Archive for August 2012

With the Chicago Teachers' Union, I will defend my profession

With the Chicago Teachers' Union, I will defend my profession
Now, it looks like I will have lived through two Chicago teachers’ strikes: one as a student, one as a teacher. After months of contemplation, after many conversations with friends, I’m in.  Tomorrow, I will wear red for the first time in my 17-year career. Our strike date is set for September 10 because Chicago... Read more »

Back to school tip: don't teach like a champion

Back to school tip: don't teach like a champion
Our expectations increase each school year.  Next week, Chicago Public Schools students and teachers on the regular calendar return to the classroom.  For all teachers, arguably, the question is, “How will I manage this year’s classes?” For each teacher, the concerns are different.  At the high-school level, my priorities are instilling respect, increasing engagement, and... Read more »

Back to school list: things not to say to Latino English teachers

Back to school list: things not to say to Latino English teachers
or “How Latino English teachers can respond to dumb comments”   1. Do you teach Spanish?           I’d prefer not to.  Besides, I’m not certified. 2. My Spanish gets better after a couple of beers.           So does mine. 3. Are you available to translate during report-card pick up?           I only negotiate disrespectful parent-child... Read more »
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American DREAMin': Deferred action for young people begins August 15

American DREAMin': Deferred action for young people begins August 15
If we believe in the American Dream, we need to believe in the partial immigration reform that President Obama passed earlier this summer. On June 15, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced a new administrative policy that would prevent youth who pose no national security threat and meet other requirements to... Read more »

Despite summer violence, Chicago Public Schools students can succeed

Despite summer violence, Chicago Public Schools students can succeed
As summer vacation reaches its end for most students, we are unfortunately forced to face the consequences of violence many elementary and high-school students experienced. Some students were the actual victims. Others know someone hurt or killed. It’s common to see memorials with teddy bears and balloons on the site of the death. About twelve... Read more »