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A Culturally-Responsive Education For NYC Students Is No Longer Optional! It Is A Must!

New York City schools are plagued with deeply embedded racist practices and ideologies. From the huge disparity in the amount of teachers of color hired in comparison to their White counterparts, to the lack of diversity and inclusion of the vast contributions of all groups, not just White people, to the building of this country… Continue reading A Culturally-Responsive Education For NYC Students Is No Longer Optional! It Is A Must!

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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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NYC Teacher: Principals, Get Out There and Lead!

What could be more important than welcoming 1,300 high school students during the morning into your building as a principal? I mean, seriously. I do it. These students walk past my 5’2” petite frame (hence, I often wear heels making me a resounding 5’3” tall powerhouse) on their way to the cafeteria and subsequent classes.… Continue reading NYC Teacher: Principals, Get Out There and Lead!

Accountability · Blog

It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!

Standardized tests have their place. Where that place is needs to be revisited and revised.  The tests are coming! The tests are coming! This is the battle cry this time of year at most schools. In just a few short months, students across New York State in grades three through eight will spend a few… Continue reading It’s January And Standardized Test Season Is Underway!

Accountability · Blog

Who Is Accountable For New York’s Students?

“Accountability” is a popular buzz word in the field of education. Often it is used in reference to teachers in correlation with their students’ standardized test scores; however, that’s a very limited scope and sequence. Accountability is so much more than that. Who is accountable for fueling our students with healthy, nutritious meals? Who is… Continue reading Who Is Accountable For New York’s Students?

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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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The Power of Affirming Words In The Lives of Our 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

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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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Black Boys and Academic Excellence: An Unlikely Match In The Minds of Too Many Teachers

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