Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On the Outside Looking In!

Greetings to ANYone out there still taking the time to read this blog.  By now...you know I don't blog on the regular (the ultimate understatement!)  LOL!  I mean...REALLY!  How do folks keep up with all these virtual social engagements?!  I just can't do it.  And I will save my apologies!

I have been busy setting things in motion for my peace and balance.  I find I am my own BEST teacher whenever I operate at my most grounded and self-CENTER. I am SUPERWOMAN! YES! That's exactly how I feel right now.

Every time the "Back-to-School" song and dance starts, I suffer a brief case of classroom fever.  I find myself scrolling through the pages of MOREAP to discover teaching positions still available.   This time, I blame it on the beautiful and intelligent 9-12 year old children I had the honor of teaching while volunteering at the Gamble Center this summer.  WOW!  I get so much life from teaching our babies. It truly is a gift and honor!


As far as serving them in a classroom setting under systematic restrictions... I'LL PASS!  However,  I continue to bow graciously to those who still fight the good fight from the inside!  We need teacher warriors inside and outside the box.  Fortunately for me, I've been gone too long to return to the inside. I am officially a wild card at this point. LOL!  How could I possibly return full time to a traditional setting?  I have never been fired from any job, but I fear I just might if I sign on any dotted line that commits me to a TRADITIONAL teaching setting!

Until I find that dream school, I will continue as a rogue teacher who serves young people wherever I find them...or they find me.

HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL FOR ALL WARRIOR TEACHERS....WHEREVER YOU'RE BOXED...or NOT!  



Friday, February 26, 2016

Did You Get Your Students in Formation?


Hey BAE BEY BEY...BAE BEY...BEY ( I had to add another significant reference ...lol)
Now that all the dust has cleared and settled...NO...I"M NOT PART OF THE BEY HIVE...but I of course love the video. Especially If you know anything about the real PRE-KATRINA NOLA you can't help but get in your feelings some kind of way (and yes...we know she wasn't REALLY in New Orleans)! This is what confused me the most about the chaos: How many of us as teachers have had to teach from a list of "canonized" literature reeking with foul messages of hatred and racism, written by men and women who were OPENLY racists. Regardless, as teachers, rather than toss the entire piece of work aside and deem it as something too horrific for children to read or discuss, we TEACH the meanings, references and symbolism shown in a particular piece of literature.
Look! When I first viewed this video, I felt some kind of "Eve's Bayou", "Skeleton Key" or "Daughters of the Dust" energy channeling. I don't know...and I really can't explain it. It could just be the whole "Louisiana, Bayou, voodoo, black magic thing" that I loved so much about living in Pre-Katrina New Orleans. I was so entranced by the power of this ""black magic" presence conjured up by the video that I totally overlooked Beyonce serving as the conduit. I just felt the energy and frequency of a moment...that even if done for "selfish" or "capitalist" reasons, affected millions!
These are the teachable moments that we so often talk about, but miss because we get too caught up in the messenger. Shoot! It's getting so deep, I'm beginning to think that Snoop Dog just might be Jesus reincarnated. After all, he does sort of look like the black version of the white one, huh? LOL! (Don't kill me Christians)! No, but seriously, have you checked out his platform or messages lately?!!! I'm telling you! Those of us getting too caught up in the messenger is going to really miss it! It's like the walking dead out here for real..for real! You have to pay very close attention in order to unveil these real demons walking around in divinity clothing! As the wise saying goes: Everybody talking about heaven, ain't going! And everybody talking 'bout Jesus...may not really know him!
I digressed greatly, but it's all connected. This is really a message for teachers and parents whose school districts still subscribe to books, materials and lessons that fail to reflect the history or demographics of Black children. If we can justify teaching children curriculum still entrenched with racist overtones and European superiority complexes, surely we are mature enough to view a video for pure enjoyment or analysis purposes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Encouraging Students to Write history...Not Just Study It!



Do you know the name and herstory of the woman pictured speaking below? 

The sistah shown speaking here is just one of many unnamed and unsung black folks in history. Before the somewhat recent book deals, cameras, lights and interviews appeared to share her story, there traveled and gathered a group of Treme neighborhood youth, leaders and teachers from New Orleans who recognized and honored her! TEACH STUDENTS TO WRITE HISTORY...NOT JUST STUDY IT!
 mile emo
And to one of my leading teacher mentors pictured here:  Thank you Baba Jerome "Big Duck" Smith for serving as one of THE GREATS! All hail Baba Treme! 

A Lesson on the Coolness of Carlos Santana




While driving home from work the other day, my spirit and senses were moved by Tavis Smiley's Carlos Santana interview on NPR...lots of jewels dropped!
High School Lesson Plan (Music, History or Literature):
1. Youtube some Santana videos 
2.  Google and share some biographical facts about his life
3.  Listen, interpret and perform a selection 
4. Read/dramatize the following interview transcript:

Sunday, May 10, 2015




This post is for those WITHOUT a positive and personal relationship with their mothers. If any of the following apply to you...may today be a day of reflection, cleansing, forgiveness and grounds for a fresh start:
If...
A mother's boyfriend or husband sexually abused or abuses you
Your mother favored or favors your brother(s) over you
Your mother sabotaged or sabotages your romantic relationships/marriage
Your mother mistreats or mistreated your children or favors your sibling's children
Your mother abandoned you or left you for someone else to raise
Your mother made or makes material things, sex, clubbing and men priorities over motherhood
Your mother rarely if ever says or said, " I love you"
Your mother rarely if ever hugged or hugs you
Your mother has EVER said, "I should have never had you"
Whatever the source of pain or disconnect, may the arms of the Great Goddess Mother wrap her arms so tightly around the emotional damage that it literally squeezes the life out of it, REBIRTHING a new you!
This is not to put a damper on all the posted pictures of mothers and beautiful representations being shared. I have always had a close relationship with my mom and she fully cherished me as a child and still does now that I'm grown...probably a little too much...lol! But still, we have had some critical, life-changing differences that continue to go unchecked or unaddressed. If we can have a source of tension when certain subjects hit the surface of the table, then surely those who have suffered any of the above must feel some kind of way on days like today. MY HEART AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU! And just remember...our mothers are vessels to arrive at our higher selves of BEING and whatever you experienced or currently endure is not by accident...but something intended for a higher purpose, so use it and SOAR!
HAPPY DAY TO ALL GODDESSES WHO MOTHER!

Monday, March 9, 2015

TOO SEXY FOR MY CLASSROOM

I deleted my FB account this past summer, but that still does not stop people from forwarding me the latest and hottest FB debates and debacles.  SMH!  Of course this one struck a sciatica nerve with me and not because "Teacher Got a Big 'Ol Butt", but because there are ADULTS actually bantering about whether this is inappropriate or not?  REALLY?  Ok...first off...if you are a teacher who dresses like,  shall we call her, Mrs. Parker here: STOP IT!!!


Obviously, the teacher's attire is not this outlandish.  However, her students' imaginations might be! We hear so much news about teachers' inappropriate sexual behaviors involving students that maybe teachers' dress code regulations are way down on our list of concerns.  But having served ten years as a high school classroom teacher and six years as both an elementary and secondary school librarian, I'm not telling you what I heard but what I know:  A TEACHER'S ATTIRE HAS AN IMPACT ON CLASSROOM CLIMATE AND LEARNING.  Just like a teacher's hygiene, breath, hair, weight, habits...you name it...STUDENTS may not always be learning, but they are definitely WATCHING!  

I started teaching high school in my very early twenties, and I still recall how nervous the principal was to hire me, fearing that I might be too young to teach and mentor high school students.  She had a staff of mainly veteran teachers, so I understood her concern.  But thankfully she took a chance on me, and I was honored as that year's "Favorite Teacher of the Year"!  

                                                                                            Ms. Sandra Roberts

Because my students were only a few years my junior, and I looked just as young as many of them, I  made extra sure that blouses buttoned above cleavage, wide-fitting skirts lengthened below the knees, and snug-free pants protruded from the print of my ass.  And since I usually taught in schools where anything could "jump off", wearing a pair of flat shoes served as protection and defense-- not just comfort!  My point is: you relinquish your SEXY card when you sign up as a teacher!  Unfortunately, the legal ramifications for enforcing strict dress codes within public school districts make it difficult and intimidating for many administrators to address the issue of teacher dress code.  Instead, districts often resort to giving a loose (pun intended) description of professional attire expectations and principals non-assertively and indirectly throw out hints of dress code violations, warnings and reminders during staff meetings.

So rather than make this a debate about whether the teacher in the FB picture is appropriate or not, how about we agree that our children deserve to have professionals who consider them special and important enough to ALWAYS stand, bend or lean before them in clothing that does not cause for QUESTIONS. 

Because chances are...if you have to ASK...(I'm just saying... not hating!)