The Value of Classes in Manhood and Heritage

Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-aims-to-lift-students-who-are-young-male-6671320.php “It’s a very, very dark world, but you can’t be afraid to be a source of light.” These words, spoken by a middle school student in Oakland, California, and quoted in a New York Times article, illuminate the premise of a groundbreaking program now underway in that school district. …

Why Teach?

Kids are intriguing people. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I became a teacher. In the early years, they taught me as much as I taught them, imparting life lessons they had earned the hard way on rough streets as I set about sparking an interest in history. And we all gained from it. …

The Power of Kindness and Other Fine Qualities

Photo: http://www.kindnesswyoming.org/ Obviously, school is all about learning, which, to the average person, means academics. However, as educators know, there’s so much more to education. From music and art to physical education and shop classes, electives help to enrich and round out students. Yet even that is not everything. The truth is that the softer …

Immigration, Racism and DACA: Why Silence is Not an Option for Educators

Photo: https://www.therapidian.org/taking-stand-against-racism Immigration, racism, politics—volatile yet unquestionably timely issues, they are so incendiary that they’re usually touched only by teachers of government, civics and other social studies classes. And “touched” is the operative word as not many teachers delve deeply into these quagmires for fear of being consumed by them. What will the principal say? …

Why All Students Need More Teachers of Color

Photo: https://thegrio.com/2011/09/28/new-study-shows-teacher-pay-gap-in-black-and-latino-schoolssigni/ Let’s begin with this basic fact: Teachers of color comprise just under 18 percent of all teachers in the United States. However, as of the 2014-2015 school year, students of color are a new majority in public schools, representing approximately 50.3 percent of all students. It’s a glaring disparity. And the repercussions are …

Changing Classes in Elementary School

Photo: http://www.trbimg.com/img-1348089477/ turbine/chi-school19stairs20120919130404/ 768 Educational changes can be good, but sometimes you need to weigh the benefits gained against the disadvantages that students might incur. What I’m talking about is the new practice of having elementary students change classes—or departmentalize—as middle and high school students have always done. Gaining in acceptance as it becomes more …