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Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

This is a guest blog from my husband, John Dukes. You’ve read his writing before in an ongoing series here at NYST entitled “Letters from John.” Throughout the series, John speaks poignantly, passionately, and truthfully about his journey along the school-to-prison pipeline. John is currently incarcerated and is enrolled in Mercy College. He had an assignment… Continue reading Letters from John: My Educational Autobiography

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African-American Pedagogical Experts Are What This Surge Of Student Social Activists Needs!

Last week, the nation watched as students from across the United States walked out of their school buildings and took their voices to loudspeakers and microphones as they spoke their truth about the negative ways gun violence in our schools affects them. My building principal recognized early on that students were going to participate in… Continue reading African-American Pedagogical Experts Are What This Surge Of Student Social Activists Needs!

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I’m So Scared For My Black Students

I’m so scared for my Black students. I can’t speak about any other demographic. I work with Black students every day and I am so scared about what I see. More and more they seem less and less interested in academic endeavors. We talk so much about having more technology in the classroom but today… Continue reading I’m So Scared For My Black Students

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When Diversifying Staff, It All Comes Down to Principals!

A school is only as good as its administrators’ execution of their vision. It starts at the top. Building administrators — specifically, school principals — are the ones who do the hiring of teachers. So much rides on their cultural competence, and this factors heavily into the hiring of teachers of color — or lack… Continue reading When Diversifying Staff, It All Comes Down to Principals!

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When They Go Low, We Go High: Why Black Teachers Are A Necessity, Not An Option

I didn’t know that there was a researched title for the kind of teacher I am. I just thought it was me being me and, while that’s true, I recently learned that the role I bring to the classroom every day is called being a “warm demander.” According to esteemed scholar Dr. Diedre Houchen, “warm… Continue reading When They Go Low, We Go High: Why Black Teachers Are A Necessity, Not An Option

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“By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”

I donated some books to my local public library yesterday. One of the bags that I used to transport the books was from Howard University. I got that bag at a parent orientation for incoming freshman students. On the front of the bag it proudly showcases the date that this historically Black university was established… Continue reading “By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”

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Having A Black Teacher Gives Black Students A Better Shot At Success

A colleague of mine and I were talking a few weeks ago and he mentioned something to me to which I’d previously not given much thought. He, a Black male educator, stated that Black children need more exposure to Black teachers as early in their academic careers as possible in order to give them a… Continue reading Having A Black Teacher Gives Black Students A Better Shot At Success

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Teachers of Color, Your Presence is Requested at the Equity Table!

The lack of teachers of color in America hurts all students, Black, Latino, Asian, and White. This is not just my opinion. This is a fact, and one that sadly continues to be overlooked in the hiring practices of districts across the United States. According to Chalkbeat, While students of color can develop deep ties… Continue reading Teachers of Color, Your Presence is Requested at the Equity Table!

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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