You Don’t Have To Lie (Hire More Black Teachers, Maybe) – Education Article

On Friday, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NYC with student activists Xoya David and Joshua Brown and writer-friend-luminary Nikole Hannah-Jones. When I got the invite from Brian Jones, I was in the midst of finishing one of my more triumphant performances in service of the profession. I was also shaking off the uncertainties of having a teacher improvement plan the prior school year. I’m holding the…

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Setting Goals – STORIES FROM SCHOOL AZ – Education Article

Do you start the new year by setting goals for yourself? Perhaps it is one word that will be the theme of your year or a set of professional and personal goals. Do you do this with your students as part of their reflection process?For the first time in my teaching career, I didn’t do a goals activity specifically around the new year. Before this year I have always done a cute writing activity where students review the previous year…

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8 Tips For Becoming A Teacher Role Model – Education Article

Reading Time: 5 minutes How can we be the best role models for our students? To be or not to be a role model? That is the question. Are teachers unwittingly positioned as role models because of the job title being linked with responsibility for learning? Does the label weigh us down? There are many superlatives accompanying the term ‘role model’. Inspirational, immaculate, influential… the list is endless. The label can make us constantly ask ourselves how we can measure…

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A Reminder About Teaching Students Math in NYC (And Beyond) – Education Article

“So what you’re saying is that the statement at the top of this paper is for me to prove using these equations?” I nod. “OK, but I don’t get what f and g actually do. That’s making like no sense.” [scribbles a bunch of notes on a board and, over the course of five minutes, gets to why mathematicians decided to write “f of g” with a dot but not explain how it actually works] “OK, that was really good.”…

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I Put In Work And It’s All For The Kids [An NCTE Reflection] – Education Article

Just before I got home, I turn on DMX’s “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” because it matches the BPM I need to make it through the length of JFK International Airport corridors. As I get off the umpteenth moving sidewalk, DMX rapped: “I’ve been doing this for 19 years.Cats wanna fight me? Fight these tears.I put in work, and it’s all for the kids,But these cats done forgot what work is.They don’t know who we be,Looking, but they don’t…

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Just Take It Slow, We Got So Far To Go – Education Article

On Monday, our students had a trip to the American Museum of Natural History. After a series of whip-arounds and semi-completed scavenger hunts, we entered the waiting area for the Neil deGrasse Tyson-narrated Dark Universe. Because I saw it this summer with my son, I had the utmost confidence in telling my students it would be the best movie they’ve seen on a school trip and went into a furious synopsis of what they were about to see. One student commented…

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Keep That Same Energy, Tho [2018 and Beyond] – Education Article

“So what year are you?” I hesitated. In circles like these, I’m usually the odd person out. People probably ask themselves qualification questions privately, as well. On any given day, I can represent the 3.6 million teachers of America, the 20% of teachers who identify as nonwhite, the 2% of Black male teachers, the 1% of Latinx male teachers, or just me. I’m usually invited to have the race conversation because that’s the necessary one, but sometimes, I rather have…

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Launch This Strategy to Rejuvenate Your Co-teaching – Education Article

A MiddleWeb Blog Happy 2019, everyone! My steady readers know I am not a resolutions making kind of gal. Resolutions tend to have that adding-something-to-an-already-busy-plate sensation that, after awhile, fizzles away in frustration due to lack of resources, energy, and time. As a new year unfolds, I find great value in zooming in on a year-round reflective process as a way to keep our co-teaching on an effective trajectory. And January is a great time to pause and reflect. So,…

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