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I’m a Black Woman and I Never Received a Manual on How to Teach White Kids

By now, you may have heard of the racist H&M advertising campaign. According to the Daily News, “Clothing giant H&M has been slammed for racism after featuring a photo of a black boy wearing a ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie.” Black children are viewed as monkeys, not only in the world of advertising but… Continue reading I’m a Black Woman and I Never Received a Manual on How to Teach White Kids

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Informal Mentoring: The Art of Giving Back

Most new teachers leave the profession within five years. I’ve been hearing this stat and others like it for what seems like forever. The next logical question for me is, “Why?” The answers is multi-tiered. At the core of this mass exodus are inadequate, irrelevant, and ineffective pre-service experiences, as well as a lack of… Continue reading Informal Mentoring: The Art of Giving Back

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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)

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Spring Break, Teacher Wellness, and Self-Care

Spring Break is here!!! Finally! It’s a long-awaited and much-needed reprieve from  standardized testing, parent-teacher conferences, student drama, after-school programs, professional development sessions, and overall  hectic schedules that are just part of this teacher life that we love — and hate — at the same time! We teachers give so much of ourselves to so… Continue reading Spring Break, Teacher Wellness, and Self-Care

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What Does Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Mean and Where Can I Get Some?

Education always has a buzz word or phrase of the hour. Differentiation. Rigor. Common Core. State Standards. Restorative Justice. Educational Equity. These buzz words and phrases flit out just as quickly as they flit in. Right now I’m noticing that “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” is a term floating around the education community. But what does culturally… Continue reading What Does Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Mean and Where Can I Get Some?

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To Give Homework, Or Not to Give Homework: That is the Question

Today was the day before Winter Break and the big question on many of my students’ minds was, “Are you giving us a packet to do over the break?” Students will be out for a week and when they return a few days before the end of February they have four weeks before they take… Continue reading To Give Homework, Or Not to Give Homework: That is the Question

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Classroom Collaboration Turned Catastrophe

I overheard a student in the high school talking on and on about a love triangle between her, her current boyfriend, and her ex-boyfriend. I couldn’t help but stop, introduce myself, and advise her, no matter what, to remain honest and classy because a damaged reputation can sometimes be irreparable. She and her friends were… Continue reading Classroom Collaboration Turned Catastrophe

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This Is What Mrs. D Taught Me About Building Relationships With Students

Thinking back on my first few years as a teacher, I don’t think I was as good as I thought as I was.  Sure, I was prepared and didn’t have issues with my administrators but, given what I know now, I made a mistake by not prioritizing relationships with kids. Everyday I would come to… Continue reading This Is What Mrs. D Taught Me About Building Relationships With Students