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

Why Do I Teach? I've Changed My Answer

Laura Sofen - April 21, 2011

When I was studying to be a teacher, I had to write a philosophy of education. This essay was to explain what I believed about kids and the role teachers and education played in their lives. I wrote that all kids could learn, that they all deserved equal access to inspired teaching and that my role was to meet them wherever they were and serve them in the way that best met their needs.

Although I still believe those things are true, I've come to realize that my teaching is driven more by a different philosophy than the one I wrote about.

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Student

Annah Lauren Kelley - April 20, 2011

As schools warm up to the idea of including a child's BMI (Body Mass Index) on his or her report card, perhaps we should evaluate the way we address the issue of childhood obesity. Yes, a high BMI can be dangerous. But as we've seen, the BMI can also be incredibly misleading.

When Bullying Becomes a Laughing Matter

Sarah Butler - April 19, 2011

“You can’t sit with us!”

I giggled as I, along with the 20 or so other girls in my high school health class, sprawled out on the classroom floor and watched Mean Girls. Gretchen Wieners had just told Regina George she couldn’t sit at their lunch table because she was wearing sweatpants­­. We’d all seen the movie countless times before, but it didn’t matter. The scene was perpetually funny.

Let the Freedom Rides Roll Through Your Class

Sean Price - April 18, 2011

When many students think of buses and desegregation, their minds instantly go to Rosa Parks and the 1954 Montgomery Bus Boycott. But the larger civil rights fight over transportation took place seven years later with the Freedom Rides, which mark their 50th anniversary this May.

After the Silence, We Need Strong Voices

Debra Solomon Baker - April 15, 2011

Scattered across the cinderblocks of our middle school walls are some new faces, photographs of kids who have been silenced. 

Lee Simpson on Oct. 10, 2008. Scotty Weaver on July 22, 2004. Lawrence King on Feb. 12, 2008. Carl Walker-Hoover on April 9, 2009.

All silent.

They are dead.

Advocate Now for Head Start

Trevor Barton - April 13, 2011

Thursday and Friday mornings, I have cafeteria duty at my elementary school. I always smile when our younger students come through the breakfast line. Their heads are at the level of the serving racks, so they have to hold their hands up to get their trays of food. I have to help them or we will have pancakes and syrup everywhere.

Making Disability Explicit

Jill E. Thomas - April 8, 2011

In order to teach tolerance, a teacher must proactively bring in those who are typically left out of the mainstream. With the 2010 release of the HBO movie about her life, Temple Grandin may be going mainstream. But autism remains an enigma to most people. So I was thrilled when my student teacher, Eva Oliver, prepared a lesson about Temple Grandin and her work as a livestock equipment designer at the beginning of National Autism Awareness Month

Imani and the Cabbage Seeds

Trevor Barton - April 7, 2011

Imani walked down the hall with a paper cup in her hands.

She stopped and held up the cup to me. Inside of its paper walls were soil, water, and seeds—all those humble and elemental things that build a third-grader's scientific knowledge.

Imani was growing cabbage. 

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