Month: December 2017

Culture in the Classroom: Replacing Misrepresentation with Authenticity

“Culture exists in community, and community exists in context.” –Taiye Selasi 02.12.2017 For Anne and Andre On an elementary school walk-through last fall, a colleague and I encountered a bulletin board ostensibly demonstrating students’ learning through crude drawings of European pilgrims and Native Americans.  Each drawing included a short narrative about the experiences of that …

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Writing the Narrative Ourselves: Final Reflections on the 2016 People of Color Conference

12/11/2016 “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” ― Chinua Achebe I find it interesting how often we heard the word “narrative” at the People of Color Conference this year and were invited to reverse it, shift it, and claim a new narrative in our schools.  …

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The Search for Home: Day Two at the People of Color Conference

12/9/2016 I’ve been thinking all week about the distinction between inclusivity and belonging.  As Kapono Ciotti put it in our pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, we’ve shifted our thinking significantly over the last few decades, and our language has had to shift as well.  We started with tolerance–a word I personally hate because it suggests we only …

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Unpacking the Why: Day One at the People of Color Conference

12/8/2016 In our pre-conference session yesterday, Kapono Ciotti and I shared an interview I did with a young woman I mentored starting at the end of her 5th grade year, when she was given a scholarship to the independent school where I taught.  A Mexican-American raised by a single mother from the state of Durango, …

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Waiting to Exhale: Coming Home to the People of Color Conference

12/2/2016 “Walls turned sideways are bridges.” –Angela Davis I realized the other day that I’ve barely breathed since 2am on Wednesday, November 9th. That panicked, tight feeling in my chest and stomach hasn’t left since I woke up in a haze and realized what happened. I haven’t taken a deep breath, haven’t cried or exhaled …

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Language Matters in Education: Putting Vigor over Rigor

9/11/2016 This will be the first in an ongoing blog series on key language and learning distinctions that really matter when we’re crafting high-quality, student-centered experiences for our students.I’ve been a language nerd since I first started to accumulate a vocabulary in early childhood, and I believe that the words we choose always matter.  In …

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Life Inside the Mirror: Reflections on the 2015 People of Color Conference

12/17/2015 “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”   –Franklin D. Roosevelt Several of my friends had babies in the last year, and at the People of Color Conference this December I found myself wondering more than ever what sort of world they will grow …

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Student Products: Engaging to Stop Ebola in Sierra Leone

12/14/2014 I am excited to share two new products from students in the United States who have been working closely with Hindogbae and the Bumpe Ngao Chiefdom in Sierra Leone.  Both of these schools work closely with World Leadership School on their global initiatives.  Congratulations to all on these inspiring student-driven products!Town School for Boys (San Francisco, California) has …

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Ebola in Bumpe: Connect Your School to Real Grassroots Action

10/18/2014 “Great social forces are the accumulation of individual actions.  Let the future say of our generation that we sent forth mighty currents of hope, and that we worked together to heal the world.”  —Jeffrey D. Sachs Whatever your views on the Ebola scare as it’s manifesting itself inside of North America, there’s no question that …

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Adventures in Student-Centered Learning: Working with Teachers in Sierra Leone

4/16/2014 “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.”  –Adrienne RichA rusty metal car bumper hung from a tree next to the primary school; each morning, I was woken up between 5:00 and 6:00 am by some diligent community time keeper …

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