By now, I hope you’ve viewed my Facebook Live Streaming video posted on my Facebook Fan Page @ Books That Sow: Strength, Character & Diversity. I spoke about Telling vs. Tattling from the perspective of a “constructive” critique received from a great grandmother who purchased my little rhyming book on bullying titled, “Teacher, Teacher, Can’t You See?”
I have not identified the reviewer, as it is not my goal to embarrass anyone, but I really feel if people believe, especially when a child is being bullied, telling is tattling, this topic needs more attention.
My goal is for us to exchange friendly dialogue/discourse about this topic. Let us share our thoughts and perhaps experiences as we attempt to unlock the true meaning and perhaps differences in these two terms.
Of course, you do not have to agree with me. We can agree to disagree, but if you have viable, usable suggestions and recommendations, please share it with us. The goal is to help children with bullying issues of all kinds.
From the Reviewer
“I am sorry, but I want to give constructive feed back. I looked forward to this book, and purchased it, could not use it. A student cannot just run to teacher and tattle, and the child gets counseled. And not everyone will go to your website and look up what to say or do.
This book should encourage children how to not take “bullying” personal, how to understand the person who bullies and how to preserve their self-esteem in the rat race of life. How they react to the bumps in life as a child sets the stage for how they will view life’s difficulties as an adult. They have to learn to keep their dignity throughout difficulties. And, not every school has enough counselors for every child who needs it. Too many students, no aides, no money for supplies, and we do need to support our teachers better. It is a subject that needs discussion, but this book falls short. Sorry.”
My Response to the Reviewer (titles added later for purpose of blog post clarity):
Just as any author, I love constructive feedback.
I am happy you purchased my book, but sorry you found it no use, as many do.
Although most educators and parents do not encourage tattling, rather problem solving techniques, bullying behaviors has grown in leaps and bounds with national attention, so I’m not sure if we’d want to scorn our children, and label them tattlers for gaining the attention of teachers sooner than later.
Here’s what anti-bullying advocates encourage
Most anti-bullying advocates plead with children to gain assistance earlier on. By doing so, these negative and unwarranted behaviors are “nipped in the bud” sooner than later.
Too, intervention may save many heartaches, allow more time in our classrooms for actual teaching/learning, and decrease nuisance behaviors on contact, and by ALL means decrease the most alarming issues facing the negative effects of bullying behaviors (as statistics has alarmingly shown us these days) = SUICIDE.
Some children come to school with “baggage” and anger stemming from all sorts of home, and/or personal issues. We do not get to choose our students. The bully does choose a victim they find weaker (as many believe).
So, yes. Most anti-bully advocates teach children to alert a friendly face, speak-up and tell a school official just as soon as possible. If we do not know, we cannot begin our intervention processes helping both children with their needs as relative to the bully and bully-ee (victim).
Yes, the Bully does need help: It’s not the victim’s role to fix the bully
The bully does need so much love, social skills, counseling and redirecting, but why place this monumental chore on the victim? When someone is being bullied (physical, verbal, religious, cyber, and more), most times it gets personal, so I beg to differ.
It isn’t a child’s job, or concern to figure out why another child chooses to physically (in most bullying forms) hurt them. It is the adult’s job – beginning with the bully’s parents.
Were you aware, (I typed reviewer’s name here), children as early as kindergarten get bullied? How does this child begin to unlock the many convoluted threads of bullying, along with the possible antecedents which causes another child to bully them? Most young children are eager to come to school for learning, making new friends and bonding with their new teachers.
Encouragement/Empowerment to Children
In addition, we need to teach children not to be afraid to speak-up whenever they’ve had enough pain and abuse, and need our assistance. Children should not be made to feel ashamed, or weak for gaining assistance. Children deserve to attend bully-free schools.
Also, anti-bullying advocates (like me) are known for encouraging by-standers not to turn their heads when they see a peer being bullied. Who knows, they may save a dear life. We want to encourage our children it is okay to seek help. This is another great lesson in life. This encouragement also teaches our little girls not to remain in abusive relationships (a topic for another forum).
We often preach tolerance. To me, it depends on what one is being asked to tolerate. Bullying behaviors should not be tolerated.
Of course we want to empower our children along the way, and build self-esteem. This does help them get through tough times. Some children may never need adult assistance with bullying. While that is great, some others may need help.
By the way, I have been a public school educator for the past 34 years, and an Adjunct Professor for the past 8 years, so I am the last person who wishes to discredit a teacher. Trust me!
But, I also have lots of experience, have observed lots of teachers, and what trumps it all is I am a devoted mother. My own child has experienced being bullied, and it didn’t feel good to me as a parent.
Although we have many wonderful teachers in our classrooms, we have a few who are not worthy of teaching anyone’s child. Another topic for another occasion – There are teacher bullies as well.
Story-line of “Teacher, Teacher, Can’t You See?”
I think you failed to grasp the full meaning of my story. The little boy was overly excited to begin school. He and Johnny started off as friends, but then Johnny’s bullying began. The story-line emphasized in “Teacher, Teacher, Can’t You See?” realizes the young child crying out for help. He just needed his teacher to take notice.
So many times teachers get busy and have tunnel vision. They are stressed-out attempting to get their test scores up because they need their “bread and butter” like each of us. Their livelihood is just as important as their supervisor’s livelihood – the people who evaluates their teacher effectiveness each year, but those test scores must shine.
With this in mind, teachers need to teach, but they sometimes do not realize bullying acts going on in their classrooms around them.
Budget Cuts: No School Counselors and Support Staff on our Campuses
I realize there are school officials tasked with making difficult decisions how best to spend their allotted funding from the state and district budgets. There are a few who decide (as per what their stakeholder climates suggest) if they will have a counselor, or nurse available on their campuses for students. Although most elementary schools employ both, some district officials are plagued with choosing which is needed the most. Trust me, however, whenever a child needs any of these two, principals and school administrators are trained when to call for assistance (back-up).
Going to my website is an added choice – an option – just another resource made available of the many out there. I not only offer people (fans) visit my website, I also stream live with various topics on bullying, diversity and related topics. There are many resources available out there. Authors love to give fans choices.
What some few critics fail to understand is this: Authors like me have many stories in our heads. We write from various experiences, but cannot possibly write all our books in one setting. This book took another angle that many appreciate.
Additional Note from Me
This reviewer responded back to me saying I should have expanded the story giving uneducated parents, or caregiver options. She went on to say children need to learn how to deal emotionally with a very complex, and often cruel world, stand on their own two feet, deal with the bumps of everyday life, and even away from the protected home, or school environment. She also said her great grandson needed bullying assistance in a different way, so my book was of no help for their family situation.
My Final Note to Viewers and Fans
While not everything this reviewer said was bad, she had a few great points, but she missed the story-line point of this one little book (of many I’ll write from varying standpoints about bullying), and failed to realize that sometimes children just need to tell someone.
Children should know its okay to speak-up and out in an attempt to seek help, if they need to. They should realize they’re not alone and should not be intimidated or made to feel they are tattle-tales
for not enduring bullying abuses of any kind.
Bullying is real, and so is Suicide.
My Goals for Writing Various Story-lines
My goal for writing books with multiple story-lines centered on bullying and diversity issues is to make every child feel comfortable in their environments. Children must realize they are not alone, and that there are people available to assist them.
If you are reading this post and have a thought, or two, or if you have viable solutions, and/or recommendations on this subject, please comment and share your view points. I’d certainly appreciate it and other readers will too.
I hope to hear from you very soon!
For the first time, I’m utilizing Facebook Live Streaming to reach my audiences. I began trying this new venture out Sunday, March 13, 2016 introducing myself to my fans and audiences. Again tonight, Monday, March 14, 2016, I went on again speaking to my audience about Cyber bullying, and its effects on our teens due to their use of mobile devices via Social media networks such as (Instagram, KIK, Snap Chat, and the like).
So far, I’m having a great time reaching my fans, although the topics are marginal and difficult to discuss at times. What I mean by this is: Sometimes it isn’t pleasurable sharing alarming statistics about bullying, and other oppressive topics some dare discuss, but we must discuss these topics so our children are helped, schooled and cautioned.
I love what I do, and I hope you’ll join me many times as I go live sharing knowledge coupled with statistics about my platform topics bullying and diversity, and of course related topics drawn from these two topics.
Facebook Fan page: Books That Sow: Strength, Character & Diversity, DBA
Please go to my FB fan page and “Like” it.
I’d appreciate views, support and comments – Dr. Cherrye
We all have a story within us. Among a few genres, our stories may be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, folklore, or whatever the writer desires, but the main point is getting our stories out of our heads/hearts and onto paper. So, don’t be shy. Begin writing and journaling as much as possible. Write, write, and continue writing.
A Good Hook: Ask Yourself this Question
A hook sentence (also called a narrative hook or literary hook) is a sentence in the first paragraph of a piece of writing which “hooks” the reader into “thirsting” for more. It’s what authors coin “a page-turner.” You will want your “hook” written within the first sentence or paragraph. Your hook shouldn’t be too far down after your first paragraph.
Think about what makes a story interesting to you. This is what will assist you in writing a good “hook” for your story. You’ll want to give your readers the same gift you received from stories you’ve read that had great “hooks.”
So, think about how will you make your story so interesting the reader will have a hard time putting your story down.
Make Character(s) Come Alive on Paper
Go ahead and begin jotting down your ideas and notions. Give your characters names, and express their characteristics/personalities (sassy, smart, and intuitive). Don’t forget your scenery (school, home, sunshine, snow, rainy day).
• Give your scenes color/vivid descriptions
• Set interesting Scenes
• Get into your Characters heads
• Personalize your story
• Imagine yourselves in the story
• Voice out your characters words/Act our your story
Helpful tips for planning your very own story (click on hyperlink below)
Components of Planning a Story
How No Tildes on Tuesday was born
This is how I made my first book, No Tildes on Tuesday, come alive. Even though the story within the pages of No Tildes on Tuesday is fiction, it is based, in part, on my personal life which makes this story realistic fiction. Well, you might ask, what is realistic fiction? Realistic fiction means that the story is based on issues surrounding my life, even though it isn’t entirely true. For example, the storyline is based on a biracial girl, Isabella, who is not bilingual. Isabella’s dad, Antonio, didn’t teach Isabella Spanish because of how he was forced by his school teachers to drop his Spanish language at a very young age and concentrate learning English. Isabella’s grandmother (abuela) yearned for Isabella to learn her father’s native language, but really didn’t know how to teach Spanish properly.
Isabella’s father is Hispanic and her mother is Caucasian. Isabella, however, identifies with only one half of her heritage (the Caucasian side). In fact, her very best friend is Caucasian and believes it to be a waste of time for Isabella to learn Spanish since no one at school, or in their community speaks Spanish.
Further into the storyline of No Tildes on Tuesday Isabella meets a new friend who is bilingual. Juanito loves speaking both languages and invites Isabella to a Fiesta where she learns and sees the beauty of the other half of her heritage.
How No Tildes on Tuesday Mirrors my Personal Life
Well, in my real life, my own daughter is biracial, and even though she isn’t bilingual, she has taken Spanish for the last two years in middle school. My husband is Hispanic and I am African-American. My husband’s teachers encouraged them to only speak English while in school, but he continued to use Spanish while at home with his parents.
My daughter’s grandmother (abuela) really wanted her to learn Spanish, but abuela wasn’t able to help my daughter learn the language using proper linguistic skills. In addition, Isabella’s dad’s name is Antonio. Antonio is my husband’s middle name.
As shown on the Back matter of No Tildes on Tuesday
Isabella never wanted to learn to speak Spanish. But when her parents announce they are moving to the family to a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood, Isabella become desperately afraid that she won’t be able to fit in and grudgingly agrees to start Spanish lessons with her abuela.
But the lessons aren’t as easy as she thought they would be. Abuela is a strict teacher and the words are a lot more difficult to memorize than Isabella thought they would be, so at the goading of her best friend she decides to put a stop to them. Through a runaway adventure, a visit to her father in the hospital, and an introduction to a new kind of friend, Isabella comes to realize that Spanish may not be as bad as she thought, and that being able to communicate with people who share her heritage could be invaluable.
Self-Identity: Love Who You Are
As the author and creator of this story, it was my aim to reveal how complicated it is avoiding self-identity, but how great and rewarding life can be when we embrace all of who we are. We must have deep-seated love, confidence and self-respect for self. Love for self must become ingrained within at a very young age and massaged daily. We must love our heritage whether, biracial, multi-racial or monoracial (of only one race as I am).
By definition subordinates are those who are ranked in positions not equal to that of their boss.
Yes, but how commandeering are you?
No, not all people can or will have the same rankings on various jobs, but bosses must always consider how they treat the very people who help them do their jobs well, and I might add, those who help their bosses “shine.”
People should not be treated as inferior, subservient individuals made to feel lower in thought, and privileges. Although bosses are taxed with final decisions as per their knowledge and skill-sets, those who are looked at as inferior also have talents, and can often bring new ideas “to the table” never imagined.
Have we taken this scripture completely out of context?
Biblical Scripture (Taken from Bible Gateway)
Ephesians 6:4-6 Worldwide English (New Testament)
4 Servants, obey your boss. Respect him with all your heart and try to please him as you would Christ.
5 Obey not only when he is looking at you, as if you were pleasing a man. But obey as the servants of Christ, and do with all your heart what God wants you to do.
6 Work gladly as if you were working for the Lord and not for men.
Even still, those in Managerial/Supervisory roles should not take the word out of context, and especially for granted when interacting with persons considered not equal in their positions. Those blessed enough to be in such roles should always think to treat others the very same way they’d want to be treated.
Input and talent of Subordinates
How often have you had to rely on your assistant to help “keep your head above the water” or help you during “crunch time?” It doesn’t hurt to listen to reason. Many times my assistant has had great ideas I could use. Whenever I could not, I listened and knew when to “draw the line” especially whenever I felt (via my expertise, teaching, experience and training), I realized my idea(s) and proceedings were better suited for the task at hand. Even still, I was warm-hearted, and always thanked my assistant for her input.
Ideas to ensure you’re a great boss?
- Listen without interrupting
- Acknowledge what subordinates have to say
- Utilize some of their ideas from time-to-time
- Expect accountability without being overpowering
- Avoid harsh criticism. Rather, give another point-of-view
- Tell subordinates how well they have done
- Show subordinates they’ve done well by kind gestures
- Use words such as “Thank you” and “Please” often
- Give reasonable timelines/deadlines ahead of time
- Never shout or use unkind words
- Always remain humanistic showing concern about their health, or the well-being of their family members if shared with you
- Treat subordinates the very same way you’d want to be treated
Following these ideas just makes a better working environment one to another as daily work tasks are completed.
And, along the way, why not have the boss and subordinate respecting one another, too.
As our children journey back to school this year, let us not forget to give them a huge hug and/or kiss while assuring them we are their best advocates, and spokespersons just long as they follow school rules, respect themselves and others, and follow the laws of the land.
I believe in my heart-of-hearts if we instill in our children there are rules to be followed, perhaps our children can and will avoid adverse issues unawares that could surface along their crossings.
Our children must also learn empathy, and care for one another. Using their manners by simply saying words such as “excuse me” “thank you” and the like will soften spirits.
When our children are not with us, but in the trusting hands of school officials, we must allow our children to soar with independence while becoming responsible citizens in our society who will one day be charged with making decisions in our stead.
Remind our children to choose their company wisely, not become followers but leaders. Let us remind them if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t right. Tell our children it is okay to move themselves out, or away from situations that aren’t good for their well-being. They must trust their “gut feelings.” So, when peer pressure lurks their way, it is okay to stand tall and say “no.”
Tell children to “keep their heads to the grind” meaning – listen to your teachers, get organized and remain that way. Remain studious, ask questions, and get their assignments completed in timely fashions.
Let us not forget to closely monitor our children’s coming and goings. Ask questions about their day, possible homework, or just ask, “Is there anything I need to know?” You’d be surprised at their relief that you asked, and what you may learn from them.
Let us give our children a “pep talk” today and throughout the school year, and let us pray for their safety, strength, and positive growth in right directions.
~ See more helpful back to school information at:
Wipe Out Bullying: Is it Possible?
My Child is Being Bullied: Oh, I Don’t Think So!
With the recent passage of same-sex marriage there’s been lots of hype, tension and barking back and forth between those who support same-sex marriage, and those who do not. Some have gone as far as deleting friends from Facebook. Why do this?
I want to go on record stating I do not believe in same-sex marriage. Due to my study of the bible and the interpretation I’ve gained from my study, I feel same-sex is not God’s will. My goal is to obey God’s will, and become Christ-like. But before you delete my message, please read further.
I want to also go on record informing all who read this post that I am NOT perfect. I have sinned, and there is no doubt I’ll sin again. While I’m not at all proud of this latter statement, I will not tell falsehoods.
My goal as a Saint, however, is to strive for perfection — although I am full of sin, I want to mirror my life after Christ. I want to one day be with God. Yes, I realize there are some among us who do not believe in God, but I do. That is my right, correct?
Even though I (a huge I) do not believe that same-sex marriage is God’s will, I CAN and WILL LOVE my sisters and brother who believe they are correct in their actions. WHY? I want my sisters and brothers who believe in same-sex marriage to in turn LOVE ME just as I love them.
It is my hope that WE can discuss topics (however marginal) using friendly dialogue/discourse. We must not demean, bully, accuse each other of bullying (because we are not in agreement on certain topics), nor should we name call. What good is all this tension and hatred amongst each other? Can’t we agree to disagree and still stand firm on our convictions?
If I believe I am correct in my stance, how can I show myself Christ-like and share with my brothers and sisters when demeaning them? Why should they listen to me after degradation and bullying? Likewise, if my brothers and sisters demean me, how can they accuse me of bullying? Aren’t we both wrong in our actions?
So, let me ask you? Can we talk and share various topics and still love one another in love and peace? I certainly hope so. Although we may have vast differences, along the way we may find similarities.
Let us STOP the HATE and meanness! Let us ALL study the bible and show ourselves approved. No one has to listen to my words, search for God’s will via the Bible.
Love is the key to Diversity!
Reaching out to children who are suicidal is a large task, but someone has to do it, so why not YOU.
Those who aren’t skilled in this area are at a loss for words and interactive strategies. When caught in this stage, we’re left having to think quickly, but cautiously.
We must first learn what suicidal stage the person may be in prior to determining the questioning stage (if there is time).
If there IS time, we must also learn how to question a child who has suicidal intentions.
I am not sure if asking directly about suicidal attempts is always good for ALL children and/or situations, but getting right to the point may “be a good call” for some children depending on where they are within this phase. If so, just “go for it” and ask the question – “Are you thinking about suicide?”
If you need a more subtle “walking on egg shell” attempt, you may try these questions/phrases:
- I’ve noticed you don’t talk a lot here lately. What’s going on? What’s on your mind?
- I’ve noticed you aren’t eating your food like you use to. How are you feeling?
- I’ve noticed you aren’t hanging out with your friends here lately. What’s going on? How is …. doing? (Ask questions about each friend and your child’s relationship with each).
- I’ve noticed you aren’t going outside to play. Has anything happened we need to talk about?
- What happened to your beautiful smile, I haven’t seen it lately?
- Tell me. Is there something on your mind?
- How are things going with…….? (Select a recent topic you are aware of) Is there something I need to know? How can I help you with this issue?
- I know about ………. (if you need to let your child realize you found out about something) Let’s talk about it, okay?
- Do you feel sometimes there isn’t much hope?
- Do you feel like giving up, or hurting yourself?
- Have you ever done something so embarrassing you felt like you wanted to kill yourself? We can get through it because nothing is that bad, trust me.
- Do you ever feel like you’ve made a mistake that got you so angry you want to give up? Let’s talk about it.
- Do you ever think about what life would be like for your family, siblings, if you weren’t around? Let’s talk about how important you are to the family.
- Have you ever gone to bed thinking you don’t ever want to wake up?
Note: Always let your child realize the important role they play in your life and the life of your family.
When children are suicidal, there are usually signs, however subtle. The child is very sad and more than likely wants your attention. Children want to know their self-worth. Let us hear their cry.
Illustration: Compliments of Kelly A. Vasquez
7th Grade Performing Arts Students, 12/2014
Art Piece Title: Tear Drops