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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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When They Go Low, We Go High: Why Black Teachers Are A Necessity, Not An Option

I didn’t know that there was a researched title for the kind of teacher I am. I just thought it was me being me and, while that’s true, I recently learned that the role I bring to the classroom every day is called being a “warm demander.” According to esteemed scholar Dr. Diedre Houchen, “warm… Continue reading When They Go Low, We Go High: Why Black Teachers Are A Necessity, Not An Option

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“By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”

I donated some books to my local public library yesterday. One of the bags that I used to transport the books was from Howard University. I got that bag at a parent orientation for incoming freshman students. On the front of the bag it proudly showcases the date that this historically Black university was established… Continue reading “By the Time I Was the Only Black Kid in All My Honors Classes, I Was Already Confident in My Abilities.”

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Having A Black Teacher Gives Black Students A Better Shot At Success

A colleague of mine and I were talking a few weeks ago and he mentioned something to me to which I’d previously not given much thought. He, a Black male educator, stated that Black children need more exposure to Black teachers as early in their academic careers as possible in order to give them a… Continue reading Having A Black Teacher Gives Black Students A Better Shot At Success

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Teachers of Color, Your Presence is Requested at the Equity Table!

The lack of teachers of color in America hurts all students, Black, Latino, Asian, and White. This is not just my opinion. This is a fact, and one that sadly continues to be overlooked in the hiring practices of districts across the United States. According to Chalkbeat, While students of color can develop deep ties… Continue reading Teachers of Color, Your Presence is Requested at the Equity Table!

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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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Being a Part of the Change I Want to See in Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification

Have you done it? Are you doing it? What are your thoughts? There have been quite a few occasions when my personal philosophy on education was diametrically opposed to that of those in upper-management of New York School Talk. One of those issues is alternative routes to teacher certification. Teaching is extremely mentally, physically, and… Continue reading Being a Part of the Change I Want to See in Alternative Routes to Teaching Certification

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Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

Recently, the state of Missouri showed me a lot of love by publishing an article I wrote about my personal and professional experiences with the school-to-prison-pipeline in the historically African-American-based paper, the St. Louis American. My interaction with Missouri was minimal prior to that, but in the last few weeks the Show-Me-State has increasingly appeared… Continue reading Teachers As Social Activists: Building a Better Existence — Beyond The Classroom

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The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers

Some of my students call me “Auntie Dukes” of “Ma Dukes”. It’s a term of endearment and I must admit, I love when they call me by either nickname. It’s usually in the halls or outside after-school when I hear a student refer to me as such and it’s in those moments that I know… Continue reading The Glass Ceiling I See Exists For Most White Teachers