(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)
Recently I’ve been forcing myself to take a news fast but earlier this week, while out socializing with some members of my new education family at the Education Post Blogger Summit, I learned about the murder of a pregnant Black woman in Seattle at the hands of two White police officers in front of her children.… Continue reading The Education Plantation: It’s Time I Move From The Field To The House
“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?
I get lots of emails — me and millions of other people. Most of it is trash and I spend way too much of my time cleaning out my inbox to make room to take more pictures or to download a new app (don’t judge me – lol!). So I was pleasantly surprised when, in… Continue reading An Unlikely Yet Welcome Classroom Observation
Many people believe that summer school is a waste of time but I think summer school definitely has its place. However, even given the advancements that Chancellor Carmen Fariña has put into place, there is much room for improvement. One way in which we must improve our system is by abolishing social promotion, which is… Continue reading Summer, Summer, Summer School – Summer School!
How do I begin my quest to express just how amazing Lakisha Odlum truly is? Without a doubt, she is the most dedicated, knowledgeable, highly motivated and highly effective English teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. For four consecutive years I had the privilege of working alongside Lakisha Odlum as a member… Continue reading Shout Out to Pedagogical Powerhouse Lakisha Odlum!
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
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
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
On Friday I had a fire in my apartment. Everyone is fine, thank God, and I’ve been taking care of the clean-up, paperwork, and phone calls that come along with having a fire in one’s home. I paused from these duties to check my emails and, much to my surprise, I saw the picture above… Continue reading Against All Odds, He Graduated: The Kedrick Screen, Jr. Story