Yesterday in one of my classes, an announcement came over the loudspeaker informing students that the bathrooms were closed and that they needed to remain in their classrooms. Upon hearing that, I locked the front classroom door. It was an instinctual response to the directive given. As I locked the door, my students asked me… Continue reading The Trauma-Informed Classroom: Six Years After The Sandy Hook Massacre
The narrative earned Mr. Sassau acceptance to St. John’s University in New York. There was one problem: None of it was true. “I was just a small piece in a whole fathom of lies,” Mr. Sassau said. I read this statement in in the New York Times when a colleague sent it to me and I… Continue reading What Does Airing The Louisiana Landry School’s Dirty Laundry Mean For The Rest Of Us?
Last week I wrote a very personal post about the connections between our nation’s education and criminal justice systems. I was accused by a reader of not grounding my assertions in research, thus voiding my post’s truth or relevance. I reminded the reader that I’d written a blog post, not a research paper. However, this… Continue reading The Life-Changing Benefits of Black Teachers for Black Students
On Tuesday, October 30th, I received one of the greatest gifts of my life: After serving 19 and a half years of a 20-to-life sentence, my husband John Dukes was released from prison. Each day he’s home is a blessing. Each day he’s home also highlights the challenges that formerly incarcerated people face along their… Continue reading A Personal Perspective Into The School-To-Prison Pipeline: John Is Home!
While The Hate U Give is a best-selling book and top-rated film, I’m getting some real pushback from my administration about having my students read the book and see the film in my English Language Arts class, despite its obvious cultural and societal relevance. This confirms my premise that White administrators are often disconnected from… Continue reading The Hate I Get About “The Hate U Give.”
The other day I was watching a video on Instagram where a little girl in daycare/pre-kindergarten was telling her teacher how she needs a day off from her (the teacher) and these “kids” that get on her nerves. I was in stitches watching it and I thought to myself, “this little girl is really smart!”… Continue reading Looking Past The Attitude: What Black Teachers See In Black Students That Other Teachers Don’t.
This is a difficult post to write, but I’m up for because my voice must be heard. This issue pertains not only to me, but to any other teacher for whom what you’re about to read rings true. I’m not comfortable sharing specific details, but I will say that recently life is happening to me… Continue reading My Health or My Careers: How Do I Choose? Why Do I Have To?
This school year started off on a not-so-good note for me. My dad’s favorite uncle died and my siblings and I had to accompany our father to Jamaica, West Indies for the funeral. This caused me to miss the first three days of back-to-school. You see, just as we adults have troubling things going on… Continue reading Are Our Social-Emotional Needs Being Met? No! NY Students Are Hurting And So Are Their Teachers.
My friend’s daughter was called a nigger yesterday at her University of Miami STEM camp. Her angry mother, after experiencing and responding to this event, wrote the following. Toxic white women and toxic white feminism starts as little girls crying crocodile tears on the playground after they deny Black children their humanity. I wish I… Continue reading My Friend’s Daughter Was Called a “Nigger” Today at Her Summer STEM Camp
Last week’s guest blog post by Long Island teacher Mark Jackett garnered much attention; over 105 comments were exchanged in the Facebook thread. It is my experience, coupled with my reflection on the experience, that prompted me to write this post today. To me, as a Black teacher with a platform, it is imperative that… Continue reading White Privilege and White Fragility: A Dangerous By-Product of Hiring Majority-White Teachers.