleep. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently – every time something is happening with the baby and I don’t know the next move, it’s Google to the rescue.

How do I know she’s teething even though I haven’t seen any teeth? Drool, and lots of it. She gnaws on anything she can reach and hold on to. She’s fussy, especially after 5pm. Research said it could take months for the tooth to emerge… 😣

Coralee was so sleepy after nursing but fussy while laying down, so she ended up taking a little snooze leaning on mom.

I have been calling her Corals because I feel it easily slips from my heart to her little ears! Her dad hears my affectionate nickname and responds with Corals Junes, since her middle name is June. It has been an ongoing joke here for about a week… we will see if it sticks.

We are in the middle of summer break and I am soaking up every moment I get to spend with her. When school starts its daycare for her and work for me.

What I enjoy most is watching her little personality emerge. She smiles all the time and even giggles with tickles. I love bathing her and dressing her every morning. She gives me the most loving smile while staring deep into my eyes when I wipe her face with a washcloth. These moments make my heart throb and force me to inhale deeply with gratitude.

Our little Coralee is a wonderful blessing and a beautiful joy! I love her with my whole heart and still have love to give. Now I know what my mom meant when she said, “You’ll feel how much I love you when you have your own daughter someday.” Wow Mom, that’s a lot of love.