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How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

“I’m having a hard time getting through this because of the language. The constant referral to incarcerated individuals as inmates speaks to the inhumane vantage point from which they are viewed by society. Imagine if we all were forever referred to by the result of our worst decision in life?” This was my response to… Continue reading How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

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Even During Black History Month, Teaching Black History Is Demonized.

For the past few weeks, every time I see the cover of a local New York City newspaper there are reports of incidents of blatant racism and discrimination against students of color. This week, sadly, is no exception. According to an article published this Monday in the Daily News, Liriano [a teacher in the NYC… Continue reading Even During Black History Month, Teaching Black History Is Demonized.

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NYC Teacher: Principals, Get Out There and Lead!

What could be more important than welcoming 1,300 high school students during the morning into your building as a principal? I mean, seriously. I do it. These students walk past my 5’2” petite frame (hence, I often wear heels making me a resounding 5’3” tall powerhouse) on their way to the cafeteria and subsequent classes.… Continue reading NYC Teacher: Principals, Get Out There and Lead!

Accountability · Blog

It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!

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!

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NYC Students and Foster Care: Another Overlooked Population

The popular NBC TV show “This Is Us” currently has a story line about a married couple with two children of their own opening their home to a foster child. This is a topic rarely portrayed on television, although you might be surprised to find out that almost 12,000 children in New York City are… Continue reading NYC Students and Foster Care: Another Overlooked Population

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The Power of Affirming Words In The Lives of Our Students

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I️ grew up hearing this wisdom exhorted in my home time and time again. Words have power. The tone of those words carries with them an even heavier weight. I’ve taken this wisdom into my classroom and observed other teachers who’ve made a conscious effort… Continue reading The Power of Affirming Words In The Lives of Our Students

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Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

(This is a guest post from my pal and colleague Erika Sanzi. It was originally posted on Erika’s blog, Good School Hunting.) I write from a place of privilege today.  I have never once worried about the safety of my three children at school. The victim of the fatal school stabbing was named Matthew. I have… Continue reading Before You Shoot the Messenger, Imagine Being a Parent of a Child at This School

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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 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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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?