Category Reflections

(photo credit: David Sikorski at earmilk.com)

What I Learned From Frank Ocean, Reddit, and Pokemon Go

This was a rough summer for me. I was supposed to travel to Ireland, England, France, Spain, and China but had to cancel all my flights because I was suddenly diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism after blood clots in my leg traveled into my lungs. I spent four days in the hospital and another two […]

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A White Teacher Reviews Emdin’s “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…”

If I had read Dr. Chris Emdin’s newest book, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Ya’ll Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education (2016) prior to my first year of teaching, I would have been so much more equipped to work with urban youth of color…For White Folks tears down the shroud that has been concealing what many white teachers have known, even subconsciously, but been too afraid to confront; that we have been complicit in the oppressive structures of schooling and that this complicity has consequently severed our ties, not only to our students and their humanity, but to ourselves as human beings in the process of becoming…I read For White Folks less as an indictment of white teachers and more as a love letter to them, from someone who genuinely cares about students and teachers. And like Emdin reminds us, “you cannot teach someone you do not believe in.”

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How I Survived The First Few Years of Teaching and Didn’t Burn Out

Earlier this week, a close friend and fellow teacher posted about her very, very long day at work. When she got home that evening it was far from over because she had lesson plans to finish, grades to submit, parents to call, and probably tears to cry. I could literally feel her pain because my […]

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We Gon’ Be Alright: A reflection on Kendrick Lamar’s visit

“Something for me even bigger than mentoring is really listening…When I do that we have a little bit bigger [of a] connection than me being Kendrick Lamar and you being the student. It’s almost like we’re friends because a friend listens.” – Kendrick Lamar at High Tech High School Reflecting on Kendrick Lamar’s visit to […]

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Part 2: High School Students Write Essays on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly

“Over 40 years, we’ve made changes in this country, but did we make a change in the heart of the individual?” – Jalen (9th grade) Since my last post about teaching Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) in the high school classroom, many people from around the world, including educators and music fans […]