Kiara Damon first started thinking about college when she entered fifth grade at Williamsburg Collegiate Middle School, a Brooklyn charter school run by the Uncommon Schools network. “It was always college, college, college,” Kiara said. “We were always the class of 2021, not the class of 2017.” Kira was one of 87 graduating seniors from… Continue reading From Dream to Reality: The Entire Class at this Brooklyn Charter School Is Going to College!
How a teacher who arrived a week before school began started making genuine connections with her kids. The office supply store Staples was my virtual shopping buddy during my first year of teaching. I had arrived in New York City in 2004, a week before the school year began, to teach 8th grade English Language… Continue reading My Students Told Me That My Classroom “Lacked Soul.” Here’s What I Did
Across schools throughout the City, bulletin boards proudly display colleges and universities that high school seniors will be attending in the fall. It is commonplace for teachers, students, and visitors to view these boards and comment on the fine schools into which students have been accepted. Recently, I was viewing one such board with a… Continue reading Why Do Community Colleges Have Such a Bad Rep?
Sean Davenport has a provocative piece in Chalkbeat about his journey from disaffected student to teacher at (now closed) Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. On his first day there in his 10th grade English and Speech class, he told the students to take turns reading aloud from a text. He recounts this exchange… Continue reading “He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy
Today is the first day I intentionally took my students outside since the beginning of the year. (The last time we went outside we had just come back from a field trip so it was an afterthought.) Not only is it a nice day outside but it is one of my student’s birthday, and I… Continue reading My Students Took Me To School Today!
My students and I just finished up our unit on project-based learning and I’m one happy teacher! Students who had previously “just gotten by” in terms of the quality of work they created were more invested in their projects. When I asked them why, they agreed that getting to choose the topic and the driving… Continue reading My Students Experience Project-Based Learning
This is a guest post by Felecia Brown Butler. Felecia was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is a dedicated mother of three beautiful sons and a fierce advocate for her community and great schools for all children. When my son was in Kindergarten, he didn’t seem to be learning like the other children.… Continue reading Dear NAACP: This Charter School Embraced My Son After a Traditional School Tried To Push Him Out
For months you’ve read about my husband John’s former experiences with the public school systems in New York City and on Long Island during elementary, junior, and high school, as well as his current experiences being educated in a maximum security prison in New York State. Quite the dichotomy, some might say. Others, like myself,… Continue reading If at First You Don’t Succeed: A Man Rescues Himself From the School-To-Prison Pipeline
The final Parent-Teacher Conference of my oldest son’s academic career took place this March. I didn’t go because I enjoy running up and down stairs, signing up for three minutes with one teacher, being told the wait will be 20 minutes, leaving to speak with another teacher, then returning to be informed that I missed… Continue reading Why I Go To Parent-Teacher Conferences, Or, The Flip Side of Accountability
Nearly 100 colleges participated in a career fair in Brooklyn this week, illustrating the growing influence that high-performing charter schools are having on college admissions in New York. That many colleges at one fair at a school is not atypical for magnet schools like Stuyvesant High School or Hunter College High School. But what was… Continue reading “There Are Black Women Like Me Doing That Kind of Work”: Brooklyn Charter Students Impress College Recruiters