Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dynamics in the Workplace

There are so many factors driving conversations about race in the workplace, and sometimes, it's very difficult to have those conversations. Discussing the white experience vs. the non-white experience makes a lot of people nervous. I've found a HILARIOUS video, that exposes the irony in a lot of these conversations. This video focuses on how adults cope with race, but you can also assume that our children and our students can relate to a lot of these same behaviors. Subscribe to the News Broke YouTube Channel Here

Sunday, July 24, 2016

EdCamp Experience

Recently, I attended Edcamp Fayette and I really enjoyed myself. For those who've never been to one, Edcamp is, "an organic, participant-driven professional learning experience. A community created by educators, for educators. The leading edge of professional development in education."

Teachers and administrators come together to organize meaningful professional development. Everyone in attendance gained something from the Edcamp. Usually with professional development, you are presented with information you already know and you walk away from the meeting frustrated at having wasted valuable time. Edcamp doesn't offer you the typical PD experience so it doesn't come across as unnecessary professional development.

The organizers pride themselves on calling it an unconference, and it was one of the best professional development sessions that I've ever been apart of. Once you arrive, you can select the sessions that you want to attend. Since all of them are organized by teachers, the sessions are all topics and concepts that both teachers and administrators can learn from.

I attended sessions on BreakoutEdu, Financial Planning for Teachers and All three were great and all three were beneficial to my growth and development as an educator.

I encourage all of you to attend an Edcamp. Here is the site with a calendar of their upcoming events:

Here is a video explaining the concept of Edcamp in two minutes:

Friday, July 15, 2016

Student Voices

Two days ago, I found a CNN article that was very interesting. It was called, "White Boy Privilege."

A 14 year-old named Royce wrote this poem after taking a Race, Class and Gender class at his school in Atlanta. He starts the poem by apologizing for his place on the social ladder but admits that, "to be privileged is awesome."

Lol, unfortunately, I cannot relate to being privileged. However, I think it's great that he recognizes this and was exposed to difficulties facing people who are not privileged.

We typically, don't take a Race/Gender class until we get to college, so KUDOS to the Paideia School for implementing this program and KUDOS to Royce for writing this poem.

It's refreshing to hear the voices of our students from time to time. Hearing the rhetoric and the vitriol from other adults can be depressing and extremely frustrating at times, but hearing the voices from the younger generation can really revitalize you and put things in perspective.

Check out the article from CNN:

There is a youth poetry competition called Brave New Voices, where you can hear more students addressing issues relevant to their livesCheck them out here!

Here is a poem I really like from 2014 called, Somewhere in America

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teacher Protests in Mexico

"Education is the only weapon of the people, those of the government are the instruments of death and repression. Who is the criminal?!" - CNTE Nacional

In Mexico, teachers are protesting a national set of education reforms that would change the way that teachers are evaluated.

That sounds VERY familiar. Here in the US, and even in the state of Georgia, there are educational reforms every 2-3 years. Most of them are tied to how teachers are evaluated. It happens so often, it's become routine to assume educational changes won't last long. Usually, teachers don't even have time to evaluate if the reforms are effective because they often change AGAIN!

You can't evaluate change without granting it significant time to develop. Teachers, administrators and other educational leaders know this but we haven't given those changes a unified resistance like these teachers in Mexico are currently doing. Teachers typically don't push back. Outside of a few instances like the teachers in Chicago, we usually don't rock the boat.

I admire the teachers in Mexico for standing up for their beliefs. I wish more international stories like these would gain more exposure, but I'm thankful that we can look to teachers across the world for inspiration.

Reuters Article

CNN Article

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Father's Day

Three days after Father's Day and seems like mothers are the focus again! Lol! I never had a particular attachment to Father's Day. My father wasn't around much. But I have noticed that more and more people have taken an interest in fathers again!

Personally, I think that fathers are often perceived to be the breadwinners only! Dads are always absent, aloof, the un-disciplinarian....but recently that's changed. For the last few years, I've seen a shift in how the media portrays dads. It's almost like it's cool to be a dad again. I don't have children of my own yet, but I'm always dreaming about the type of father that I'll be.

One day, I'll join the Fraternity of Fathers, and I have a vision of how that will look within my family. I look forward to being a father and it will never make sense to me why some fathers choose to be absent. You always hear the reasons, but it will never make sense. That's why we have to celebrate the fathers that are present in the lives of their children. Celebrate the good dads that are around you!

I love Jimmy Kimmel for what he does every year for Father's Day. I think it's awesome! The videos always force us to appreciate the life that we have, because we know at any given time, it can be taken from us.

 KUDOS to all the fathers out there! Job well done.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

5-Minute Film Festival

I've recently decided to go back to school. I will be earning my 2nd master's degree. This will be a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Online Learning. You can learn more about the program and Capella University here Instructional Design & Online Learning.

This will put me over the 100K threshold in student loans so I'm hoping this degree will bolster my career so I can begin making those payments and bring down that debt.

Anyway, the introductory course I'm in right now requires us to engage in discussion posts. The discussion post for this week was: research and share two strategies that would allow you to create and protect an inclusive setting. I had to read a couple of peer-reviewed articles and other resources about the topic and I came across this video playlist at Edutopia

Edutopia: 5-Minute Film Festival

One of the videos is about a young man named Tyler. You listen to the rest. It's 8 minutes long but well worth your time. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Courage in Missouri

I'm not sure if you are familiar with the situation at the University of Missouri but earlier this morning BOTH the University President AND the School Chancellor have been OUSTED. According to CNN, "African-American students at Missouri have long complained of mealymouthed response by school leaders in dealing with racism on the overwhelmingly white Columbia campus. Black student leaders have conveyed their displeasure over students openly using racial slurs and other incidents." CNN This is just a beginning

Historically, the ability to mobilize college students has led to a lot of SIGNIFICANT economic and political change. This is a great example of students, athletes, and faculty/staff joining together to not only bring awareness to an issue, but MAKE A TANGIBLE DIFFERENCE in the system. Today, is a victory for race relations and it restores my belief in our ability to rally together and be unified in a cause.

This is INSPIRING. Too often we celebrate ignorance, ratchetry and foolishness, but THIS IS INSPIRING!! The efforts of all of the students, organizers, teachers, advisers, athletes, coaches, and other community stakeholders have led to real and tangible change.

This should be a teachable moment in every classroom this morning, and it's POWERFUL to see the images of a community united as one.