NPR: If Your Teacher Looks Like You, You May Do Better In School

  Zai Wei Zhang for NPR   Think back to grade school for a moment and envision that one teacher who could captivate you more than any other. Did that teacher look a bit like you? One recent study says: probably. There’s mounting evidence that when black students have black teachers, those students are more likely…

Creating a culture of academic achievement in Black schools/classrooms

Peace Family, I want to reflect on some of the elements that I believe are needed in order to promote and ensure academic achievement for African-American children in U.S. schools and classrooms.  In writing this post, I am bringing in my experiences of teaching at an African-centered charter school in Chicago this past year.  Let…

Multiculturalism = Multiple Truths: Sylvia Wynter Style

When I first thought about or heard the term ‘multiculturalism’, I would naively think about–what my advisor used to say–“Food, Fun, & Festivals”.  I would picture a flag being raised that was respective of a person’s culture; a pot of food that is customary of a particular culture; or some sort of cultural dance or…

Critical Thinking & Questioning in the Classroom

Hi Everyone, I’m teaching an undergraduate course this semester titled, “Schooling in Diverse Communities” and I’m really enjoying it so far. As an educator, one aspect of my teaching philosophy is that of freedom of thinking.  We talk a lot about freedom of speech, voice, press, religion, etc….but we don’t emphasize enough the freedom of thought….

Black Male Educator’s Conference–Oct 2017

Good Morning Everyone, I saw this on my social media, sent to me by Dr. Camika Royal.  I think the presence of Black male teachers in K-12 classrooms is a topic that deserves much attention in educational reform conversations.  I definitely support the presence of ALL male teachers, regardless of their racial background, but Black…

Why ‘Protect the Melanin’?

We are experiencing a serious crisis in public education.  Many schools are being closed down and students are being bussed and shipped around their communities on a quarterly basis. It’s a problem that many students in urban schools don’t have access to proper nutrition and are served processed and sugary foods on a daily basis in the…