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Have We Made Any Progress Since Brown v. Board of Ed? Not In My Experience.

In 1951, a class action suit was filed against the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The plaintiffs were thirteen Topeka parents on behalf of their 20 children.  What a strong example of parental engagement this landmark case models for us, right? This case… Continue reading Have We Made Any Progress Since Brown v. Board of Ed? Not In My Experience.

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What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

Our guest today is Whitney Q. Hollins. She is a special educator in the NYC DOE, a Research Assistant at We Got Us Now and a doctoral student at C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center. Whitney and I do advocacy work together and what struck me most about her when we first met was her sharp mind. She’s… Continue reading What Should Teachers Know About How Mass Incarceration Intersects With The Classroom?

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How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

“I’m having a hard time getting through this because of the language. The constant referral to incarcerated individuals as inmates speaks to the inhumane vantage point from which they are viewed by society. Imagine if we all were forever referred to by the result of our worst decision in life?” This was my response to… Continue reading How Deeply Do You Think About Language?

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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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I’m a Black Woman and I Never Received a Manual on How to Teach White Kids

By now, you may have heard of the racist H&M advertising campaign. According to the Daily News, “Clothing giant H&M has been slammed for racism after featuring a photo of a black boy wearing a ‘coolest monkey in the jungle’ hoodie.” Black children are viewed as monkeys, not only in the world of advertising but… Continue reading I’m a Black Woman and I Never Received a Manual on How to Teach White Kids

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Informal Mentoring: The Art of Giving Back

Most new teachers leave the profession within five years. I’ve been hearing this stat and others like it for what seems like forever. The next logical question for me is, “Why?” The answers is multi-tiered. At the core of this mass exodus are inadequate, irrelevant, and ineffective pre-service experiences, as well as a lack of… Continue reading Informal Mentoring: The Art of Giving Back

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Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

(Dedicated to Fosemi, Lassana, and Adam.) Suddenly I was the inconsiderate one. As teachers, we need to be the agents of change who recognize and act accordingly to our students’diverse perspectives and customs. Here I thought I was responding appropriately when I noticed that some of my highest-performing students were not eating, even when I pointed… Continue reading Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

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Spring Break, Teacher Wellness, and Self-Care

Spring Break is here!!! Finally! It’s a long-awaited and much-needed reprieve from  standardized testing, parent-teacher conferences, student drama, after-school programs, professional development sessions, and overall  hectic schedules that are just part of this teacher life that we love — and hate — at the same time! We teachers give so much of ourselves to so… Continue reading Spring Break, Teacher Wellness, and Self-Care

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What Does Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Mean and Where Can I Get Some?

Education always has a buzz word or phrase of the hour. Differentiation. Rigor. Common Core. State Standards. Restorative Justice. Educational Equity. These buzz words and phrases flit out just as quickly as they flit in. Right now I’m noticing that “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” is a term floating around the education community. But what does culturally… Continue reading What Does Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Mean and Where Can I Get Some?

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To Give Homework, Or Not to Give Homework: That is the Question

Today was the day before Winter Break and the big question on many of my students’ minds was, “Are you giving us a packet to do over the break?” Students will be out for a week and when they return a few days before the end of February they have four weeks before they take… Continue reading To Give Homework, Or Not to Give Homework: That is the Question