My best times as a teacher, as a learner, the best things that have ever happened in and around my room, have happened with groups who were not racially homogenous..As a White teacher, I can say unequivocally that having a classroom that centers the voices of People of Color is crucial to good teaching.
Afterschool experiences provide much more than just a safe place to go; students have an extended opportunity to socialize with their peers and engage in problem solving activities. Schools often use 21st Century funds to host family math and literacy nights, where parents feel welcome in the school. There they engage in similar problem solving with their kids and take home resources to bridge the learning in their homes.
There are some moments as a teacher that just never leave you. They remain burned into memory like still photos. These images have stories that all elicit their own emotions, varying widely from invigorating and awe-inspiring to sad and demoralizing. Amid news that a DACA protected student was just deported, I am reminded of one of the single bravest acts performed by one of my students: disclosing his undocumented status to the entire class.
There is a difference between critiquing and attacking yourself. Instead of letting negative thoughts pervade your day and contribute to self-doubt, harness them as a conduit for improvement. See failure as feedback, not the world's confirmation that you are substandard.
I get goose bumps seeing what children think and do when we provide them with a space for inquiry. Their questions often provide a springboard to real rigor and deeper learning.
White boys need you to be honest about their history. We cannot fully embrace the contributions of white people without representing the hard truths. Teachers, do not shy away from any of it. As you teach about the strength and resourcefulness of our founding fathers, include the horrors of the exploitation and destruction of other cultures and civilizations...
The national mood reminds me of the plants I had expected in my abandoned raised beds. The soil is shallow and the fertilizer isn't good, so not much good is growing but weeds.
When it comes to engaging young people, DJs behind their turntables can teach educators a thing or two, especially during Spring Break.
While I understand the survival instinct, our profession is at a turning point. We can no longer afford the luxury of caring only about what happens in our classroom.
This is the miracle of teacher leadership. When done right and when teachers are nurtured in an environment that is safe, where risks and mistakes and encouraged, we begin to trust one another and cooperate to achieve more than we could on our own.