(This is a guest post by Marilyn Rhames, a teacher, writer, thought leader and social entrepreneur. She is founder and CEO of Teachers Who Pray, a faith-based nonprofit that has more than 100 chapters nationwide. She is also the author of the upcoming book, “The Master Teacher: 12 Spiritual Lessons That Can Transform Schools and Revolutionize… Continue reading Sexual Harassment Happens in Our Schools and It Happened to #MeToo
Thanksgiving into the New Year is one of my favorite times of year — (besides my birthday, of course!). All of the delicious Jamaican delicacies that only get made during the Holidays, the decorating of the Christmas tree, the giving and receiving of heartfelt gifts, and the inherent hope that the prospect of a new… Continue reading The Holidays Are Not A Happy Time For All Students
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I️ grew up hearing this wisdom exhorted in my home time and time again. Words have power. The tone of those words carries with them an even heavier weight. I’ve taken this wisdom into my classroom and observed other teachers who’ve made a conscious effort… Continue reading The Power of Affirming Words In The Lives of Our Students
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!
He didn’t want to participate in the spelling bee to begin with. The shock everyone blatantly displayed about the fact that he was a runner-up in his class spelling bee had rubbed him the wrong way and added to an already unfortunate situation. He wasn’t accustomed to the academic spotlight. He’d never been acknowledged for… Continue reading Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers
Recently, the state of Missouri showed me a lot of love by publishing an article I wrote about my personal and professional experiences with the school-to-prison-pipeline in the historically African-American-based paper, the St. Louis American. My interaction with Missouri was minimal prior to that, but in the last few weeks the Show-Me-State has increasingly appeared… Continue reading Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom
Some of my students call me “Auntie Dukes” of “Ma Dukes”. It’s a term of endearment and I must admit, I love when they call me by either nickname. It’s usually in the halls or outside after-school when I hear a student refer to me as such and it’s in those moments that I know… Continue reading The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers
I was allotted some funds for the purpose of further developing my classroom library. Books are my happy place so I was overjoyed! I set out on the task with the express purpose of not only getting books that met the varying reading levels of my students, but also books that represented the cultures of… Continue reading What’s On Your Book Shelf?: The Importance of Diversity in Classroom Libraries
Most of my blogs focus on the experiences of Black students and teachers. I’m a Black woman. I️ write about what I️ know. Recently I️ wrote about the differences in expectations that White and Black teachers tend to have for their students. Almost immediately after posting that particular blog, the “What about White Teachers?” and… Continue reading Black Teachers Are A Must In The Classroom – Especially Those Classrooms Filled With Black Students.
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