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Creating A Warm Classroom Climate and Culture: The Real Key to Every Student Succeeding

The climate of our country and our world right now is a mixture of anger and divisiveness juxtaposed with empathy and support. The classroom is often a microcosm of trends taking place within the larger national and global communities. With that being said, as I plan for the upcoming school year, fostering a nurturing and… Continue reading Creating A Warm Classroom Climate and Culture: The Real Key to Every Student Succeeding

Accountability

One Teacher’s Plea for Parental Accountability in Their Child’s Education

Accountability is the big buzz word in the realm of education. From the federal government’s level of responsibility for supplying education funding, to each state’s plan for complying with the new law called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to students being held responsible  for completing their homework each night, accountability is an integral component… Continue reading One Teacher’s Plea for Parental Accountability in Their Child’s Education

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Does Not Staying Late At Work Make Me A Bad Teacher?

Teachers who walk out the door with their students tend to be frowned upon by their administrators and their colleagues. I was reminded of this unspoken “arrive early + stay late = good teacher rule” as I scrolled through a chat among educators on a FaceBook thread where the following was posted (names omitted to… Continue reading Does Not Staying Late At Work Make Me A Bad Teacher?

Accountability

I Won’t Teach To The Test: Never Have, Never Will.

It’s back-to-school time and those two “dirty words” have already come up on both my teacher and parent radar: standardized testing. On a holistic level, I am not against standardized tests. When created correctly (an oxymoron to some), standardized tests are one way to assess how well a student has grasped the material covered within… Continue reading I Won’t Teach To The Test: Never Have, Never Will.

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Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent

Imagine you are a young person whose parent is in prison. How does that impact you as you walk into school, interact with peers and teachers, and sit down to learn? What makes you feel safe and connected? Five million U.S. children are living this experience. How can we better serve them? What other students… Continue reading Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent

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Be Brave: Teach America’s Ugly Truths

Educators: Speak out against hate. Defend love. Racism is a diabolical social construct. The truth is that there is only one race — the human race. We need more love, friends. All this anger and hatred is literally eating us alive. From its impetus, America has been built upon divisiveness, corruption, and hate. Do we… Continue reading Be Brave: Teach America’s Ugly Truths

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Addressing Racism Within The Four Walls Of My Classroom — And Yours

In a few short weeks school will resume in New York and I’m already thinking about how we are going to address racism within the four walls of my classroom. I can already see us previewing images like the one above for a Do Now discussion and quick-write. I’m thinking about what texts, historical and… Continue reading Addressing Racism Within The Four Walls Of My Classroom — And Yours

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White Teachers Tend To Have Consistently Lower Expectations of Their Black and Brown Students

I wrote a post last week that got just as much praise as it did condemnation. The negative responses took me somewhat by surprise. I thought my message of reverence and thanks to my high school teachers — who were, with the exception of one, all white — for holding me to the same high… Continue reading White Teachers Tend To Have Consistently Lower Expectations of Their Black and Brown Students

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Work Now, Get Paid Later — Maybe: One Teacher’s Woeful Summer Work Experience

I didn’t want to work this summer. I really just wanted to rest from a somewhat stressful school year and revitalize myself in preparation for the academic year ahead. I almost pulled it off, too, but after careful review of my budget post on my daughter’s eighteenth birthday, high school graduation, and prom, I knew… Continue reading Work Now, Get Paid Later — Maybe: One Teacher’s Woeful Summer Work Experience

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In a High-Achieving School That Has 99% Black Students, Why Haven’t More Black Teachers Been Hired?

Prior to publishing my last post, “How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?,” I asked my editor if my position was clear or if I appeared to my readers to be flip-flopping from my original, previously proposed position that the profession needs more teachers… Continue reading In a High-Achieving School That Has 99% Black Students, Why Haven’t More Black Teachers Been Hired?