where racism lives

As I try to educate this new generation of young people about history and systems of inequality, I encounter a resistance. It is not an overt denial nor an ignorance, and it has baffled me for some time. Young people today have access to more ideas and information than ever before. But within this data…

turn 18, you are on your own

A horrific crime occurred in my city, one of many to be honest. The young man who committed this crime got more in-depth coverage than others, but media bias and the continuing racist narrative that is carried through that bias, will have to be addressed in another writing. This article examines closely the services this…

students notice

Discussions on education are like entering into a hurricane. Nothing is nailed down. No one can tell what direction they are flying. Everyone speaks in the name of students, some who spend every day with them and others who haven’t spent significant time with youth since they were ones themselves. But students do notice; the…

politics and schools

Listening to politicians speak about education is a practice in ironic vacancy. It is the easiest topic for practice in shining your own apple. There are few missteps a slick politician can slip on when challenged by questions such as, “do you support arts in the school, and how will you expand the supporter?” I…

the medusa of schools

Schools are a complicated place. We often theorize about the public, public policy, public transportation, public news alert, but most of our time is spent away from the public, in some structured and defined space that we determine the parameters of. When there is an intersection of people, with varying investments, interests, levels of development…

if you have never been a teacher

This year I have an intern teacher in my classroom throughout the year. It is similar to a medical residency, where he shadows me and then begins to take over more and more of the teaching work. I thoroughly enjoy talking about teaching, but the real benefits are more tangible. 1. I can go to…

Letting my weakness’ show is a muscle I flex

this was a short piece I wrote last summer for the “Jumpstart Odyssey” assignment for the Calderwood writing fellowship: The Strength of Weakness   “For Amily to be able to enter into third grade, she must be able to write cursive. Our second graders at the Learning Project have already learned this skill. Amily will fall…

ED Speak – hiding what we really want to say

Yesterday I was informed that we are no longer referring to students as “at-risk students” now the term is “high-need students”. The language that is viewed as appropriate ways to discuss students, which are really simply a reflection of those who soon will be called simply citizens or members of society. What is meant when…

the cult of college

The education reform movement of the day has declared that all students will be prepared to attend a 4-year college. Over and over I have heard this mantra, my obligation as a teacher and a measure of my success if by getting students into college. Nevermind the inability to pay for it, or the everlasting…

time out of my busy day

“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to email us – we greatly appreciate it.” A note at the end of an email from a parent. An email I initiated, an email that I wrote simply to note a student’s improvement, and a confession that she made in class that she…