Blog

Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

Recently, the state of Missouri showed me a lot of love by publishing an article I wrote about my personal and professional experiences with the school-to-prison-pipeline in the historically African-American-based paper, the St. Louis American. My interaction with Missouri was minimal prior to that, but in the last few weeks the Show-Me-State has increasingly appeared… Continue reading Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

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Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

(This is a guest post from my pal and colleague Erika Sanzi. It was originally posted on Erika’s blog, Good School Hunting.) I write from a place of privilege today.  I have never once worried about the safety of my three children at school. The victim of the fatal school stabbing was named Matthew. I have… Continue reading Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

Blog

The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers

Some of my students call me “Auntie Dukes” of “Ma Dukes”. It’s a term of endearment and I must admit, I love when they call me by either nickname. It’s usually in the halls or outside after-school when I hear a student refer to me as such and it’s in those moments that I know… Continue reading The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers

Accountability

A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids

When my son Jonah was a few months shy of three years old, our Central New Jersey school district, which had no appropriate programs for a toddler with multiple disabilities, sent him to a county preschool handicapped program. My husband and I were new to the world of special education (our three older children are… Continue reading A Personal Story: Why NYS’s Special Education Waiver Is Bad for Kids

School Choice

Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

In addition to taking the “ridiculous” Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) which I so cruelly forced him to study for, my 8th grade son also auditioned for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art & Performing Arts.  (Yes, that’s really what it’s called and that’s really how it’s punctuated, although most… Continue reading Do NYC Arts High Schools Set Extremely High Standards… In Everything But Academics?

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What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries

I was allotted some funds for the purpose of further developing my classroom library. Books are my happy place so I was overjoyed! I set out on the task with the express purpose of not only getting books that met the varying reading levels of my students, but also books that represented the cultures of… Continue reading What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries

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Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.

Most of my blogs focus on the experiences of Black students and teachers. I’m a Black woman. I️ write about what I️ know. Recently I️ wrote about the differences in expectations that White and Black teachers tend to have for their students. Almost immediately after posting that particular blog, the “What about White Teachers?” and… Continue reading Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.

Accountability

What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.

It was not until I had a recent conversation with my daughter’s guidance counselor about another matter that I was aware that she is on track to graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma. This was news to me, as it was the first time I had heard about the different diploma options available. Traditionally, students… Continue reading What’s the Value of an “Advanced Regents Diploma”? Parents Weigh In.

School Choice

It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

The big buzz word in New York City education is: Diversity. On October 26, 2017, yet another plan was announced, this time promising to bring diversity to Lower Manhattan’s District 1. District 1 is already a choice district, in that families are not limited to a local zoned school, but can apply to any school… Continue reading It’s Not My Kid’s Job To Make Your Kid’s Educational Experience Better

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White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes

It’s one thing to theoretically write about how academic expectations for Black and Brown children are noticeably lower than they are for their White counterparts, but to witness it in real life is heartbreaking. My heart broke today. As an English teacher, it’s one of my favorite times of year: National Spelling Bee time! Even… Continue reading White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes