Posts in category "Uncategorized"

How to give writing feedback to students efficiently

In any learning situation, we deepen our learning when we receive meaningful, individualized feedback. So in my high-school writing classes, I would love it if I could give my Chicago Public Schools students individualized feedback on their writing projects. But I have over 120 students this year. So even if I spent three minutes writing... Read more »

The Obama Farewell speech failed to inspire

I turned off the Obama Farewell speech at its conclusion in my hometown feeling dejected and uninspired. As an Obama supporter, I expected insights and inspiration to deal with the next four—and hopefully not eight—years. But the Obama Farewell speech came off not as the call the action he promised but as a history lecture... Read more »

How weight training reminded me what good teaching is

In October, I decided I to join a neighborhood gym to help me prepare for the winter blues. I abhor these January days with cold that hurts.  The sun disappears early and I can’t go for runs outside. I need the sun. Doctors say this seasonal sadness originates from a lack of serotonin, that chemical... Read more »

Top 5 blog posts about Chicago Public Schools in 2016

Thank you to everyone who read this blog in 2016.  As the country faced struggles, educators in Chicago Public Schools also faced some difficult times.  With support and good conversation, we continued to challenge people’s misperceptions about education in this city. The White Rhino Blog ends the year with 1,284 people who liked the Facebook... Read more »

Why men of color need to do more than work hard

Had whatever power controls the universe given me a different life, I’d be one of those men who believes that in this country, hard work is all you need for a successful life. I wouldn’t understand that being at the right place at the right time matters. I grew up middle-class on Chicago’s Southwest side in... Read more »

Teachers should not assign homework during winter break

Last week, a DNAInfoChicago article highlighted that some top high schools in the Chicago Public Schools established a “no homework” policy during winter and spring break.  I agree.  All schools should adopt this policy. There is misconception that making students work nonstop equals rigor and, therefore, provides a better education.  A student currently at one... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students discuss Trump on Chicago Public Radio

Thank you to Chicago Public Radio’s Becky Vevea for reporting on the conversation my students and I had after Tuesday’s election.  We examined the effectiveness of Trump’s and Clinton’s speeches.  Take a few minutes to listen. Teaching Trump: Chicago Teacher Retools Post-Election Lesson Plan You can “Like” The White Rhino Blog’s Facebook page. Follow me @whiterhinoray.... Read more »

How I’m teaching my children to deal with a Trump presidency

My head was spinning at 12:30 a.m. when I knew the unexpected would happen. The last thing I typed before I went to bed around 2:00 a.m. was the first thing I would say to my 11-year-old son and my 8-year-old daughter when they awoke: WE are not Trump. WE do not believe or do... Read more »

What one Chicago Public Schools teacher will teach after the presidential election

My original plan was to have students examine a few of the Clinton campaign political ads and Saturday Night Live political satire. I wanted them to examine the rhetorical approaches that contributed to Clinton’s win. That’s what I thought would happen when I left school today. But at 12:26 a.m., it looks like Trump is... Read more »

A teacher explains the Trump effect and how to defeat it after Election Day

This is a guest post by a Michigan teacher with ties to Chicago schools. I need help. I’ve needed it for a year now. I am just now asking. I have committed the cardinal rule I drill into my students’ minds at the beginning of the school year: “If you need help, ask someone! They... Read more »