My first Monday Musings of each month will include links to all the pieces I wrote during the previous month and my reflections about a few of those pieces.
Currently, I am a writer for two publications, Indy/Ed and The Educator’s Room.
The Educator’s Room is a publication where teachers are empowered as the experts in education.
I am humbled to be part of a two great education publications.
Featured Indy/Ed blog post and my reflection
There are lots of issues facing children of color and if educators of color aren’t in the room when policy is being discussed, who will speak for our children?
You may have heard this saying, “You really don’t know what you don’t know.” That’s how I felt as I gained more information about education policy during my 2016-17 Teach Plus Policy Fellowship. When the fellowship was over, I could have gone back to my previous existence of only worrying about what was taking place inside of the four walls of my classroom. Once you have knowledge, you get an itch; you feel empowered. I couldn’t just sit still and stay on the sidelines.
Over the summer, I was part of the Indiana ESSA student supports technical working group. The United States Department of Education recently approved Indiana’s education plan and it was deemed one of the top ten in the country. Currently, I am a member of the IDOE Cultural Competency Advisory Council where we are working hard to ensure curriculum is culturally responsive and teachers are appropriately trained to work with students from all backgrounds. Last Monday, I spent a good chunk of my day at the Capitol building hoping to read my testimony for House Bill 1421 – School Discipline Bill. I wrote about that experience in my February piece, “Crafting Policy Takes Time, but Nothing Will Change Unless You Get Involved in the Process.”
You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “You sure are busy.” Some of you don’t think it; you’ve said it to me. The reality is some of us, especially people of color, aren’t busy enough in some of the areas we need to be. Laws will be passed whether we offer input or not. An older black woman who was waiting to testify at the Capitol Building said, “I am so glad to see so many black faces here today.” Minorities being in the room matter and I have decided when I can, I will be in the room.
Indy/Ed January blog posts
Featured article from The Educator’s Room and my reflection
I asked a principal once, why a teacher was kept year after year even though the teacher had poor classroom management, low data, and could not execute a lesson plan. The principal responded, “She shows up each day and she really cares about students. This is better than the potential of having a long-term sub.” When did we start setting the bar so low? When we allow low performing teachers to stay in the profession, it may tempt good teachers to put in less effort. The bigger problem is if those teachers are continually kept year after year, the school will never know if a better candidate would have applied to work at the school.
Apparently, I was mean in this article. I heard from some people who thought I shouldn’t say some people aren’t fit to teach. In college, I joined Haraka Writers, a poetry performing arts assemble that is part of Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center. One day, we had to write a haiku to describe who we were as writers. This is what I wrote:
my bluntness might sting
but I won’t hold back my words
to keep you from tears
I’m not here to coddle people or to beat around the bush. The fact is some people cannot teach and do not improve with the best academic coaching and years of support. Some teachers don’t care about children; they just want a paycheck. Again, I ask, “Do you want an individual like that in front of your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or neighbor’s children?”
Holding onto people who can’t do the job or are not there for the right reasons guarantees you won’t have an opportunity to find a better candidate. Our youth cannot afford to have teachers who suck at their jobs.
The Educator’s Room January Articles
|1/3/2018||Despite the Teacher Shortage, Some Teachers Need to be Coached out of the Profession|
|1/7/2018||Is 2018 the Year for You to Teach at a New School?|
|1/14/2018||Extinguish the Flame and Stop Burning the Midnight Oil|
I appreciate your readership. If there is something you would like me to write about, let me know.