Last month late one Tuesday evening, my husband and I called a family meeting. The reason for this meeting was to inform our teenage son that he no longer had cell phone service. “You will have no access to texts or internet access just phone calls in case of emergencies”. The cause for this level… Continue reading My Son Says, “I Need My iPad for Homework.” How do I Keep My Kids From Being Held Hostage By Technology?
According to CNN, “a Texas charter school is apologizing after a teacher gave an assignment to an eighth grade American History class, asking students to list the positive aspects of slavery.” As outraged as I am, I wish I could write that what happened at Great Hearts Monte Vista School is an isolated incident —… Continue reading The First Step towards Achieving Educational Equity for Black Students Must Be Hiring More Black Teachers
New York City schools are plagued with deeply embedded racist practices and ideologies. From the huge disparity in the amount of teachers of color hired in comparison to their White counterparts, to the lack of diversity and inclusion of the vast contributions of all groups, not just White people, to the building of this country… Continue reading A Culturally-Responsive Education For NYC Students Is No Longer Optional! It Is A Must!
Yesterday, a student asked a colleague of mine why there isn’t a White History Month. The student, who happens to be Black, asked the question with all seriousness. I didn’t want my facial expression to give way to the 20-floor drop that my heart took to the pit of my stomach as soon as I… Continue reading Why “Black Panther” Is A “Must See” For All Black Students
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.
His name is Malcolm Xavier Combs. Yet he was allegedly pulled out of class, berated, and told by a school administrator at his school— Christ the King High School in Queens, NY — that he can’t have “Malcolm X” on his senior hoodie sweatshirt. According to the Daily News, Malcolm Xavier Combs wanted the name… Continue reading His Name is Malcolm Xavier Combs, aka “Malcolm X” — Whether You Like It Or Not.
(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!
I didn’t know that there was a researched title for the kind of teacher I am. I just thought it was me being me and, while that’s true, I recently learned that the role I bring to the classroom every day is called being a “warm demander.” According to esteemed scholar Dr. Diedre Houchen, “warm… Continue reading When They Go Low, We Go High: Why Black Teachers Are A Necessity, Not An Option
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!