The Power of HBCU Trained Teachers

Previously, I encouraged those in the position of recruiting teachers to recruit teachers from historically Black colleges and universities. I specifically noted that for every Black education major graduating from a non-HBCU, there are 17 Black education majors graduating from HBCUs. But I am aware that such a statistic isn’t necessarily enough to encourage district leaders to specifically target HBCUs to add to their faculty. But a recent study might help bolster my recommendation. A recent

Any Black Teachers Quitting Quietly?

Sure, they could—in theory. Any teacher can quiet quit and there is a contingency that is. I wouldn’t be surprised that within the number, there are Black teachers engaged in the practice. However, practically speaking, they can’t. Because for Black teachers, to quit quietly comes with (unintended) consequences, for themselves, for prospective Black teachers and also the students and families they serve. … and quite honestly, Black teachers that quit quietly are endanger of being fired. White

Tips for Adding Black Teachers to Pennsylvania’s Ranks

Any effort by the state of Pennsylvania Department of Education to increase the number of teachers over the next four years must be rooted in hiring teachers of color, particularly Black teachers. There are a number of things that can be done to help hire more Black teachers. The first thing is for districts to stop making excuses for why more Black teachers aren’t in the classroom. Such as no one knowing where to find Black teachers, including prospective Black teachers. Clearly, Black teacher

Why Did A Black Teacher Of The Year Leave The Classroom?

How does a teacher of the year leave the classroom shortly after receiving the honor of being named teacher of the year? Two years ago, Qorsho Hassan became the first Somali American to win Minnesota Teacher of the Year, but now she’s decided to walk away from the classroom. Her reason: burnout. Her joy for the classroom was fading and she dreaded going to work each day. Tim Walz, governor of MN told her that because of Hassan’s example, kids all over the state believe the can do anything.

The Students Got Something to Say A Review of Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching – Chapter 6

SUMMARY: Students are a product of their learning or unlearning. Chapter 6 shows that for Black students, Black schools with Black teachers teaching truth from the work of Black scholars directly impacted the work of those Black students; many of whom were key activists during the civil rights movement. Black students, with Black teachers and curricula rooted in truth from Black scholarship can fuel the next civil rights movement led by this current generation of students. I’ll never forget tha

Mentoring and Supporting Black Teachers is Professional Standard A Review of Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching – Chapter 5

SUMMARY: It’s pivotal that Black teachers receive mentorship from master Black teachers; whether formal or informal. In chapter 5, Dr. Woodson serves as both a formal and informal master mentor to Black teachers across the country through his scholarship as well as his correspondence. Dr. Woodson shows all teacher how to serve as a mentor to teachers both near and far. In addition to having a passion for teaching, a multifaceted set of skills to instruct children and knowledge of your content,

The Vindication of History A Review of Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching – Chapter 4

SUMMARY: Many students have heard lies concerning the history of Black people. But Black scholarship exists so that Black student may be taught the truth; vindicating Black people whose history is distorted in an anti-Black society. Chapter 4 shows how numerous scholars vindicated Black people through their scholarship that tells of the history of resistance and rebellion of Black people throughout the African diaspora. Who teaches Black children is a very important factor regarding their succe

Seeing With a Rigorous Sight: A Review of Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching – Chapter 3

SUMMARY: In order to provide students with what they need in the classroom, teacher must acknowledge the realities of their experiences outside the classroom. Chapter 3 serves as a helpful reminder that educators best serve Black students when they position their pedagogy to center on the experiences and history of Black people. Teaching Black students absent in acknowledgment of who they are is educational malpractice. Dr. Woodson once said, “There would be no lynching if it didn’t start in th

The Watchman on the Wall: A Review of Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson And The Art Of Black Teaching – Chapter 2

SUMMARY: Dr. Greg Carr of Howard University has shared numerous times that individuals cannot beat institutions. Chapter 2 is an example of how Black institutional formations combat institutions built to destroy Black people. With the creation of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Dr. Carter G. Woodson takes the fight straight to white supremacy by serving as a resource in Black classrooms nationwide. A few weeks ago, former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum gav

Between Coffle and Classroom: A Review of Fugitive Pedagogy, Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching – Chapter 1

SUMMARY: Black education has always been a powerful form of resistance and rebellion within an anti-Black society. Chapter 1 of Dr. Jarvis Givens’ book, Fugitive Pedagogy, tells of Dr. Woodson’s education serving as a foundation for resisting anti-Black education through learning from his uncles; Black men who entered freedom school after the Civil War, becoming certified teachers. As it was for Woodson and his uncles, education is a means for Black people to resist white supremacy today. Contr

When Tweeting It "Real" Goes Wrong

One of the consequences of tragedies that happen in a world of talking heads on social media is people making asinine comments in the public square. Such comments may not be malicious; however, they miss the mark. Comments around the unfortunate tragedy at Robb Elementary School are no different. Here are some examples. In a tweet, a researcher with a doctorate said that (and I am paraphrasing) that what it will take is sons having “joyful relationships” with their fathers to prevent school sho

Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown. Racist Is The Mindset Of Those Who Want To Police The Crown.

In 2022, Black hair is still bothersome to white people. This time (because sadly there were other times), it was the hair of a 12-year-old boy. According to the young man’s mother, this Minnesota student at Parnassus Preparatory Charter School had his hair cut by his teacher at the school, without the consent of the parents. Tadow McReynolds, the mother of the young man, called the police but it was to no avail. Parnassus Prep defended the teacher and offered no apology. Since, the young man

Wanting Better for Students Requires Better Communication

One of the wonderful things about educators is that, generally speaking, they do care about their students – including those who teach Black and Brown students in the city. However, what “care” actually means and how it is applied is a different discussion. As an educator, I’ve seen teachers and administrators give their all for students. They’ve created awesome learning experiences, provided access to people and places to spark and to empower, and they’ve also shared a word to motivate and enc

The Color Of Teachers' Experiences And Opinions

One of my best friends, who is an educator, shared a tweet once of a teacher mentioning a colleague who was absent from work because she was poisoned, allegedly by a student. The student allegedly added hand sanitizer to the teacher’s bottle of water and that teacher drank it. What really caught my attention was the hashtags at the end of the tweet: #zeroconsequences #whyteachersarequitting. My immediate thought was that in order to have an opinion, or at least for me to have an opinion, more c

Celebrating Students In Ways That Solidify Community

If you’re an educator, now is the time to celebrate your students. Celebrating students is always important, but teaching amidst a pandemic requires that educators seek moments to affirm and celebrate students to keep them encouraged. It’s important that we educators do that. It’s a practice that I try to do frequently with my own students, as I am demand the best of them in the classroom. I have the privilege of teaching 25 sophomore students AP U.S. History. As part of their course work, stu

Africana Studies for All

The College Board has created a new AP class for African-American studies. The course will be piloted across twenty different school districts throughout the coming school year throughout the nation. I think this is a really good idea. However, I believe that an African-American studies course should be a non-AP course in addition to being an AP course. One reason is because Black children are underrepresented in advanced placement or gifted classes—although Black children are absolutely capabl

The Thing About Segregation…

Jim Crow segregation in the South and de facto segregation in the north stunted class divisions and fractures amongst Black people. What this means is that while segregation did not wholly prevent such class divisions amongst Black people, Black communities were heterogeneous in terms of class categorization; in other words, those who had money lived in the same neighborhoods and those who did not. Black people within higher economic classes couldn’t move away; not in the ways they can today. H

I Don't Love Your Kids, But I'll Teach Them

I’ve attended my fair share of professional development workshops. I’ve heard a lot of educational colloquialisms, buzz words, and catch phrases shared in those spaces and one such thing I’ve heard facilitators say is for teachers to love students or love on students, as an enhancer for teaching quality. The thought is that teachers best teach their students when they love those students as if they were their own children. I’ve usually heard it said to white teachers who teach Black and Latinx

When Hit Dogs Are Hurt And Holler

Teachers are mad at Neil Degrasse Tyson. Why you ask? Because of a tweet where he called out those teachers who make general statements about student investment in there learn, when it could be that those teachers aren’t invested in students learning. Tyson, an astrophysicist, said in the tweet: “Some educators who are quick to say, ‘These students just don’t want to learn,’ should instead say to themselves, ‘maybe I suck at my job.’” After reading the tweet, I traveled to the comments and wel

First They Came To Erase Me…

I saw a tweet a while back that explained the craze behind preventing Critical Race Theory (CRT) being taught in schools. The tweet was a meme: a picture of Ms. Hazel Bryan Massery, one of the Little Rock Nine, walking to school amidst a riotous crowd, with a caption saying: “They just don’t want to explain to their kids what granny’s doing in the background of that pic from social studies class.” Certainly, this meme is meant to be funny, but funny to expose a truth: that white people are argu
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