Blog

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

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Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

Black children are not allowed to be children. They are perceived by mainstream America, from out of the womb, as being armed, dangerous, and suspicious. They are constantly scrutinized, chastised, and over-managed. How many Black parents have had to sit their young Black child down and explain to them how to conduct themselves in public,… Continue reading Black Children Are Not Allowed To Be Children

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This Is What The College Entrance “Guru” Can’t Teach Us: Managing High Stress for High Schoolers

On a rainy Wednesday evening, my husband and I sat in our local library listening to a college planning “Guru” explain the ins and outs of the college application and financial aid process. The room was packed with Long Island parents eager to figure out the formula to finance and get the most out of… Continue reading This Is What The College Entrance “Guru” Can’t Teach Us: Managing High Stress for High Schoolers

School Choice

Sharing Space Doesn’t Make For Safe Schools

(New York School Talk exists to offer a “safe space” for parents, teachers, students, and anyone invested in public education.  Most of our bloggers support charter school expansion in New York City. Not all of them do. We deeply value all voices and believe that differing opinions can lead to enlightened strategies to address what… Continue reading Sharing Space Doesn’t Make For Safe Schools

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If You See Something, Say Something: Teachers, Their Students, & Ethical Conversations

As educators, our jobs entail so much more than teaching the content area in which we are certified. We spend hours each day with our students and, as such, have constant opportunities to talk to them about the development of their moral character, a class that is not taught in most public schools but one… Continue reading If You See Something, Say Something: Teachers, Their Students, & Ethical Conversations

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Nurturing My Students – Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit

My students and I are reading the novel Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, a series of vignettes about each character’s life woven together to tell the story of how a community garden comes into existence. It came to me that, in my effort to intentionally build a caring classroom community, it would benefit us to start… Continue reading Nurturing My Students – Mind, Body, Soul, and Spirit

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Damn! NO Black Teachers Are Being Hired? This Is Crazy!!

I have a serious inquiry for school administrators: Is a teacher applicant’s race a factor when you consider hiring them? Let me be more specific: Do you think about your minority student demographics and then consider the positive impact that having a teacher who looks like them will have on them? Do any of these… Continue reading Damn! NO Black Teachers Are Being Hired? This Is Crazy!!