Monday, March 31, 2008


By: Mia Black

Where have all the adults gone? I ask this question after speaking with my husband about the teachers of today. It may sound a bit old fashion, but I remember my teacher wearing a skirt or loose fitting “slacks”, short-cut hair or pulled back or up, some make-up, and at least twenty to thirty year difference in age. Never did my teacher dress like me or talk like me. And never could I read about one of my classmates sleeping with one of them.

Now I will say me and my husband stand on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to the problems with todays at-risk youth. He and I both look at the parent, but I put most of the responsibility on the child. I believe every child must be held accountable for their actions. But it was amazing to me today that we both finally agreed on something. Today’s teachers have become younger, hipper, and entered the “buddy” zone.

This is not the first time that I have heard this either. On radio stations and talk shows, parents and teachers have talked that it is harder to reach today’s youth. So in trying to reach them “you have to speak their language” or “you almost have to dress like them with the throwbacks and the hoodies”. I’m sorry, but at what low point did we hit in society, that our kids now need their teachers to be their friends too? It is my belief that many of these at risk youths already have suffered from their parent/s being their friend/s and now they are being subjected to yet another “adult” trying to play buddy. I mean honestly, we are living in a society in which it is not odd to read about yet another teacher sleeping with their student or a student’s life is over because they killed their teacher’s spouse in a jealous rage.

I’m not saying it is easy to teach our at-risk youth by any means. But my husband visited a classroom today and asked a student to remove his hat. The student refused and continued to talk to his friend. My husband didn’t yell, scream, or cause a scene, but explained to the student, that if he wanted to be viewed as a man, than he would have to remove his hat. He explained that men remove their hats before they enter a building and pointed to his hat that was in the corner with his coat. The student told him, nobody had ever put it that way before and removed his hat. My husband didn’t try and speak his language, or keep his hat on just to fit in. He set an example and allowed the student to follow.

My point is children need adult role models. It may seem easier to throw on the hoodie or the lycra pants. It may seem easier to call them dawg or slip into their slang, but how is that going to get them the interview for the job that will someday support their family? How will they know to take their hat off before they enter a building, if their teacher has chosen the peer route, instead of the adult route? I do agree that children want a peer when it comes to their teacher or parent for that matter, but it is not what they need.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Think: Opting Back In

Opting Back In
By: Mia Black

The old age question for the working woman has come into my life once again: How do you find the balance between family and work? I've come to believe there is no perfect balance. There is a definite choice; one or the other is going to come first. Well about six years ago, I made a choice. I put my daughter first. She was my first born and she changed my life in a way that made me feel indebted to her. As though I brought her into this world and I had the obligation to put her and all of her needs ahead of mine no matter what.

But as she grows older and my other daughter approaches two, I want to opt back into the workforce. When my first daughter was born, I had finally reached management level in my career and could have really pushed forth with it. But the company that I previously worked for wasn't parent-friendly and neither was my particular position. Working in the property management industry at a management level creates a 24/7 availability schedule for you. If you get paged at 1 am on your day off, then you come in at 1 am on your day off.

So I opted for a strict Monday-Friday 9-5 desk job, a job that would allow me to leave work at work when I left for the day. A place that would understand if my daughter was sick, I couldn't come in. Or maybe I want to leave early so I can catch her concert at school. I found the perfect job as an administrative assistant at a college. It has truly allowed me the opportunity to start and support my family and was overly compensating to me during my pregnancy with my second child.

So now I want to opt back in. Now that I have my family, I want to be able to support their growth in the long run, i.e.: a house, the camps, the lessons, all the little pets, and eventually the big one, COLLEGE. But as I slowly step into the interview world, my management position that I left just six years ago, doesn't have the weight it did when I left. Meaning if I was looking for a higher management position six years ago, my resume would have definitely gotten me in the door. But now that I have put six years of administrative work under my belt, those management positions are now out of reach…as if I somehow forgot my management training.

At this point I have put it in God’s hands because as He makes me uncomfortable in my current situation, I know through Him and only Him will the right door open for me.