An Old Friend Found Me on Facebook…

Introduction, Motivation, Spirit

Today, I reconnected with Caroline on Facebook.  She is a friend I worked with in the mid 1980s.  We lost contact many years ago.  

We messaged each other for a while this evening, then we said – goodnight.  About an hour passed, then I received her note.  She made my night!  💝

Meet and Greet @ Dream Big: 4/23/16

Introduction, Motivation

Sharing is caring – may the community continue to grow and flourish!

Sharing Danny’s post:

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!! Ok so here are the rules: Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone! Edit your reblog post and add tags. Feel free to leave your link multiple […]

“Just … start”

Goal Setting, Introduction, Mind, Motivation, Spirit

Congratulations! You followed your own advice and got started! Now, I am introducing you to others by re-blogging your post!

The blogging community is amazing. Keep it going and you will meet and greet some wonderful people that will broaden your life and perspectives thus enhancing your personal growth. At least that is my take on it.

Thanks for the encouragement to just…start!

Peace and blessings, Davina



And on that note, I’ve decided to take my own advice to just get started. I’ve wanted to write my own blog for a while now, but to be honest I initially thought “who’d be interested in what I’ve got to say” (I like to talk a LOT) … Then I realised, actually, there’s probably a few people out there who can relate to my story.

I think at various points in our lives we all want to make a change; whether that be to lose weight & get fit (like me), maybe change careers or even move to a different city… We can change ANYTHING. But first, we have to make the conscious choice to start.

My real life change began nearly 15 months ago… I was 23 years old, and weighed in at 21 and a half stone. 136kg. Having been overweight my whole childhood & most of my teenage years, I was desperately unhappy. I had been diagnosed with severe…

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Vanessa Martir – Creative Nonfiction

Introduction, Motivation, Spirit

“Redemption is easy…restoration takes a lifetime.”

Vanessa Martir shares an excerpt from her memoir that, in my opinion, really exemplifies pain, passion, and purpose. Many people are carrying the pain of a past experience that keeps them in bondage – silence is one way this happens. Holding on and not confronting or dealing with it can really erode a person’s inner spirit to the core.

I share this excerpt because I know there is someone who will read it and connect with Vanessa’s passion and find a greater purpose in their life.

Meet and Greet Weekend @ DBDO: 1/29/16

Introduction, Motivation

It is awesome to be a part of the blogging community! There are so many amazing people worldwide and blogging connects us all! Please read and share!

Dream Big, Dream Often

dream-big image credit: the love shop

It’s the Meet and Greet weekend at Dream Big!!  I hope everyone’s January has been productive!  Hard to believe it is almost February!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  The more people that see and participate in the MnG, the more potential new followers!  So, share, share share!
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags.
  4. Feel free to leave your link multiple times each day!  It is okay to update your link for more exposure every day if you want.  It is up to you!

  5. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new blogs to follow.

Now that all the rules…

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Asking for Help – Please Share and Help Me Find My Sister


I searched for my father for many years. A few years ago, on my birthday, I found someone with the same last name that I felt could be related to me on Facebook. I posted a private message to someone who turned out to be my first cousin. This led me to some amazing people whom are all my family on the eastcoast. My father died many years ago, but I have some wonderful people in my life because of him. I am hopeful that this young man will reunite with his sister one day soon!

My First Award for Blogging! Creative Blogger!

Goal Setting, Introduction, Mind, Motivation, Spirit


I love blogging because it gives me a sense of global community.  The thought that I am connected with people all over the world feels just right!  So, I am both delighted and humbled to be nominated for a Creative Blogger Award.  Thanks to fightalone for paying attention to what I have written – your nomination is truly appreciated!


1.  Nominate 15-20 blogs and notify the nominees.

2. Post the link of the blog that nominated you.

3. Share five random facts about yourself.

My Nominees:

All About Us!!!!

About Madonna’s Life in Lines-shifting sands

My 5 Random Facts:

  1. I am an educator who loves learning.
  2. Blogging is my way of making human connections all over the world.
  3. I am fiercely loyal to those who allow me to be.
  4. My faith in God gets me from day to day.
  5. I love people, dogs, and cats (in that order).

My purpose is to teach…

Career, Education, Goal Setting, Introduction, Motivation


My sole intention was to earn extra money by occasional substitute teaching.  I was encouraged by a friend to apply at a school district in Sacaton, Arizona; which is the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC).  In August of 2014, I stopped by the middle school to introduce myself.  I had just left the district office where I completed the necessary paperwork to substitute teach at the elementary or the middle school.

Today, I am teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts in the same classroom I served as a long-term substitute for about 4 months.  I knew I wanted to stay there on my first day.  The teacher that started the year with this class had been there for a few years.  A couple weeks after school began, she accepted an opportunity to teach at the community college level. 

By December 10, 2014, I was provisionally certified to teach secondary English Language Arts.  Although I had earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree in Business Management, to become fully certified, I would be required to complete the Teaching Internship program.  With the help of the Instruction Coach, I was gently eased into my responsibilities.  I had a tremendous amount of support and each day I improved my teaching skills and became more passionate about the students I am teaching.

The students I encountered needed so much from me.  My lack of formal training was apparent when it came to preparing lesson plans, a strategy for instruction, and managing the behaviors in the classroom.  The one area I felt fairly confident in was developing and maintaining rapport with the individual students.  This would benefit me in the long-run and buy me the time I needed to improve in the three areas noted.

I advise teachers who are entering a secondary English classroom setting to be prepared to really get to know the students.   They are facing such a critical time period in their lives.  They are no longer little ones and yet they aren’t quite adults.  They are facing seemingly insurmountable circumstances at times that they aren’t able to audibly explain.  Their emotions are driven by relationships and family systems that aren’t always positive.

Lesson Planning

Beginning teachers must be able to plan and provide a set of learning opportunities that offer access to crucial concepts and skills for all students.  The first thing a teacher must do to design an effective classroom is to create a conducive learning environment that supports students’ engaged learning and meaningful instruction (Choy, Wong, Lim, & Chong, 2013).  Accessing the students background knowledge, planning a lesson that reaches those students and assessing their progress along the way is critical in helping those students to grow in the skill sets needed to be successful in the future as an adult (Whitsett & Hubbard, Summer, 2009).

In the latter decades of the 20th Century, as US populations became more racially, ethnically and economically diverse, researchers also recognized that diversity encompassed factors such as learning styles (Angus & DeOliveira, 2012).  When lesson planning for a diverse population this must be considered.

Instructional Strategy

Beginning teachers must understand what the expected curriculum goals and outcomes are for students and what resources are needed in order to accomplish the goals.  They need to understand how the curriculum they teach fits into the larger department or school curriculum and ultimately the national standards (Choy, Wong, Lim, & Chong, 2013).  While meeting expectations are critical, learning to differentiate based upon the students specific background, cultural values, and learning style (Whitsett & Hubbard, Summer, 2009).  Your English Language Learning (ELL) students require this for certain.

I quickly learned to rely on creative measures to provide the necessary background knowledge my students needed to comprehend what the textbook lessons meant.  My students are all Native Americans.  There is no racial diversity in my classroom unless I am counted.  Although my classroom is not diverse, the world around my students is much more diverse.

I use multiliteracies, which recognizes both the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in the new globalized society and the new variety of text forms from multiple communicative technologies.  There is also the need for new skills to operate successfully in the changing literate and increasingly diversified social environment (Boche, 2014).  I suggest new teacher’s research all the various teaching strategies and design activities that optimize equitable learning (Whitsett & Hubbard, Summer, 2009).

Classroom Management (concern with keeping students engaged)

Beginning teachers must possess the skill of organizing a classroom which provides an orderly environment that increases academic engaged time and decreases distractions (Choy, Wong, Lim, & Chong, 2013).  Who knew that your organization (structure and procedures) would be the secret to your success in maintaining discipline? I struggled the most in this area because I wanted the students to just “do as I say, when I say it” and all would be in order.  It certainly does not work that way!  This age group must be entertained/engaged at all times.

Engaging students with symbol systems, including images, sound and music, as a means of self-expression and communication, as they are now an integral part of contemporary life (Shoffner, De Oliveira, & Angus, 2010) is critical.  Once I understood and put this into practice, my classroom became much more managed.  Other teachers were amazed at how quickly the students bonded with me and behaved in my classroom.


Beginning teachers who seek to be effective in the classroom are able to demand and care, support as they challenge, and provide for collaborative and individual learning experiences (Heckendorn, Summer 2006).  Across the nation, educators continue to face challenges as they work to individualize instruction to meet the specific needs of their students (Vaughn & Faircloth, N.D.)  My initial success in the classroom was founded upon a gut instinct to build relationships with individual students and creatively meet their educational needs while keeping with the textbook curriculum.  Any educator who has a vision to see students succeed, plans and prepares accordingly will also succeed in the end.


Angus, R., & DeOliveira, L. C. (2012). Diversity in secondary English classrooms: Conceptions and enactments. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 7-18.

Boche, B. (2014). Multiliteracies in the classroom: Emerging conceptions of first-year teachers. Journal of Language an Literacy Education [Online], 114-135. Retrieved from

Choy, D., Wong, A. F., Lim, K. M., & Chong, S. (2013). Beginning Teachers’ Perceptions of their Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills in Teaching: A Three Year Study. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 68-79.

Heckendorn, R. (Summer 2006). Building on the Three Rs of Professionalism. Kappa Delta Pi Record, pp. 152-153.

Shoffner, M., De Oliveira, L. C., & Angus, R. (2010, December). Multiliteracies in the secondary English classroom; Becoming literate in the 21st century. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, pp. 75-89.

Vaughn, M., & Faircloth, B. (n.d.). Teaching With a Purpose in Mind: Cultivating a Vision.

Whitsett, G., & Hubbard, J. (Summer, 2009). Supporting English Language Learners n the Elementary and Secondary Classrooms: How to Get Started. SRATE Journal, 41-47

This thing called PASSION will lead you to PURPOSE…

Introduction, Mind, Motivation, Spirit

When at look back at the experiences I had growing up and the journey it took to get to where I am today.  I wouldn’t change anything.  That seems silly because it wasn’t the best of times.  However, it led me to the best of times – the place I live now.

I feel as though I am finally in the right place in life.  No more looking back or seeking the approval of others.  I moved up on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need and am in a place of self-actualization.

Over the years, I have been passionate about many things and believed that I needed to make a difference with all of them.  Ultimately, I would end up switching my focus and it would be a disappointment or something would happen and force my situation or circumstances to change.  When I analyze the patterns in my life – it all makes sense.

Losing my babies catapulted me into a period of despair that I believed I would never overcome.  Yet, I am here.  I am happy and FREE.  The time between that occurring and now is filled with so many experiences good and bad it is exhausting and exhilarating to think about.

At first, I felt pushed into life and then one day, I started pulling.  At that point, I realized that I was passionate about living and could make choices and have desires that would ease my course in life.  I would be remiss if I did not share that my faith in God and relationship with Jesus Christ had everything to do with my transition.  In fact, this is what led me to understand that all I was searching for was in my hands.  I just needed to be faithful with the small things and the big things in life would work out.

Somewhere during that time frame, it occurred to me that it was my purpose to help others on their journey.  It’s not enough to get their yourself, but you must help someone else.  I imagine that Harriet Tubman, was overjoyed about freedom from slavery, but agonized over those who were left.  She had to make the trek back to help others to freedom or she was not truly free herself.  This is where I found myself in thought.

So, I talk to people and encourage whomever I can when possible.  I thought this meant LIfe Coaching, Ministry Work, Public Speaking, etc.  Truly, it just meant to exist and continue being led until otherwise instructed by my inner spirit.  That is where I am now.

No pressure.  Allow God to place people on your path, be open to receive them, accept what is intended in the right moment as prescribed and it will happen.

Why, Pain – Passion – Purpose?

Introduction, Motivation, Spirit

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

-Jeremiah 29:11

  Although I have heard and read this scripture numerous times, it still excites me. How awesome is it to know that ultimately God not only has a plan for your life, but it involves HOPE? I am a living testimony to this scripture and a lifelong committed believer. Throughout my life, I have had many experiences – good and bad. There were times when I questioned what and why; but I always had a sense that I would be alright. Ultimately, I instinctively knew there was something great in store for my life. So, I continued to persevere and get my education, maintain compassion for others, and kept my faith by staying close to other believers. When I ran low on energy, my support system was always there for me. When I had the opportunity to speak positively into someone’s life (no matter the condition my life was in at the time), I considered it a blessing! Many years ago I heard pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Robert H. Schuller state, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” This statement became my mantra. Whenever I experienced any unpleasant times, I would think about how I needed to become ‘tougher’. I can think of many instances where I applied that technique to cope with circumstances. Once I survived the situation, I would look back and think, “…wow, I am pretty resilient.” I realized that with each life occurrence, I made choices:

  • I could reflect on what had occurred
  • note what I could have done differently
  • come up with a plan to change the situation for the future
  • and move forward.

This is how I became resilient. I simply re-wrote the script. In 1984, I had my first miscarriage. I was 5 months pregnant. After two days of labor I prematurely delivered a very tiny little girl. I held her and she stopped breathing in my hands. Everyone around me who meant well stated, “Oh, it happens. You will be fine. You will have children eventually.” I believed them….until 1986 when the exact same thing happened again. This time, I lasted a week longer and it was a boy. It happened again and again and again – another boy and then a girl, and then I did not want to know anything at all about the last one. People no longer knew what to say. I was at a loss for words myself. The last two times were both in 1997. In the same year, this beautiful baby boy was born to another mother who was not in a place to parent at the time. In May of 1998, I became his mother. A tremendous blessing! He helped me to re-write that chapter in my story. This is when I began to journal about “Pain, Passion, and Purpose”. My son is proof of this.

What significant experience in your life can you relate to in this manner? I invite you to comment and share your testimony so others may receive revelation and healing from it.