A school is only as good as its administrators’ execution of their vision. It starts at the top. Building administrators — specifically, school principals — are the ones who do the hiring of teachers. So much rides on their cultural competence, and this factors heavily into the hiring of teachers of color — or lack… Continue reading When Diversifying Staff, It All Comes Down to Principals!
I didn’t know that there was a researched title for the kind of teacher I am. I just thought it was me being me and, while that’s true, I recently learned that the role I bring to the classroom every day is called being a “warm demander.” According to esteemed scholar Dr. Diedre Houchen, “warm… Continue reading When They Go Low, We Go High: Why Black Teachers Are A Necessity, Not An Option
By now, you may have heard of the racist H&M advertising campaign. According to the Daily News, “Clothing giant H&M has been slammed for racism after featuring a photo of a black boy wearing a ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie.” Black children are viewed as monkeys, not only in the world of advertising but… Continue reading I’m a Black Woman and I Never Received a Manual on How to Teach White Kids
Standardized tests have their place. Where that place is needs to be revisited and revised. The tests are coming! The tests are coming! This is the battle cry this time of year at most schools. In just a few short months, students across New York State in grades three through eight will spend a few… Continue reading It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!
“Accountability” is a popular buzz word in the field of education. Often it is used in reference to teachers in correlation with their students’ standardized test scores; however, that’s a very limited scope and sequence. Accountability is so much more than that. Who is accountable for fueling our students with healthy, nutritious meals? Who is… Continue reading Who Is Accountable For New York’s Students?
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
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
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.
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
Each September brings a flurry of excitement and anxiety for parents, teachers, and students. Beginning in September 2002 another factor was added to the list: how and what to teach about 9/11. For some teachers, the question is whether to teach about 9/11 at all. There are many reasons for not wanting to address… Continue reading How Do We Teach Children About September 11th?