In the Hot Seat: Resources to Help Teachers Respond to Questions about Race

In the Hot Seat: Resources to Help Teachers Respond to Questions about Race

will be honest. As a classroom teacher, I did not believe I was skilled at engaging in meaningful conversations about race with my colleagues, let alone responding to questions from my students that directly related to equity,discrimination, or oppression. I was slightly fearful that I would say something that might be taken out of context. It wasn’t until a “hot moment” erupted in my fifth grade classroom that I realized I had to grapple with my personal feelings and emotions.  It became quite clear that many of my fifth graders…

5 Muhammad Ali Quotes Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom

5 Muhammad Ali Quotes Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom

As a fan of boxing, it’s easy to compare the world of education to this fascinating sport. Educators, regardless of their role, have ringside seats to a main event focused on transforming education. There are always competing initiatives (going toe-to-toe), which can be difficult to navigate. Despite the constant battles,  those who want to make a difference never throw in the towel. Teachers and students hit the canvas each day. Teachers work to create independent learners who can get themselves out of a clinch. When a student gets knocked down, a…

Does your Face and Space Encourage Risk-Taking?

Does your Face and Space Encourage Risk-Taking?

I took Erica and Chris to a birthday party at an adventure park last weekend.  Treetop obstacle courses and zip lines make for an adrenaline boosting experience! However, it was the first time for all of us and it was quite intimidating in the beginning. I watched intently as the park instructors and staff prepared my kids for their adventure, strapping on their harnesses with pulleys and providing an overview and safety briefing…and they were off.  My mom senses were well aware that wrapped in my children’s excitement was a…

Looking Back: Positive Interactions Make a Difference

Looking Back: Positive Interactions Make a Difference

Writing this blog gives me an opportunity to reflect on some of my relationships with teachers. Today, I went all the way back to my kindergarten teacher at P.S. 95 in Brooklyn, NY. She embraced my wild imagination when I rambled every Monday morning about weekend trips around the globe and back.  Fast forward to my 11th grade World History teacher, who with a note on the back of my graded quiz, encouraged me to find the balance between my boyfriend and school. Next, my undergraduate college professor used his resources…

Say Cheese: It’s Okay to Smile at Students

Say Cheese: It’s Okay to Smile at Students

Okay parents, how many of you practice the “picture day smile” with your kids?  Well, if you won’t admit to actually practicing, you at least ask your kids to show you how they intend to smile for the camera. I absolutely ask!  Here is one of my favorite pictures from back in the day. I wonder how often students and teachers are smiling in school, beyond picture day.  Some believe the old adage that a teacher’s smile is a sign of weakness and an invitation for behavior management issues.  Teresa…