My first honest conversation about white privilege came much too late in life. I was a 40-something doctoral candidate taking a class on multicultural education with a dozen other white women. Thankfully, the course was taught by the same (white) professor whose mantra became my own: The more I learn, the less I know. This [...]
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One matter we have gotten over very quickly as a country is the notion, beginning in 2008 and carried throughout the Obama presidency, that we now live in a "post-racial" society. The fact that an African American was twice-elected to the nation's highest office gave rise to the idea that racial discord can now be [...]
Dear White Teachers, Black Students Matter After George Floyd’s murder, I woke up to a string of messages from one of my Black students, M. She poured her heart out to me at three in the morning, releasing the burdens she carries as a young Black woman in America. She said she was desperate to [...]
Imagine walking into your classroom and seeing something completely different. Every child has been fed, is well-rested, and wearing clean clothes. Your classroom is stocked with all the materials you and your students need. As you move through your day there is plenty of time for art, music, science, and history. There is no standardized [...]
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 [...]
I remember my first year teaching….I was having difficulty with a few of my 6th-grade students. They were male and Hispanic. I wasn’t sure what the gap was but they ignored me when I spoke, they made rude comments and made it quite clear they weren’t going to do anything that I asked (including their [...]
Opinion: An Open Letter to Teachers of Color Dealing with Guilt while Working at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI)
Guest Writer: Jheanell Lumsden Dear Teacher of Color, You’re about to begin a new school year, and as a teacher of color, you know that our teaching experiences are vastly different from our white counterparts. Each academic year can feel like an even steeper uphill battle, and we may end up even more emotionally and [...]
Sandra Bland, a vocal campaigner for civil rights; Courtesy NBC Chicago I watched the Sandra Bland dash cam video last night. I knew the grim ending to the story before I even clicked play on my iPhone, but the video hit me all the same. I couldn’t sleep as I replayed the images [...]
I was standing at the edge of a large hole, collectively dug by four third-grade students. Two were continuing to dig, while one peered in curiously. The fourth student was collecting some kind insect larvae. “I’m going to take them home as pets!” He proudly proclaimed. With five weeks left in the school year, my school’s [...]
As teachers, we interact with kids constantly that we often forget exchanges we’ve had. To many of our students, those exchanges are things they have clung to in their time of need or seen as the straw that broke the camels back. We see so many kids every single day that it’s overwhelming, but I [...]