I was walking into work today and a colleague of mine began exchanging small talk. She knows that my husband John is incarcerated and was kind enough to ask me how he was doing. I told her that, all things considered, he’s doing really well and that I was excited to see and spend time… Continue reading Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?
Across schools throughout the City, bulletin boards proudly display colleges and universities that high school seniors will be attending in the fall. It is commonplace for teachers, students, and visitors to view these boards and comment on the fine schools into which students have been accepted. Recently, I was viewing one such board with a… Continue reading Why Do Community Colleges Have Such a Bad Rep?
Today is the first day I intentionally took my students outside since the beginning of the year. (The last time we went outside we had just come back from a field trip so it was an afterthought.) Not only is it a nice day outside but it is one of my student’s birthday, and I… Continue reading My Students Took Me To School Today!
My students and I just finished up our unit on project-based learning and I’m one happy teacher! Students who had previously “just gotten by” in terms of the quality of work they created were more invested in their projects. When I asked them why, they agreed that getting to choose the topic and the driving… Continue reading My Students Experience Project-Based Learning
A few days ago I was walking by a school and I heard what sounded like door alarms going off. Usually alarms indicate an alert to impending danger that creates a sense of urgency to protect oneself and others. In this case, however, everything (from the outside looking in) appeared to be business as usual.… Continue reading Remembering Avonte Oquendo
Last week I wrote that a major reason why there is a lack of Black and Brown male teachers in the classroom is because Black and Brown men have a higher rate of felony convictions. This precludes them from garnering the certifications required to become teachers in New York State and/or New York City. While… Continue reading The-School-To-Prison-Back-To-School-Pipeline
For months you’ve read about my husband John’s former experiences with the public school systems in New York City and on Long Island during elementary, junior, and high school, as well as his current experiences being educated in a maximum security prison in New York State. Quite the dichotomy, some might say. Others, like myself,… Continue reading If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline
Writing is helping me make deeper connections among various topics. Follow me right now, if you will. I’m beginning to see how the school-to-prison pipeline continues to flourish because of a lack of culturally relevant pedagogy. Culturally-relevant pedagogy is lacking because of a void of Black teachers, especially Black, male teachers. One reason there… Continue reading Educational Bias and Bigotry Are Flourishing Under the Leadership of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Restorative justice. Restorative circles. Equity in education. College and career ready. These are all buzz phrases about initiatives high on education’s lexicon list. They sound good but, without any action taken towards their actual fruition, they are words that mean absolutely nothing. Just saying them or writing them surely isn’t doing much to change the… Continue reading Our Schools Need Support Staff, Not Police!
At the bidding of my 17 year-old daughter. I’m watching the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” WOW!! What an amazing series! It’s based on the Young Adult novel of the same name by author Jay Asher about a girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide and leaves thirteen cassette tapes explaining why she did so.… Continue reading Thirteen Reasons Why