The eulogy for my father who looked beyond his circumstances and loved norteño music

The eulogy for my father who looked beyond his circumstances and loved norteño music
How wonderful that we can gather to celebrate the life of our father, this husband, this grandfather, this great grandfather, this father-in-law. We thank family and friends who have expressed love and support during this difficult time. As a family, we face a situation none of us imagined. We all knew this day would come.... Read more »

Latinx Chicago Public Schools valedictorian highlights what class of 2020 must ask itself

In her valedictorian speech for the Hancock College Prep’s virtual graduation ceremony, Chicago Public Schools graduate Luria Tapia emphasized that “earning this high school diploma means more than earning a piece of paper. Earning this diploma means perseverance but not just through high school. We lived in the era of school shootings. For the past... Read more »

When we find answers to old questions during the pandemic

As the horns section hums out the harmonies in a cumbia, my mother asks me in Spanish with a wonder that makes her smile, “How is it that music is made?” I wonder why she doesn’t ask me in English if this is the language she and I usually use.  Instead she asks, ¿Cómo harán... Read more »
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Stop telling Chicago Public Schools students they're falling behind during the COVID-19 pandemic

I keep hearing questions about summer school and addressing the “lost learning” Chicago Public Schools students will experience during this pandemic because they’re going to “fall behind”—especially if they’re low-income black and brown kids. We know the effects of this pandemic will linger for a long time. Economically, Latino communities are predicted to receive the... Read more »

Help students understand Covid-19's disproportionate impact on communities of color

I want my Chicago Public Schools students to understand how racism manifests itself in systems of every day life.  If we don’t teach our students to see race, we’re not teaching them 21st century literacy skills. These days, report after report shares one truth: black and brown communities are being hit harder by Covid-19.  Most... Read more »

COVID-19 e-Learning situation proves technology can never replace good teachers

A few years ago, I began to wonder when automation would reach our Chicago Public Schools classrooms—all classrooms.  With so many online resources available, I thought, “Are people thinking good teachers can be replaced by a machine?” But this COVID-19 e-Learning situation proves that technology cannot replace good teachers or good teaching. Soon after schools... Read more »
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Chicago Public Schools Students Discuss Anti-Blackness at Their Mostly Latinx High School

In this episode of Chi-Teens, Chicago Public Schools students from Hancock College Prep explore the question “Who should or shouldn’t use the N-word?”  The episode includes: Some context for this conversation A student roundtable conversation about the African American experience at a mostly Latinx school An interview with the CPS principal about the school’s race and... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students discuss the boundaries of humor with comedian Joey Villagomez

Chicago Public Schools students from Hancock College Prep’s Podcast Club asked Chicago comedian Joey Villagomez about his journey into comedy and if humor has boundaries.  Villagomez has been a stand-up comedian for the past fifteen years and is a graduate of the Chicago Public Schools. This Friday, January 31, Joey Villagomez’s Comedy Central special airs as... Read more »

We need to change our high-school students’ expectations about teacher feedback

At the beginning of the year, my Chicago Public Schools high-school students expressed lots of frustration because I didn’t write any comments on their first major essay. “You need to give us feedback,” they demanded. Some doubted I read their essays because I didn’t make a mark. I explained that one of my goals as... Read more »
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Chicago Public Schools Student Composes Song about Complexity of Friendships

Sydney Shepard, a Chicago Public Schools student at Hancock College Prep, discusses how composing a song about friendship helped her deal with the complexity of teen friendships.  This interview was produced by Osvaldo Carnalla, a member of Hancock’s Podcast Club. You can “Like” The White Rhino Blog’s Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter @whiterhinoray. To subscribe to the White... Read more »