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.
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
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.
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!
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!
(New York School Talk exists to offer a “safe space” for parents, teachers, students, and anyone invested in public education. Most of our bloggers support charter school expansion in New York City. Not all of them do. We deeply value all voices and believe that differing opinions can lead to enlightened strategies to address what… Continue reading Sharing Space Doesn’t Make For Safe Schools
As educators, our jobs entail so much more than teaching the content area in which we are certified. We spend hours each day with our students and, as such, have constant opportunities to talk to them about the development of their moral character, a class that is not taught in most public schools but one… Continue reading If You See Something, Say Something: Teachers, Their Students, & Ethical Conversations
My students and I are reading the novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, a series of vignettes about each character’s life woven together to tell the story of how a community garden comes into existence. It came to me that, in my effort to intentionally build a caring classroom community, it would benefit us to start… Continue reading Nurturing My Students – Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit
I turned on the news this morning and my heart weighs heavily over the report that a student in a Bronx high school was arrested for allegedly killing and attempting to kill two of his fellow classmates. According to CBS, “an 18-year-old student who had been involved in a two-week long argument stabbed two fellow… Continue reading Who Is Responsible When A Student Is Driven to Kill?
When I first started teaching, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were just being rolled out to replace the New York State Standards. I wasn’t resistant to the shift in course content standards because teaching was still very new to me and my eagerness superseded any skepticism that I might have had. I noticed, however,… Continue reading New Education Standards? Oh Boy—Here We Go Again!