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

‘Mountaintop’ Helps Students Continue King’s Work

Darlene Koenig - October 11, 2011

A few years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama was criticized for revealing some not-so-flattering details about her husband, Barack: He snores. His morning breath is “stinky.” He never picks up his dirty socks. To those who said this was too much information about the president of the United States, Mrs. Obama had an answer. “Barack is very much human,” she told Glamour magazine, “so let’s not deify him.” Putting somebody on a pedestal, she said, is only preparation for knocking him from it.

Make Room for Pirate Girls, Princess Boys

Ted Palenski - October 10, 2011

One of my fondest and most salient memories from the past school year happened toward the beginning of the year. Joe had just turned 5. He was making his own book about pirates.

Building Bridges Over the Ages With Books

Jill Spain - October 7, 2011

Jeanette Winterson, author and poet, once said, “Books communicate ideas and make bridges between people.” As a middle school language arts teacher, I believed in this theory but wanted to see it in action. When I suggested to my principal that I would like to organize a book club with my students and local senior citizens, he was cautiously intrigued by the idea. 

Field Trips Help Make Learning Last

Alan L. Neville - October 6, 2011

I don’t remember much about my elementary school experience. But I do remember our class field trips. Field trips are more than a “vacation” from school. Coupled with meaningful and relevant lesson objectives, a field experience can engage students in learning and leave a lasting imprint.

Graphics Class Offers Success for All

Jan S. Gephardt - October 5, 2011

Working in an urban high school has many challenges. My first computer graphics class was no exception. The computers were old PCs and the software was a pared-down version of a program that had failed to meet standards of the graphic design industry. My class contained a mix of special education students and youths with a reputation for disrupting classrooms.

Alabama Immigration Law Tough on Students

Sean Price - October 4, 2011

Now that a federal judge has upheld most of Alabama’s new anti-immigration law, supporters can crow that the state is “No. 1” –at least when it comes to cracking down on immigrants. But what does that crackdown mean, practically speaking?

Student Plays Get Discussion Rolling on Race

Kathleen Melville - October 4, 2011

I do a lot of things in my classroom to teach, manage and assess my students. Countless assignments, procedures and projects are designed to keep the academic machinery of my classroom running smoothly. But when I want to know what my students really think about the world, I ask them to write a play.

Lesson From Muslim Student Teaches Whole School

Sarah Kotleba - October 3, 2011

Last spring, a fifth-grade girl approached me in the lunchroom with a question. Asalah is a Muslim student from Yemen. Our connection had started right there in the school cafeteria two years ago. I was passing out trays and sporks when the third-grade version of Asalah approached me with a question about whether or not the “ham” sandwich was really pork. I told her no, that it was turkey, and shared with her that my religion, Judaism, has dietary laws as well and that I don’t eat pork either. We’ve been pals ever since.

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