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Who Is Responsible When A Student Is Driven to Kill?

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?

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Creating A Caring Classroom for Students

In less than 24 hours I will greet my new class of seventh-graders. I spent the last two days decorating my classroom, paying careful attention to those minor details like plants on the window sill and fresh-linen smelling plug-ins strategically plugged into electrical outlets throughout the room. These seemingly innocuous touches turn our classroom space… Continue reading Creating A Caring Classroom for Students

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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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“Parents Are Far More Sophisticated Than We Give Them Credit For”: Eva Moskowitz Speaks Out

This whole district public school vs. charter public school — I don’t think parents think of it that way. I think they think of, “I want a great school for my kid. Who’s got one? And how can I get my kid into that school?” That’s Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter… Continue reading “Parents Are Far More Sophisticated Than We Give Them Credit For”: Eva Moskowitz Speaks Out

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How Do I Help My Children Feel Pride in their Heritage in the Face of Ignorance?

(This is a story told to me by a devastated friend, struggling to make sense of this new America. He wishes to remain anonymous.) “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This is far from the truth: I did not know racism until I came to this great country.… Continue reading How Do I Help My Children Feel Pride in their Heritage in the Face of Ignorance?

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I.C.E., I.C.E., Baby: The Fearful Cry of an Innocent Child

The trickle-down-effect of the Executive Order on Immigration that Trump signed in January 2017 has reached my classroom and is having a life-threatening impact on my students. This is serious. You see, although the order was blocked by a federal judge in Brooklyn, the climate of increased police profiling, surveillance, and arrests in urban centers… Continue reading I.C.E., I.C.E., Baby: The Fearful Cry of an Innocent Child

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Today It’s Transgender Students: Who Will Be Next? We Must Keep Our Students Safe!

On Wednesday Mr. Trump rescinded federal protection for transgender students. The implications of that decision are huge,  so much so that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia issued a reminder to all teachers and school personnel that New York State protects transgender students. “The Trump Administration’s decision to rescind… Continue reading Today It’s Transgender Students: Who Will Be Next? We Must Keep Our Students Safe!

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YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS TEACHING CHILDREN!!!!

I don’t know why but I find myself monitoring and questioning my voice a lot these days –too much, I think. I’m so cautious about not being pigeonholed as another “Angry Black Woman,” but I can’t worry about all of that political correctness because the truth is that there is nothing correct about what’s going… Continue reading YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS TEACHING CHILDREN!!!!

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Classroom Collaboration Turned Catastrophe

I overheard a student in the high school talking on and on about a love triangle between her, her current boyfriend, and her ex-boyfriend. I couldn’t help but stop, introduce myself, and advise her, no matter what, to remain honest and classy because a damaged reputation can sometimes be irreparable. She and her friends were… Continue reading Classroom Collaboration Turned Catastrophe