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Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

Recently, the state of Missouri showed me a lot of love by publishing an article I wrote about my personal and professional experiences with the school-to-prison-pipeline in the historically African-American-based paper, the St. Louis American. My interaction with Missouri was minimal prior to that, but in the last few weeks the Show-Me-State has increasingly appeared… Continue reading Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

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The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers

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

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Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.

Most of my blogs focus on the experiences of Black students and teachers. I’m a Black woman. I️ write about what I️ know. Recently I️ wrote about the differences in expectations that White and Black teachers tend to have for their students. Almost immediately after posting that particular blog, the “What about White Teachers?” and… Continue reading Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.

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White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes

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

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Teaching Historical Inaccuracies Is Dangerous and Damning to Both Black and White Students.

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.

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Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

Black children are not allowed to be children. They are perceived by mainstream America, from out of the womb, as being armed, dangerous, and suspicious. They are constantly scrutinized, chastised, and over-managed. How many Black parents have had to sit their young Black child down and explain to them how to conduct themselves in public,… Continue reading Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

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Nurturing My Students – Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit

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

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Damn! NO Black Teachers Are Being Hired? This Is Crazy!!

I have a serious inquiry for school administrators: Is a teacher applicant’s race a factor when you consider hiring them? Let me be more specific: Do you think about your minority student demographics and then consider the positive impact that having a teacher who looks like them will have on them? Do any of these… Continue reading Damn! NO Black Teachers Are Being Hired? This Is Crazy!!

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“Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”: In the Wake of Charlottesville, a Teacher Contemplates Bias

I applaud my fellow educational allies who have begun to assemble curriculum resources. I encourage you to follow #CharlotttesvilleCurriculum on social media as it can lead you to an array of resources and subsequently increase awareness of what schools are encouraging. The voices of classroom teachers are also amplified. At the same time, it’s essential… Continue reading “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”: In the Wake of Charlottesville, a Teacher Contemplates Bias

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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