Blog

Educators and Professional Development: Quality Versus Quantity

I must say, I’m very grateful for the pre-service training that I received as a student preparing to be a teacher and in the early years of my career when I was a substitute and leave replacement teacher. My professors, cooperating teachers, and the department chairs that supervised me all embedded and modeled for me… Continue reading Educators and Professional Development: Quality Versus Quantity

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Why Do I #LoveTeaching? It’s Complicated!

As a teacher, is it even possible to pick a singular “This is why I do what I do!” eureka moment or reason? I started to investigate. Jen Ryan, a math teacher in New Jersey, expressed, “I teach for the little moments that remind me that I am making a difference in my students’ lives… Continue reading Why Do I #LoveTeaching? It’s Complicated!

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Why “Black Panther” Is A “Must See” For All Black Students

Yesterday, a student asked a colleague of mine why there isn’t a White History Month. The student, who happens to be Black, asked the question with all seriousness. I didn’t want my facial expression to give way to the 20-floor drop that my heart took to the pit of my stomach as soon as I… Continue reading Why “Black Panther” Is A “Must See” For All Black Students

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Encouraging the Absurd or Uncomfortable: The Power of Validating Student Ideas

(Alexandra Cohl is an academic and creative writer who is currently an MA English Literature candidate at The City College of New York. She is also a writing instructor to writers ages 6-18 and professional development program leader for in-school teachers at Writopia Lab, a national literacy nonprofit. Her fiction can be read in Luna… Continue reading Encouraging the Absurd or Uncomfortable: The Power of Validating Student Ideas

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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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The Holidays Are Not A Happy Time For All Students

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

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Know Me By My Name, Or Else!

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!

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White Teachers Are Often Too Shocked At Black Students’ Academic Successes

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

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Everybody Is Out Here Thinking That Being A Teacher Is Something Anybody Can Do!

I earned my initial certification to teach from New York State upon completion of a very rigorous 128-Credit Bachelor’s degree in English/secondary education, months of student teaching in classrooms that represented the grade-level in which I was seeking certification, and passing three challenging exams that tested my knowledge of not only English content, but professional… Continue reading Everybody Is Out Here Thinking That Being A Teacher Is Something Anybody Can Do!

Accountability

Accommodate Work for Special Ed Students — Don’t Dumb It Down!

Students with special needs are among some of the most vulnerable in our school communities. Providing them with instruction that fails to prepare them for the real world that they are about to enter is despicable. If you are a special education teacher or a general education teacher, it is imperative that you hold yourself… Continue reading Accommodate Work for Special Ed Students — Don’t Dumb It Down!