Blog

Learning Through Exploration: NYC Students — This Summer It’s Time To Hit The Streets!

It’s no question that New York is the best city on the planet. Biased much? Yeah, I admit I am biased a bit, but it’s true! Anything and everything you could want or imagine from any part of the world is at your fingertips! I mean, for the cost of a train ride – $2.75… Continue reading Learning Through Exploration: NYC Students — This Summer It’s Time To Hit The Streets!

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Three Reasons Why Teachers Must Travel Over the Summer!

I find tremendous meaning in traveling. When teachers are able to explore the world during the summer they create shared experiences with students, a “first-person” account of the curriculum, and a strengthening of school professional learning communities. I appreciate opportunities that take me out of my comfort zone. College studies abroad to Spain, science research… Continue reading Three Reasons Why Teachers Must Travel Over the Summer!

Accountability

Do Kids Care If Their Teachers Are Certified? Should Parents?

Last week, New York City schools received two pieces of contradictory news, which made for an interesting contrast in how teachers are viewed. In the first, the Department of Education will now require principals to staff vacancies with teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve, also known as “the rubber room,” where pedagogues who have been… Continue reading Do Kids Care If Their Teachers Are Certified? Should Parents?

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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

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Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

(Dedicated to Fosemi, Lassana, and Adam.) Suddenly I was the inconsiderate one. As teachers, we need to be the agents of change who recognize and act accordingly to our students’diverse perspectives and customs. Here I thought I was responding appropriately when I noticed that some of my highest-performing students were not eating, even when I pointed… Continue reading Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

School Choice

When Talking About School Choice – Let’s Include Kids In the Conversation!

Last week, the article “As More Schools Look to Personalized Learning, Teaching May Be About to Change” published in the official publication of The National Education Association, America’s largest teachers’ union, triggered a massive backlash from a segment of the membership dead set against the mere mention of online learning and curriculum, or the suggestion that it… Continue reading When Talking About School Choice – Let’s Include Kids In the Conversation!

Accountability

Senior Blues: Who’s Accountable When High School Students Don’t Graduate On-Time or At All?

“Ms. Dukes, “I hear the tear-riddled voice of the student standing before me say, “I didn’t pass my (fill-in-the-blank) class. I’m not graduating.” NOT graduating? What are you talking about? Your high school graduation is next week! What in the world happened? I can’t help but hide the shock in my voice or the disappointment… Continue reading Senior Blues: Who’s Accountable When High School Students Don’t Graduate On-Time or At All?

Accountability

What Does an “A” Mean? A NYC Teacher Tackles Accountability

I recently read an article by a young woman currently enrolled in The Beacon School, an elite public high school in New York City. This young woman, part of a coalition of teenagers and adults under the hashtag #teenstakecharge, is using her voice to demand a more equitable school experience in an otherwise highly-segregated public… Continue reading What Does an “A” Mean? A NYC Teacher Tackles Accountability

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I’m A Black Teacher and That Helps My Students

I was walking to my classroom on Friday and on my way, I saw a group of girls walking towards me. Three were Indian and two were Black; one of the Black girls wore her hair in an Afro. I said “hi” to all of the girls and made a point of saying to the… Continue reading I’m A Black Teacher and That Helps My Students

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“I Am Not Your Nigger”: Racial Slurs Run Amok in Schools Across America

When I went on break today and checked my Facebook page, I began reading the usual stories of love, tragedy, comedy, politics, and spirituality that run the gamut of my feed. However, my jaw dropped when I read this post. (I’ve deleted names to protect privacy.) Got a call from the deans office at my… Continue reading “I Am Not Your Nigger”: Racial Slurs Run Amok in Schools Across America