Teachers, our students need us. Let me make that statement more personal: My students need and appreciate me. How do I know? They told me so in birthday cards that they wrote for me last Friday. For the first time in my career, I had a student with the same birthday as me (June 7th)… Continue reading “I’ve Been Hard to Manage But You’ve Taught Me So Much.” A Teacher Considers Her Impact.
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!
This is a response by John Dukes, Vivett Dukes’ husband, to her most recent post. He describes himself this way: “You should know that first and foremost, I am a family man who loves God. I honor my commitment to my marriage, my children, and my friends fully. I am a happy person who has… Continue reading A Survivor of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Speaks Out.
Legacy, legacy, legacy, legacy Black excellence baby, you gon’ let ’em see Legacy, legacy, legacy, legacy Black excellency, baby, let ’em see” Jay-Z, “Legacy” I’m up early this morning and these lyrics by one of the most profoundly impactful rappers of our time takes on a whole new meaning for me and resonates deeply within… Continue reading Ode to My Son, Christian Hemans, On His College Graduation
It’s been six months since John has been home and the question that most people ask about his reentry focuses on whether or not he’s found a job. That’s telling in and of itself but that’s another post for another day. For John, securing employment once home from prison has always been of the utmost… Continue reading The Mismatch Between Prison Education and Actual Employment: A Real Life Account.
We haven’t heard much about the undocumented children being detained in U.S. concentration camps on the news any more, but I haven’t forgotten about them. I hope you haven’t either. We cannot afford to forget about or neglect our children — all children. All of them have value. All of them have futures. All of… Continue reading In a Sanctuary City Like NYC, Are Our Most Vulnerable Students Safe from Harm?
The phrase “school-to-prison-pipeline” is, for many, an impersonal educational buzzword like “rigor” and “standardized tests.” For others like me, it is an educational and societal mishap happening right before their eyes. Even more damaging, it is a wrathful system that’s swallowed children up and they now live with its dire consequences. These children are disproportionately … Continue reading “The School To Prison Pipeline Is Very Personal To Me”: A Teacher’s Plea To Destroy It.
Last week I wrote a very personal post about the connections between our nation’s education and criminal justice systems. I was accused by a reader of not grounding my assertions in research, thus voiding my post’s truth or relevance. I reminded the reader that I’d written a blog post, not a research paper. However, this… Continue reading The Life-Changing Benefits of Black Teachers for Black Students
On Tuesday, October 30th, I received one of the greatest gifts of my life: After serving 19 and a half years of a 20-to-life sentence, my husband John Dukes was released from prison. Each day he’s home is a blessing. Each day he’s home also highlights the challenges that formerly incarcerated people face along their… Continue reading A Personal Perspective Into The School-To-Prison Pipeline: John Is Home!
On June 19th, author Nora Raleigh-Baskin paid a visit to my students and me at our school to discuss her life and her book, Ruby on the Outside. If you read my blog posts regularly, you know that I am very transparent with my students and many of them know that my husband is incarcerated. Through… Continue reading The Power of School Author Visits for Our Students