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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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Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

He didn’t want to participate in the spelling bee to begin with. The shock everyone blatantly displayed about the fact that he was a runner-up in his class spelling bee had rubbed him the wrong way and added to an already unfortunate situation. He wasn’t accustomed to the academic spotlight. He’d never been acknowledged for… Continue reading Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

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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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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?

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Why do the “Bad Kids” Like Me?

Once a week, I have a class period set aside during the school day to provide my students with extra help. I teach English Language Arts so you would think that students would come to me with questions about their homework assignment on GoogleClassroom or to review questions that they got wrong on a test… Continue reading Why do the “Bad Kids” Like Me?

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More Police Presence In Our Schools Is NOT The Answer!

I grew up on Long Island. My entire education from kindergarten through graduate school was facilitated in schools on Long Island. I live on Long Island still. It is fair to say that Long Island, with all of its pervasive racially, socially, and economic-segregated neighborhoods and schools, is not only a part of New York… Continue reading More Police Presence In Our Schools Is NOT The Answer!

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Creating A Warm Classroom Climate and Culture: The Real Key to Every Student Succeeding

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

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15 Ways To Build Meaningful Relationships With Your Students

I just got a text message telling me that Patrick Ovide (pictured on the left), my student from eighth and ninth grade English class at Eagle Academy for Young Men of Southeast Queens, acknowledged me during his salutatorian graduation speech today as the teacher who instilled a love of reading in him and provided a… Continue reading 15 Ways To Build Meaningful Relationships With Your Students