Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy First Day of School!

Today I celebrate my 8th first day of school as a teacher! This year I get to watch timid 9th graders as they navigate through schedules that don't follow their homerooms, rush to lockers on the other side of the building during a 5 minute transition, and greet a few familiar faces, but mostly unfamiliar ones. Ahhh, 9th grade....I really could've lived without it lol. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thought Of The Day

It is this kind of love for our students that drives us as we raise and teach "other people's children". Moreover, this is why true educators who are dedicated to their profession are looking so forward to summer recess!!! 
Good and Prosperous Morning Educators!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thought of the Day

As a matter of fact this in my ongoing mantra for EVERYDAY I teach and everyday I ever will be an Educator.  
Good and Prosperous Morning, Educators! ( Like if you agree) 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The New Pink Floyd- We DO Need Education; we DONT need thought control! Leave Our Teachers Alone!

The addiction to teaching comes from the fact that we do "reap what (we) sow!" Educators seldom know how the "seeds" we plant will harvest. Will they learn how to think critically? Will they be able to create, be an asset to their community and their families? Have I really helped my students reach their full potential and realize their goals BEYOND state test scores? Will they be true, active American citizens or politicians' and cooperations' sheep or worse yet, mules? Will they be self-reliant and at peace? Our interaction with our students fully immerses us in what and where they are coming from while compelling us to relentlessly focus on what they might be and where they might go if just given the proper education, environment and nurturing.

So imagine how proud the educators of Philadelphia are right now to know that our students protested by the thousands against budget cuts and school closings. Our students' march caused traffic delays and blockages. This time, they cut class so that class would still be there when they returned! 

I wonder did legislators and local school officials really think that our children were going to stand by and watch school after school close and program after program be denied funding. Our children are listening, watching and experiencing the school districts and their cities financial priorities. And as for critical thinking !!!!! One of my students asked the most profound question today! "If whatever the army needs or even doesn't need is funded, then why not fund whatever the school district needs to give the best to its students?" 

Be encouraged, educators! Our children are paying attention ! Legislators and public school officials. . .  beware; our children are observing what your true priorities are! 

Thought of the Day

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thought of the Day

Proper education can produce an entire generation free from man-made tragedies such as poverty. Proper education teaches its scholars to love humanity and learn from the human story called history. But ultimately, a proper education teaches self-reliance while also cultivating a natural human need for cooperation. 
- Lady Camille

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's College Tour Season Part 2

So, our second college tour happened to be the Historically Black College, Bowie State. Before we toured their campus, we went to the National Mall. Now, we didn't have a lot of time to go each of the museums and tour all of the monuments so I created a scavenger hunt for my students, so they could take in as much as possible.

Unfortunately it rained, so it dampened my students' spirits a bit, but we still had tons of fun. One of the rules of the scavenger hunt was to post their pictures on Instagram they could not however, post their answers on there because all the other teams would see it.  (yes, we use this a lot because the kids use it a lot why not incorporate it into my lesson?)

the hunt begins

one of the clues

of course I had to make the Capitol one of the clues

After our scavenger hunt, we trekked on to our tour of Bowie State. It's a little off the beaten path, so we couldn't tour the neighborhood like we did at Georgetown. Our tour guide were very helpful here. Usually, tour guides have trouble with middle school students...they aska ton of questions and a little on the immature side. They usually prefer high school students, but our tour guide joked around with our students and made them feel right at home. They were also very thorough and we were able to go inside some of the buildings. My students really appreciated the welcome mate being rolled out for them.  

and the tour begins

Our tour guide, joking around with the students and showing them the Performing Arts building.

My students loved this tour!

Thought of the Day

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thought of the Day

Happy Teacher's Appreciation Day!

Happy Teachers' Appreciation Day!

Happy Teachers' Appreciation Day!

Here are some goodies for you if you haven't heard....

Okay, so maybe I was a little hungry when I wrote this blog lol, but enjoy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's College Tour Season Part 1

First let me start this off by saying that in addition to teaching a creative writing course, I also teach a college readiness class called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Last week proved to be pretty productive for my AVID class. We knocked out 2 out of the 3 college tours we had set for this quarter. We've been talking about college all year, and I've been preparing them for one component of the college admissions process by having them work on electronic portfolios using Google sites. They've added their autobiographic sketches, resumes, pictures, and outline for their 5 year plan to their portfolios.

One assignment I added when we got closer to touring the colleges was the college profile. They had to choose 3 colleges they wanted to attend and give me information on admission requirements, costs, scholarships/financial aid, available housing, student organizations on campus, and course requirements for their chosen major. This had a tremendous impact on how they viewed the college tours. One, they knew what to look for and to ask the tour guide, and two, they asked more detailed questions. Last year, when I took my students to Georgetown and Howard, they asked questions like, "What dining selections are available?" This year they asked, "What are the meal plan options and how much does each one cost?"

So the first campus we toured was Georgetown's campus. We went down to Georgetown and walked through the neighborhood, ate lunch at the restaurants on M and relaxed by the riverfront before we went to campus. This way, students considering this university had a chance to see the neighborhood they probably would be frequenting and the campus.

Walking through the neighborhood.

Playing Frisbee by the riverfront

 By the riverfront..I wanted to take them on a riverboat cruise to see the monuments, but our grant money was way too specific for that :-( 

 touring the campus 
touring the campus

Thought of the Day

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

The National Initiative to Dismantle Free and Public Education

There is an absolute beauty that can’t be denied in seeing so many, teachers, parents and students. . .  community organizers and even some people just getting off from work, ALL  fighting for educational justice. Citizens of various cities throughout the United States are irrupting in mass protests and demonstrations to demand that its city legislature protect and defend its investments for its children. After all, at the very least isn't this what tax dollars should ensure?? President Obama's Administration has initiated a budget for An Economy Built to Last and a World-Class Education for Our Children. This budget plan is clearly to protect and even develop needed enhancements in education and curriculum. 

What is heart breaking is the ability of Philadelphia’s SRC (School Reform Commission) to close 23 of its schools, the audacity of the District of Columbia Public Schools to compromise and only close another 15 schools and Chicago Public Schools will close a whopping 54 schools to handle its budget crisis! All of these districts have tried to save the city's budget by enacting school closures before. This act has neither assisted the cities' budget crisis nor done anything to enhance the academic growth of its students. As a matter of fact these actions have done more to widen the academic achievement gap  than it has done to close it. There are countless other cities and districts throughout the nation that seemingly ignore this collective cry, demanding to keep public schools open. I was always told that whenever confused about an institutions motives, follow the money. Just how broke is this country??? The Dow Jones ,S&P 500, and the Wall Street Journal all reported the highest increase in investments and market values since 2007. A simple question will always be asked: Since the bail outs provided by TARP ( Troubled Asset Relief Program) work so well for banks and the industrial market, why isn’t the same investment made by our tax dollars towards our schools? Follow my next post as we follow the money! 

Thought of the Day