“Mister, can we speak with you?” three young ladies asked as they approached me one day between classes. They were there on behalf of a fourth young lady, their friend Danielle. It was prom season and Danielle wanted to go but didn’t have the funds. From time to time I would anonymously pay for things… Continue reading A Very Special High School Prom Conspiracy Abetted By A Very Special Teacher.
I sent out the following tongue-in-cheek email to my family and a few friends on my last day of teaching: Did you hear about the disturbance that took place in Harlem at 11:45am today? Apparently there was this teacher dancing down the streets in celebration. He walked out of the rear door of his school… Continue reading Why Was This Teacher Doing The Funky Chicken On 116th Street in Harlem?
The New York Times reports that “[a] group of selective schools and programs geared to students labeled gifted and talented is filled mostly with white and Asian children,” even though the vast majority of the 1.1 million students in New York City are Black and Latinx. And so a “high-level panel appointed by Mayor Bill… Continue reading NYC’s Gifted and Talented Programs Need Accessibility, Not Elimination.
Why is it a problem for some when academic spaces are comprised of more Black teachers than White teachers? I continue to be baffled by the resistance to this change, especially from White teachers. The reality is that many Black teachers function in predominantly White academic spaces for the entirety of our careers, often without… Continue reading An Impassioned Plea For The Purposeful Hiring of More Black Teachers
In Thursday’s post, I indicated that racism, bias, and discrimination are as much a part of our educational system in New York as they are in any other formal institution. Although some would like to quench the thirst of those — like me — who are eager to expose and eradicate the misery of this… Continue reading Lean In. The Disruption Has Begun.
City kids are struggling with basic math and English — but a new Department of Education curricular initiative focuses instead on racial privilege and activism, The Post has learned. As soon as I read this opening sentence of this NY Post article, I was completely taken aback. Racial privilege? Activism? What — you mean activating… Continue reading The NYC DOE Has Racism Coursing Through Its Veins and Carranza Is Trying To Do Something About It. Why the Pushback?: Part 1.
One of my very best childhood friends who has known me since we were the same age of the students that I’ve taught over these years had a question for me. He asked, now that retirement has arrived, what were my goals when I first began teaching and did I meet these goals? An interesting… Continue reading Veteran Teacher Explains How He Went From A “Babe In the Woods” to “Developing a Clear Vision.”
We need more diversity in the teaching pool of the NYC Department of Education. It’s just too white and that shouldn’t be a newsflash to anyone. I’ve said it before and I will continue to strike that same note and will not stop speaking and writing this truth until the paradigm shifts and more teachers… Continue reading Dear Chancellor Carranza: Keep Making Them Mad!
One of the most difficult challenges we face as educators is preparing our students for life after they leave “the bubble”. What I mean by “the bubble” is the exclusive Black and Brown world my students currently inhabit and navigate. They are almost exclusively Black, Latino, or Muslim. In school, most, but not all, of… Continue reading How Does This Harlem Teacher Help His Black and Brown Students Navigate Life “Outside the Bubble?”
I’d like to tell you about a friendship I developed with a fellow teaching colleague, one that grew from a complete loathing for one another. Michael Crump was our school’s athletic director, basketball coach and dean. He was also a licensed social studies teacher. In the role of a dean, you are responsible for maintaining… Continue reading ‘Why are you taking your time?! Do your damn job!’: An Unlikely Friendship Between Two NYC Teachers.