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August 29, 2012

Do You Like the Sound of Your (Teacher) Voice?

In August 2011, shortly after I had written my first blog, I was asked to do a radio interview on teacher voice. Rae Pica of the BAM! Network, an online radio station devoted to education, contacted me saying she loved my post and thought I could offer listeners a valuable perspective on teachers sp...

August 01, 2012

Take Some Risks With a 50-Blog-Old Teacher

Today marks my 50th blog and my one-year anniversary as a writer for Education Week Teacher. Though I'm new to the blogosphere, I'm not untested. I've seen my share of hate mail; had three different men live with me on my page (guest bloggers); and I've even been accused of having "fans." Life is ...

July 18, 2012

Teachers Play A Mean Game of 'Would You Rather?'

Last year during a staff professional development, we played a fun little game called Would You Rather? A moderator asked a series of ridiculous questions and the staff had to choose between two distasteful options, indicating our choice by moving to either side of the room. Let's play a few rounds...

July 11, 2012

Raise Your Hand If You Earned Your Summer Break

My summer break started just a week ago. As a charter school teacher, I work all year round. Our summer break started after Independence Day and I'm back to work in mid-August. Yes, I'm at work when the dog days of summer first start barking, and I'm back to work long before those dogs have a chance...

June 20, 2012

Teachers: Heroes, Victims, or Somewhere in Between?

Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us are good teachers and some of us should have quit a long time ago. Some of us are excited about life while others tame thoughts of suicide with daily doses of Prozac. Some teachers are madly in love with their spouses while others enjoy illicit affai...

June 06, 2012

The Secret Lives of Black Teachers

This weekend, I am hosting a spiritual conference for teachers of all pedagogical preferences, political persuasions, and ethnicities. It is designed to allow educators of like faith to pray together and to encourage us to express an aspect of our personality that we often conceal from our peers at ...

May 30, 2012

For At-Risk Students, School Mother Knows Best

I'm a "school mom" to two unrelated African American boys at my school. It's a term of endearment, and the card I use when I really want them to listen and do what I say. I code switch and speak to them in a tone and vernacular that they are accustomed to hearing at home. Sometimes, I just give them...

May 02, 2012

Lesson Planning: The Task I Love To Hate

What would you say is the hardest part of teaching? For me, it is lesson planning. It takes me on average six hours a week to plan instruction for the nine science units I teach each year. It's not just the writing of the plans that is laborious; it's the intellectual contemplation that goes in...

January 17, 2012

Wisdom From Dr. King Helps Center My Education Activism

Like many of you, I spent some time on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday reflecting on his life and legacy. I attended a commemoration service with my two little girls, and I listened to a choir sing the old Negro spirituals. I sang along and shed some tears. Like many of you, Dr. King is my h...

January 11, 2012

Our Children Are But Grass, So Let's Stop Fighting!

"When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers." - an African proverb. I am relatively new to the world of education policy. I entered the arena two years ago through Teach Plus, a non-profit organization that aims to offer leadership opportunities to high quality teachers with at least three y...

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