The storm’s pushed me to the other side of the classroom door. It’s strange waiting in the office, pressing the visitor’s pass to your shirt, listening to the voice on the other side of the intercom saying, “Please send them up to my classroom.” But in mid-November, in an old Houston neighborhood school converted into a middle school for displaced New Orleans students, there’s no place I’d rather be. Towana couldn’t wait in her classroom. Kalamu, Ashley, and I met her on the stairwell, exchanged hugs as 12-year-olds slid around us. At that moment, ...


In late August, during the second week of school, Z tapped me on the shoulder right after class and asked me if I’d talk to him outside. Z’s big for his age and probably a couple years older than his classmates in my sophomore English class. He’d been struggling to make it to class every day, holding a white hand towel soaked in menthol rub over his face and working a pack of tissue to keep his nose clean. The first day he arrived with his summer cold gear I thanked him for making the effort to ...


I keep thinking about Ed and Leatrice Roberts. Kalamu, Ashley, Maria, and I spent a couple of Saturdays there this summer. Maria, a rising senior at Douglass High School, sat between the two white-haired elders with dancing eyes and mischievous grins. They were on the couch, beneath the photograph of Dillard University’s college of education class of 1948. Maria’s head was bent over her notebook, except when she threw it back, braids and beads and all, laughing with Ed and Leatrice about crazy Ed dragging Leatrice on dates to union meetings or voter registration drives. Or when she ...


“I thought I had walked into Students at the Center (SAC) backwards, with a blindfold over my eyes and a false statement of what SAC really was. But then I turned around and slowly realized this is why I was meant to be here. “The teachers were different: It wasn’t always their input but ours as well. It was their techniques that raised my hands to remove the blindfolds. We sat in a circle. We told stories and discussed real issues that many teachers don’t care about. “They turned some of my inventions into creations. I love being ...


Fourteen students, graduates, teachers, and community partners traveled to Clemson University from seven states for a working retreat for the Students at the Center (SAC) program last weekend. You can probably guess at the familiar reunion details: hugs, jokes, inquiries about classmates and family members, discussions of future plans, and lots of writing. As always, the students had plenty to teach the adults in attendance. Damien, sporting the dress shirt and tie required for his new job and asking us to call him Mr. Theodore now, helped us see how to temper anger with humor in his memo to public ...


“Start with what you know to learn what you don’t know. Start with where you’re at to get to where you want to go.” That’s the motto we work by in Students at the Center (SAC), the school/community-based writing program a few students and I started in the late 1990’s. I must confess, however, that I often drop the motto’s second line. Maybe my 20 years as a classroom teacher has numbed me to the idea of going anywhere. Certainly the way New Orleans figures so prominently in SAC writing for community projects has ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Betsy Markum: I can't believe it, my co-worker just bought a car read more
  • Brittini: Hi my name is Brittini. The past few months have read more
  • Brittini: Hi my name is Brittini. The past few months have read more
  • Vicki Morgan: Dear Mr. Randels, I am a college student in Arizona, read more
  • Janelle Smith: Mr. Randels, I can't explain how good it feels to read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Pages