Do we still need to teach vocabulary in schools?

I just want to drop a brief note and reflection about a teachable moment I created earlier today.  I was at the Cambria Heights Library in Queens today and as I was checking out my book, I overheard two young girls excitedly talking to a librarian and they were asking him to quiz them on…

Self-Care and Wellness in Urban Schools (Part 1)

Hi Everyone, Today, I want to offer a reflection on a matter that I think is very important and this is the topic of health, self-care, and wellness in urban classrooms.  Now, let me first say, that this post will be part of a series in this blog because it is one that deserves serious…

Zero Tolerance, Classroom Management, Race, & the Discipline Gap

Peace Family, For this blog post, I want to discuss my thoughts on school discipline and classroom management within racial, schooling contexts. Today in a course that I teach, I showed my students Ava Duvernay’s documentary, 13th, in class.  This is a powerful film–one that analyzes mass incarceration in the U.S. within a socio-political context of…

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…

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….