It is completely disgusting to witness adults working with adolescents but have yet to learn their names. To not make an attempt to pronounce, remember, and then consistently use a teenager’s name invites a high level of disdain. I get really defensive. Adults serve as role models and beacons of social cues yet consistently waste… Continue reading Know Me By My Name, Or Else!
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
As educators, our jobs entail so much more than teaching the content area in which we are certified. We spend hours each day with our students and, as such, have constant opportunities to talk to them about the development of their moral character, a class that is not taught in most public schools but one… Continue reading If You See Something, Say Something: Teachers, Their Students, & Ethical Conversations
In less than 24 hours I will greet my new class of seventh-graders. I spent the last two days decorating my classroom, paying careful attention to those minor details like plants on the window sill and fresh-linen smelling plug-ins strategically plugged into electrical outlets throughout the room. These seemingly innocuous touches turn our classroom space… Continue reading Creating A Caring Classroom for Students
This is a guest column by Keciah Bailey, a freelance education journalist. Shadina Charles (see picture above) is a native of Grenada, a cancer survivor, and the mother of four daughters, two of whom attend Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. In Morris Heights, Bronx, the alarm sounds at 4:00 a.m. signaling to… Continue reading Shadina Charles’ Story: Homelessness, Cancer, and a Two-Hour Commute Won’t Get in the Way of Her Daughters’ Education
It’s back-to-school time and those two “dirty words” have already come up on both my teacher and parent radar: standardized testing. On a holistic level, I am not against standardized tests. When created correctly (an oxymoron to some), standardized tests are one way to assess how well a student has grasped the material covered within… Continue reading I Won’t Teach To The Test: Never Have, Never Will.
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
I wrote a post last week that got just as much praise as it did condemnation. The negative responses took me somewhat by surprise. I thought my message of reverence and thanks to my high school teachers — who were, with the exception of one, all white — for holding me to the same high… Continue reading White Teachers Tend To Have Consistently Lower Expectations of Their Black and Brown Students
My older son graduated from a New York City Specialized High-School this June. Now it’s my younger one’s turn to prep for the qualifying Specialized High-School Admissions Test (SHSAT). “You realize how ridiculous this is,” my 13 year-old posited after taking yet another practice test from one of the many books we’ve purchased for the… Continue reading Why I Make My Son Study For the “Ridiculous” SHSAT
Prior to publishing my last post, “How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?,” I asked my editor if my position was clear or if I appeared to my readers to be flip-flopping from my original, previously proposed position that the profession needs more teachers… Continue reading In a High-Achieving School That Has 99% Black Students, Why Haven’t More Black Teachers Been Hired?