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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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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

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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.

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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

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Teaching Historical Inaccuracies Is Dangerous and Damning to Both Black and White Students.

There’s this narrative floating around regarding slavery in the United States that is gravely inaccurate. These inaccuracies are both dangerous and damning to our nationally collective remembrance of our past, the very racially-charged country in which we currently live, and the hope for a one-day- post-racial future that we suggest to our students each day… Continue reading Teaching Historical Inaccuracies Is Dangerous and Damning to Both Black and White Students.

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Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

Black children are not allowed to be children. They are perceived by mainstream America, from out of the womb, as being armed, dangerous, and suspicious. They are constantly scrutinized, chastised, and over-managed. How many Black parents have had to sit their young Black child down and explain to them how to conduct themselves in public,… Continue reading Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

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The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Is Real, Whether Your White Privilege Allows You To Believe It Or Not.

There is a diabolical, direct, orchestrated attack at work against poor, inner-city children of color. They are not being prepped for college- and career-readiness. Instead, Black and Brown children, especially those who reside in certain zip codes, are being prepared to supply free labor to the prison-industrial complex. I wrote these words as the introduction… Continue reading The School-To-Prison-Pipeline Is Real, Whether Your White Privilege Allows You To Believe It Or Not.

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Everybody Is Out Here Thinking That Being A Teacher Is Something Anybody Can Do!

I earned my initial certification to teach from New York State upon completion of a very rigorous 128-Credit Bachelor’s degree in English/secondary education, months of student teaching in classrooms that represented the grade-level in which I was seeking certification, and passing three challenging exams that tested my knowledge of not only English content, but professional… Continue reading Everybody Is Out Here Thinking That Being A Teacher Is Something Anybody Can Do!

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I Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Think of This Before”: Teacher Carey Ma Shares An Assignment That Really Engaged His Students’ Parents!

Parental engagement is such a crucial component of our students’ educational success, yet it seems to be relegated to back-to-school night, quarterly parent-teacher conferences, and twice-a-year school concerts. I know many of the students that I’ve taught over the years have parents who worked a lot — often two, sometimes three jobs. I remember one… Continue reading I Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Think of This Before”: Teacher Carey Ma Shares An Assignment That Really Engaged His Students’ Parents!