ICYMI: ‘For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood’, originally posted on August 3, examines author Dr. Christopher Emdin’s use of “white folks” in the title and text and how my initial indignation yielded reflection and understanding.
ICYMI: Summertime , originally posted on July 10, catches readers up on my busy summer of new – new apartment, new area, new job, new life. And while I haven’t been writing as much fiction as I would like to, time just has not allowed it or maybe I haven’t made time for it.
Regardless, I’m happy.
Moving still sucks, though, no matter how you look at it.
Originally posted on June 8, 2018, “Words for My Seniors” is the uncut advice I offered the Class of 2018. An abridged version was featured in the back of Thornton-Donovan School’s yearbook. While I originally took the request as an imposition, I realized I had to leave any issues I had with the school at the door.
Because none of that has anything to do with the kids.
And the kids always deserve better.
ICYMI: Be Humbled, originally posted on May 30, 2018, is my way of taking a step back from all the nonsense of moving and work and people who do not matter and blah, blah, blah to appreciate ALL that I do have.
ICYMI: Get to Reading, originally posted on May 11, 2018, calls ALL to do just that: GET TO READING.
Because that’s what the big boys and girls do.
And, also, it’s the best way to grow one’s vocabulary and syntax.
Trust yourselves and your imaginations. You’ll find the possibilities are boundless when you do.
ICYMI: My Philosophy of Education Simplified is my most recent explanation for why I do what I do.
In short, I seek to develop units of study that challenge students to confront the BIG questions of life, formulate opinions, substantiate them with appropriate evidence and explanation, and take pride in the final product.
Because, after all, we are evaluated on our work, for it represents us.
And any teacher who tells you otherwise is negligent, incompetent, and/or an indifferent paycheck collector.
Originally posted on April 6, 2018, “Gun Violence: A Teen’s Voice is Heard” offers the perspective of Editor-in-Chief of Thornton-Donovan School’s student newspaper Overlook Journal on the Parkland tragedy, as well as the gun violence epidemic currently ravaging our country.
Since I was hired at Thornton-Donovan, in my position as Middle School English teacher and Overlook Journal moderator, I have sought to build a culture that seeks truth and promotes impartiality. The recent series on gun control and school safety that began with this introductory piece highlights this civic consciousness.
I want my students to be agents of positive change; unfortunately, though, it appears as if support for change has faded three months after Parkland, according a recent Reuters poll. My hope is that moderate thought prevails and compromise on such a polarizing issue can be achieved for the sake of the children.
ICYMI: It Doesn’t Cost Anything To Be Kind, originally posted on March 19, 2018, examines how simple it is to be kind to another and how profound of an impact it can have.
I recall the motto my father raised me on and how RJ Palachio’s Wonder reinforced this sentiment.
So, smile at someone, hold the door for them, say thank you, have a pleasant tone, engage in a conversation, be a damn human.
It shouldn’t be so hard.
As Tupac Shakur wrote in “The Power of a Smile”:
The power of a gun can kill
and the power of fire can burn
the power of wind can chill
and the power of a mind can learn
the power of anger can rage inside
until it tears u apart but the power of a smile
especially yours can heal a frozen heart
ICYMI: We’re Getting Old, originally posted on March 7, 2018, is my realization that I’m not 21 anymore. I simply can’t chase the sun like I used to. And I don’t want to. Life is changing all around me – marriage, pets, other people’s kids, your own kids, homeownership, ADULTING.
And I’m okay with that.
Most of it, at least.