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Urban Education, Stereotyping and Michael Brown

By |2017-12-18T22:28:37-05:00September 18th, 2014|Current Events in Education, Middle School, Principals' Corner, Uncategorized|

When Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson Missouri, I was struck by the fact that he could have been any one of the young men I taught in my 30 years in an urban middle school. This got me to thinking about how low performing schools and stereotypes of poor children and children of color [...]

I am a White Social Studies Teacher, and I am a Coward

By |2020-06-07T21:16:45-04:00June 7th, 2020|History, Social Justice|

For three consecutive Black History Months, I have picked up and then quickly put down the Black Lives Matter at Schools resources.  Why? Because I was scared.  I was worried that my white colleagues might think of me as radical. I was concerned that white students would grow uncomfortable and declare "that all lives mattered." I fretted over the [...]

An Open Letter to White Educators

By |2020-05-31T01:25:16-04:00May 31st, 2020|How to Fix Education, news, Responsive Classroom, School Improvement, Social Justice|

Trayvon Martin was killed on February 26, 2012. It has been eight years, and nothing has changed. Michael Brown was killed on August 9, 2014, preceding the Ferguson unrest that lasted weeks, and nothing has changed. Alton Sterling was killed on July 5, 2016, and nothing has changed. Stephon Clark was shot and killed on [...]

Do Black Lives Matter At School?

By |2018-02-11T20:30:16-05:00February 11th, 2018|Current Events in Education, Instruction & Curriculum, Social Justice|

Hey, teacher: did you know that the week of February 5-10, 2018 has been designated Black Lives Matter At School? Did you know that Black Lives Matter at School is a thing? According to Teaching for Change, an organization dedicated to social justice, the first full week of February promotes three demands: End Zero Tolerance, [...]

We Must Teach the Worst of our History; Not Glorify It

By |2017-08-16T11:07:01-04:00August 14th, 2017|Current Events in Education, Featured, Opinion, Social Justice|

As I write this, it's not yet 24 hours since Charlottesville, Virginia erupted in violence at the hands of white supremacists. What happened there, how we respond to it, and what must happen next is an essential conversation for all Americans, but especially educators. Those white Americans whose reaction was to claim "this isn't America!" [...]

Race-Based Silence is Violence

By |2016-11-01T13:47:58-04:00July 11th, 2016|Confessions of a Teacher, Middle School, Opinion, Recruitment & Retention, Social Justice, Teacher Burnout|

Look around your school. Who would be the person to talk to your students about race and how it affects minorities? Who would start the conversation about Alton Sterling or Philando Castille? If you cannot think of anyone, there is an issue. If you don’t think children need to discuss racially charged incidents, there is an [...]

Crisis In Flint = Disaster For A Generation Of Students

By |2016-11-01T13:54:47-04:00January 15th, 2016|Current Events in Education, School Improvement, Uncategorized|

When hearing news about the financial issues of major cities in the United States, headlines often point to Camden, Cleveland, St. Louis, and, of course, Detroit. Countless articles have been published about the downturn of these formerly bustling hubs. Detroit alone has garnered international development attention from planners looking to avoid such collapses in the [...]

Controversy: Addressing Challenging Topics in Your High School English Class

By |2016-11-01T13:55:07-04:00January 8th, 2016|Current Events in Education, Featured, High School, Instruction & Curriculum, Instructional Strategies, Literacy|

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, was killed in the streets of Ferguson, MO. On August 11, just two days later, school was scheduled to begin. As I watched the story unfold over the weekend, I was met with an anger and frustration I had not experienced since Trayvon Martin was [...]

My Morning Routine As a Teacher

By |2019-12-05T18:48:59-05:00November 28th, 2018|Ask a Teacher, Confessions of a Teacher, fitness, Teacher Self Care, Teacher Self-Care Conference|

I recently read Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander's book My Morning Routine, and I was relatively impressed with the content (and recommend reading it - it's an easy read in a couple of hours). The premise is essentially based upon an interview with many magnates of industry, from General Stanley McChrystal to Arianna Huffington, discussing [...]

Traveling Teacher: National Museum of African American History and Culture

By |2017-02-20T12:45:51-05:00February 21st, 2017|Adult Learning, Current Events in Education, Teacher Leaders|

I was recently able to attend a conference earlier this February in the nation's capital, and the hottest ticket in town is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or NMAAHC for short. In the span between its opening (September of 2016) and Valentine's Day, 2017, 1 million visitors have walked through the [...]

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