My dream is that the poor black and brown children of Chicago will get an equal chance at obtaining a quality education this year—not just at the "welcoming" schools but in the ordinary, less politicized neighborhood schools.

I know I am not the only one. There must be thousands of teachers in my district, in my state—in America—who are just like me. We did not end last school year on a positive note. Some of us had clashes with parents, with other teachers, with administrators, or all of the above. But we made it. We managed not to get fired or to quit. We remained committed to our students and our professions despite some of the crazy working conditions we are forced to endure. We ran out of the school building singing "hallelujah!" for summer...

This 96th blog post marks my second bloggaversary! Since I started writing, I've taught middle school science; lost a student; founded a nonprofit organization; traveled to Cameroon, West Africa; almost lost my sister; become a writing teacher; lost my dad; received unsolicited sex advice from a student; been named Educator's Voice Commentator/Blogger of the Year; gotten pregnant; questioned my affinity for education reform; debated the virtues of teaching with a cop; suffered psychologically from working-mother-wife-teacher syndrome; and met lots of new reader-friends like you! The beauty of blogging is that I've documented every one of these situation—plus many...

There are certain topics that most teachers will not want to talk about publicly. But when teachers discuss these taboo topics out in the open, we strengthen our voice, regain our credibility, and elevate our profession.

What is the value of a young African American male life? It's priceless, of course, but you wouldn't know it just by living in the city or watching the news.

My aunt inspired me to be smart, beautiful, and really good at something important. I thought this meant being a medical doctorate like her, but it actually meant becoming a writer and teacher.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings, the critical state of Nelson Mandela, and other news events makes one teacher re-assess her feelings about being called an African American verse just being called black.

Things are getting chaotic in Chicago. As much as I love the city of my birth, I cannot recommend anyone relocating here—especially if you are a teacher.

For most of my nine-year teaching career I have held to the self-imposed policy that my cell phone remains turned off and in my bag during the day. Then my timer broke—my trusty, use-it-constantly-in-class, perfectly sized and sounded timer. I changed the batteries three times but it still wouldn't work. Well, instead of running to Target or Walmart to buy another one, I pulled out my cell phone and used the timer feature. Oh, I'll just use it this one time, I told myself each time I reached for my phone a dozen times a day. Then I realized...

Who's to blame for the crisis of education in Chicago? Read this post--you may be surprised.


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