(Alexandra Cohl is an academic and creative writer who is currently an MA English Literature candidate at The City College of New York. She is also a writing instructor to writers ages 6-18 and professional development program leader for in-school teachers at Writopia Lab, a national literacy nonprofit. Her fiction can be read in Luna… Continue reading Encouraging the Absurd or Uncomfortable: The Power of Validating Student Ideas
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!
Thanksgiving into the New Year is one of my favorite times of year — (besides my birthday, of course!). All of the delicious Jamaican delicacies that only get made during the Holidays, the decorating of the Christmas tree, the giving and receiving of heartfelt gifts, and the inherent hope that the prospect of a new… Continue reading The Holidays Are Not A Happy Time For All Students
It is completely disgusting to witness adults working with adolescents but have yet to learn their names. To not make an attempt to pronounce, remember, and then consistently use a teenager’s name invites a high level of disdain. I get really defensive. Adults serve as role models and beacons of social cues yet consistently waste… Continue reading Know Me By My Name, Or Else!
It’s one thing to theoretically write about how academic expectations for Black and Brown children are noticeably lower than they are for their White counterparts, but to witness it in real life is heartbreaking. My heart broke today. As an English teacher, it’s one of my favorite times of year: National Spelling Bee time! Even… Continue reading White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes
I earned my initial certification to teach from New York State upon completion of a very rigorous 128-Credit Bachelor’s degree in English/secondary education, months of student teaching in classrooms that represented the grade-level in which I was seeking certification, and passing three challenging exams that tested my knowledge of not only English content, but professional… Continue reading Everybody Is Out Here Thinking That Being A Teacher Is Something Anybody Can Do!
Students with special needs are among some of the most vulnerable in our school communities. Providing them with instruction that fails to prepare them for the real world that they are about to enter is despicable. If you are a special education teacher or a general education teacher, it is imperative that you hold yourself… Continue reading Accommodate Work for Special Ed Students — Don’t Dumb It Down!
A lifter is one who elevates circumstances. A floater is one who easily navigates circumstances. You must decide to be a lifter or floater in education. One should not step into the “ring” of education, especially the New York City public school district as it is the largest in the nation, and not know your… Continue reading Six Lessons for Educators From the Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight
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?
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