Chicago public school teacher discusses creating socially just and academically challenging classrooms

Thank you to Big Brown Dad’s Carlos Aguilar for inviting me to talk about teaching in Chicago for the last 25 years and what’s next. And check out Mestizo Coffee–it’s strong in a socially just way, too. (Just, uh, fast forward to 0:50 if you want to miss the quick f-bomb.) You can “Like” The White Rhino... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools needs to switch to a year-round calendar this fall

“Year-round” misleads. Students do not attend school for twelve months. Instead, this calendar includes a shorter summer break and other breaks throughout the year. We know that returning to the new normal in a post-pandemic world means change. Especially in education, we cannot return to teaching and learning and systems because “that’s what we used... Read more »

Chicago Teacher Offers Virtual Editorial-Writing Workshop for High-School Teachers

Chicago Teacher Offers Virtual Editorial-Writing Workshop for High-School Teachers
This is my way of sharing what I know with others. Designed for novice & experienced high-school teachers in the U.S., this 90-minute virtual workshop focuses on teaching editorial writing. This workshop helps high-school teachers understand how to help their students write and read sophisticated editorials in the 21st century. With no more than 24... Read more »
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Chicago Public Schools debate coach grateful students accepted virtual experience

Chicago Public Schools debate coach grateful students accepted virtual experience
Can our school’s young debate team survive during the pandemic? I doubted students would show up to online debate meetings and attend virtual debate tournaments. With our Chicago Public Schools debate team starting its third year, I thought remote learning would devastate our team’s participation. In September, over fifty students showed up to our first virtual... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools students evaluate Biden's and Trump's speeches after Capitol insurrection

When tragedies happen in our world, students need an outlet to talk about them, to process the events.  More importantly, they need learning experiences that move them beyond talking into creating something to help them grow academically and emotionally. Moments after last’s week’s insurrection, my colleague who also teaches the same junior English class texted... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools student says high-school students should leave cameras on during remote learning

This editorial was written by Jazmin Amaro, a student in Hancock College Prep’s journalism class. CPS students started off the school year online, and there are still no answers to how long high-school students will be online.  Although many elementary students return to school this month by choice, high-school students will continue to learn remotely. ... Read more »
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Chicago Public Schools Students Learn about Responsible Reporting from Accomplished Journalists

Through a collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, Chicago Public Students heard from WBEZ’s Maria Inés Zamudio and the Texas Tribune’s Julián Aguilar about being a journalist, interviewing people with trauma, the writing process, and success. Early in the interview, the sound got chopped a bit when Zamudio explained how she became interested in reporting.  She... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools Students to Debate Attending a 2-year or 4-year College in Chicago Debates Financial Literacy Tournament

This evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., three Chicago Public Schools students from Kenwood Academy High School  and Hancock College Prep will virtually participate in the Citi Chicago Debates Financial Literacy Tournament. Kenwood’s Samuel Libenson and Hancock’s Marco Avila and Alejandro Flores will debate the question:  If a student has sole responsibility for the cost of... Read more »

High schools in Chicago Public Schools must continue with remote learning second quarter

By the end of week six, Chicago Public Schools needs to make a decision about remote learning for second quarter, I argued in my summer editorial.  The sixth of the ten-week quarter ends tomorrow.  For second quarter from November 9 to February 4, high schools in CPS need to continue with remote learning during the... Read more »
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Chicago Public Schools teacher explains what matters during the pandemic

My Chicago Public Schools high-school teaching career began in my old neighborhood of Little Village over twenty years ago. I focused on one concept in my English classes: writing matters. Students wrote about their lives and the social issues important to them.  We put poems on the wall. During the pandemic, however, my teaching focus changed from... Read more »