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Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent

Imagine you are a young person whose parent is in prison. How does that impact you as you walk into school, interact with peers and teachers, and sit down to learn? What makes you feel safe and connected? Five million U.S. children are living this experience. How can we better serve them? What other students… Continue reading Hidden Among Us: Identifying and Supporting Students With An Incarcerated Parent

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Be Brave: Teach America’s Ugly Truths

Educators: Speak out against hate. Defend love. Racism is a diabolical social construct. The truth is that there is only one race — the human race. We need more love, friends. All this anger and hatred is literally eating us alive. From its impetus, America has been built upon divisiveness, corruption, and hate. Do we… Continue reading Be Brave: Teach America’s Ugly Truths

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Addressing Racism Within The Four Walls Of My Classroom — And Yours

In a few short weeks school will resume in New York and I’m already thinking about how we are going to address racism within the four walls of my classroom. I can already see us previewing images like the one above for a Do Now discussion and quick-write. I’m thinking about what texts, historical and… Continue reading Addressing Racism Within The Four Walls Of My Classroom — And Yours

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White Teachers Tend To Have Consistently Lower Expectations of Their Black and Brown Students

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

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Work Now, Get Paid Later — Maybe: One Teacher’s Woeful Summer Work Experience

I didn’t want to work this summer. I really just wanted to rest from a somewhat stressful school year and revitalize myself in preparation for the academic year ahead. I almost pulled it off, too, but after careful review of my budget post on my daughter’s eighteenth birthday, high school graduation, and prom, I knew… Continue reading Work Now, Get Paid Later — Maybe: One Teacher’s Woeful Summer Work Experience

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In a High-Achieving School That Has 99% Black Students, Why Haven’t More Black Teachers Been Hired?

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?

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How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?

I only had one Black teacher in my entire K-12 academic career. One. I graduated from Elmont Memorial High School (EMHS) on Long Island almost 25 years ago. I always brag about the quality education that I got there. It really was top-notch. The neighborhood in which we lived and attended school was culturally diverse.… Continue reading How Are These White Teachers At A Long Island High School Helping Black Kids Achieve Above- Average Graduation Rates?

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A Summer Staycation at Your Local Public Library

Guess what I just did? I got a library card! Finally! After being homeless for six months, I moved into my current home almost a year and a half ago and I finally got around to making one of the most important decisions of my summer. The English teacher in me was ashamed that I… Continue reading A Summer Staycation at Your Local Public Library

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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!