A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools
Anna quickly entered my freshmen English classroom when the third-period bell rang. She is no longer a freshman. This was a free period. Still, she sat at the desk closest to mine and buried her head in her AP European History textbook.
She knew she was safe here.
The explosion of news coverage over the controversial execution of Troy Davis in Georgia recently is a reminder that our students learn powerful lessons outside our classrooms.
These events offer opportunities for lessons of context inside our classrooms.
Oct. 8, was a day of victory for a group of 22 Life Academy students in Oakland, Calif.
They are part of a 2-year-old advocacy club called “The Real DREAM Act Movement.” Students met regularly to support in campaigning for the passage of the federal DREAM Act. After several weeks of active letter writing and campaigning, their dream had finally come true: California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 131, a companion bill to AB 130, together known as the “California DREAM Act.”
By the 171st day of school, even a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher like me is pretty sure I am immune to being moved or motivated in any sort of way.
I am mechanically and somewhat maniacally moving toward the soul nurturing, patience restoring and creativity refueling station we know as “summer vacation.” My fuse is short. I have an overwhelming need for order, structure and control in the classroom. Final exams, deadlines for grades and year-end papers are due.
“I’ve gotten used to you being a teacher everywhere you go.”
My oldest son said this to me at the beginning of the summer after some children we don’t know joined a game of tag that we were playing together.
"It's not fair!”
Full of angst and rebellion, the teenage delinquent, arms crossed, leans against a concrete wall with a surly look. Heavy eyes searing under a furled brow, lips pursed in a snarl. This stereotypical portrayal of teenagers is ubiquitous in media and seems to represent society's general opinion of this age group. Unfortunately, society doesn’t have the full picture here.
I wiggle in my desk chair, softly swiveling it ever so gently back and forth, and fidget with my pen. I am a student in my own classroom.
At the front of the room stands a teacher in my place. To outside observers the girl dressed in flip flops and jeans pointing at things projected to the white board could not possibly be in charge—if anything they might mistake her as an unruly student who escaped from the confines of her desk.