Category Archives: NYC

Important reads for Black Gay Men: Frances Cress Welsing & Neely Fuller, Jr.

IMPORTANT READS FOR BLACK GAY MEN: FRANCES CRESS WELSING & NEELY FULLER, JR.

#Blackgaymen. Look up justifiable homicide. Please!

Sorry my hand was shaking. https://t.co/iu7pHkqzpO
(https://twitter.com/23__Jordan__23/status/1430393182991355904?s=03

Check these readings out. I ordered these books back in 2015. December 31, to be exact. They are giving me ‘color’ on how to understand my dilemma with being treated as a decent citizen, worth acknowledging and treating with kindness and humanity.

Treatment we all deserve.

These are controversial and will JAR you. That is ok. Just read the ideas, and perhaps order the books for your personal library.

Neely Fuller, Jr – The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing – The Isis Paper: the Keys to the Colors

Podcast: How do you surround yourself with such amazing people?

Podcast: How do you surround yourself with such amazing people?

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Thank you everyone that supports me and the issues that I care about!

I’m surrounded and supported by such amazing Black Women and Men.

Got some surprise love for my community building work today. I’m trying to receive. But also, making sure that I share.

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Podcast 3: Pushing Past Our Limits with Smoke Signals

Podcast 3: Pushing Past Our Limits with Smoke Signals

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I miss you all. Work has been cray. Always so much I want to share, but never quite feeling like I’m sharing and creating enough. Here is a quick podcast I made while waiting for the barber. I have a couple of great opportunities coming up this weekend that fell out of the sky. Listen and leave your feedback below.

 

0:00 – 4:50 – Pushing past our limits: When was the last time you PUSHED THROUGH your surface level obstacles so that you could experience the joy of designing and creating your highest life.

4:50 – 6:34 – Sending smoke signals: You never know what can come from them.

6:34 – 8:53 – Staying humble: Wanting to unleash my creativity, But also respecting that I don’t know everything.

 

What do y’all think about Staying Humble… even when you know you’re lining things up to KILL IT!? I would love to hear your comments below.

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You can download your copy of the free Website Building Workbook here.

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Me, Mary J, and my Ex(es) – BEDA Day 24 of 31

Me, Mary J, and my Ex(es) –

BEDA Day 24 of 31

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So, today, is just a sharing day. I needed to get that out. I am for real going through it in my head. Its crazy how that was so hard to say on video. But… I can already feel my fingers punching away feeling free to share.

I’m a better written communicator than verbal. I WILL say what I have to verbally. But its just easier for me to do it with words.

Yea, I woke up and was just confused a bit. not even confused, just frustrated. I’m so appreciative of the reception I received from my last post about my photoshoot. Y’all feed me with so much love and energy. Its definitely not taken for granted. Specifically because sometimes being a black same gender lovin man is in many ways the complete inverse of what I deal with in many other aspects of my life. I think I kind of mention some of this here and here.

mary j my life album skoolhaze.com

In many ways the successes and wins that I experience here in the more visible aspects of my life are kind of like my body’s own dampening device, served to protect me from the traumas and just ridiculousness that comes with being anywhere within the LGBT community. I woke up this morning feeling just that yo. I woke up fresh off the consistent love that y’all show me and couldn’t help but wonder why I was dealing with a mending my heart from a run in with this fool at the same time.

I just wanna thank y’all for being welcoming to my journey. I’m hopeful that it inspires you to do that thing you’ve always wanted to do. My share-ing today, is meant to show you that everything isn’t perfect on this end. I’m always worried people will think that. Its a challenging for me too. But at the end of the say we HAVE to move forward. And while I absolutely don’t understand why I can’t have that person by my side that I felt so comfortable and strong with. I also know that there’s absolutely nothing I would have done with him that I can’t do on my own.

It’s the mosquito bite that you feel, and now is there. But you’re just waitin for the irritation to go away so you can go on about your day.

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BEDA = Blog Every Day in August

NYC Men Teach Mentoring Program – BEDA Day 16 of 31

NYC Men Teach Mentoring Program

BEDA Day 16 of 31

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Greetings everyone!

Today’s post is a quick little run down of the NYC Men Teach Mentoring Program. The city is looking to provide mentoring and support services for men of color interested in entering the teaching profession. I know they’re offering guidance on the multiple entry points someone can take to get into the field. They’re also linking up new male teachers with year-long mentors to help them navigate through their first school year successfully.

Guess what? I’m a mentor! Quite a few of my peers have asked me if I was going to participate in the program. It was kind of a no brainer for me to try to get involved. Mentors have been training since about April. We’ve been to quite a few trainings, and gatherings together to get an understanding of our role and the programs goals.


mentorship_banner

I even did some phone and email outreach to past teaching fellow applicants to encourage them to apply again for the Fellows Program. By the way, we were calling to notify people that the Fellows was looking for applicants for its December/January cohort they would be taking this year. The website doesnt speak of the application right now. BUT, if you’re interested dip over there and make an account. They definitely send email blasts when applications reopen. NYC Teaching Fellow Website.

I could go on and on about the benefits of joining the program. But if you’re here on this space, then you’re already participating in one of the biggest benefits gained. Finding my voice and learning how to stamp that shit into the space.

My Mentees!!!!

Can y’all believe I’m going to have mentees. I’ve always struggled with my mentorship. I just never quite feel like I give enough. I was at a training recently, and one of the recurring things was how many of the participants felt like the Black men in their lives didn’t show up! One place I know I’ve struggled to show up consistently has been in my mentorship. In college, I was a Big Brother/Big Sister. And… I just fell off. There’s been kats before that have asked me to mentor them and I tried, but just know it wasn’t enough. It honestly took me finding and beginning to foster my own relationships as a mentee needing guidance before I could really figure out how to start to be a good mentor! And i never feel like its ever enough. This time tho, I’m definiely tryna show up and show out!

My plan, its to not be too planned. I know the year will be ridiculous for everybody. My goal though is to create a space where they know there is a community of them, a community of us that we can depend on each other.

dpmp1

Communication Tools:

Group Txt – So you know we’re all only a txt away.

Group Facebook Group – So you know you can post and share media with the group with relative easy.

 

Mentee Gatherings:

2 Meetings peer anchor (mentee) per month. My goal is to have one meeting be a community gathering. Bring us all together. The second can be an individual meeting. I’m interested to see what the group thinks about.

Some themes we can cover during our group gatherings are:

  • Curriculum Planning and Development Time
  • Group Grading Time
  • Grad School/Certification Project Time
  • Resource Sharing
  • General Group Discussion
  • Chill time w/ drinks of course
  • Sharing important DOE information/processes
  • Future Planning (in and out of the DOE)
  • School Problem Solving Sessions

A note about FREE SPACE: Well now that I know some Panera Breads offer and reserve their Community Room space, I can just call ahead and reserve space for my gatherings. This is a convenient and easy work around for your space concerns. At least here in NYC.

Just a few things that came to mind.

What do you guys think? If you were a mentee what type of support would you be looking for? To my master mentors out there are there any additional tools or services you think I should include? Lemme know!

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Teacher, Tell Me about Life and Niggers

Teacher, Tell Me about Life and Niggers:

A classroom and email conversation with two Black-Male students

enza-Academy

I recently received an email from a Black male student asking me to explain life to him. He’s an older student and this is the first time I’ve taught him at the school. This was a first time I’ve had a student reach out for such poignant information. The following day, before I could respond, he told me that he and a friend, also in my class, were riding the train the night before talking to each other, and they kept saying the word Nigga.

Somewhere through the journey they confessed having made an older woman cry due to their reckless public vulgarity. It was then that I found out why my student had reached out to me about life the evening before.

Both students told me inconsistent stories about the events as they happened in real time, jokingly placing blame on each other, in a denial-deflection-comedic-confession with each other.

In the moment, there was work to be done, so, I expressed sincere dissappointment in their actions and inability to manage their behavior in context, and specifically with regard to the elder, then redirected them to their work with intentions to reply in detail via email.

The following was my email response:

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What’s up y’all.

Ok, my bad that it’s taken me so long to respond. I wanted to make sure I sent something thoughtful back. Here’s some feedback.

Nigga Response

It’s a dreadful word. It’s used to describe a group of people stolen from their land, and bred to be enslaved-captured people here in the American continents. The African people when I visited don’t call themselves nigga. The enslaved Africans were renamed Negroes by the European and other geographic people. It has been so ingrained that those African people have now taken to calling themselves Negroes instead of what they truly were and are. That’s why it’s a bad thing to hear so many Black/African people say Negroes/Nigga/Niqqa/Nicca. It’s a word of negativity and weakenss. The moment you stop calling yourself and your loved ones that word you start to get a stronger grip on the world, your history, and your role now in it. I hope that made sense. Here is a link to some phrases/meanings of negro throughout our recent history. I found this really useful for my own knowledge about 4 years ago.

I view y’all as so much more than niggers, niggas, you know all the spellings. In real life, I view myself as a young King. Everyday Paladin, the young King walks into the classroom. Everyday I’m greeted by young Warriors [Student 1] and [Student 2]. But as long as you’re calling yourself a nigger you’re never going to realize that. Nigger and King are opposites. Nigger and Warrior are opposites. Nigger and whatever you want to be known as are probably opposites.

The lady was probably mortified that y’all couldn’t edit the word out even if you tried. I get really sad too when I see kids out and they just can’t control it. We’ve been taught to say it. It has power over you. And that’s not good bro. But the good thing is it’s easy to stop. You just have to choose a different word to say. In college my frat brother started saying ninja, then we all started saying ninja. Then somewhere along the line I started saying homie. Now I even say bro. I say fam. I even say King. Choose something and roll with it. I try my absolute best not to call people that I love nigga.

culturesoul-black-youth-the-hipsters-stereo-culture-society_original

Fashion –

Y’all ask me and I never really remember in the moment. I get a lot of stuff from thrift stores. My regular stuff is from Levis, American Apparel, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters, stuff I see on Instagram, and sometimes the vendors on the streets. I normally check the sales. But will spend real money every once and a while for stuff that will last like jackets, bookbags, and boots. I rarely pay over 50 for a shirt or pants. Normally never more than 70 for shoes. Anything more prolly just isn’t worth it. Watch your money and save your money. A lot of my stuff is like 5 to 10 years old. When you buy stuff that fits well it lasts longer in my opinion.

Tutoring Time –

I’m available everyday during lunch:

  • Monday/Wednesday/Friday – [Location] – Lunch
  • Tuesday/Thursday – [Location] –  Lunch

I also try to stay after school for at least 20 to 30 minutes trying to cool down and wrap up loose ends of the day. If no one comes I bounce. I hustle outside of work and get tired if I’m not on the move. Trust y’all are always welcome to tutoring and after school-time. Just come, and we’ll find something to do.

Hustle

Y’all are smart. Y’all run the yard and I love it. But I need you both to step it up. You both set the tone for everyone else. I need you guys to work with me & [Co-teacher] in the classroom. Drive the attention to the learning. You aren’t horrible, but you aren’t hustling either. I need you both grabbing these knowledge points. Right now and even if you don’t have me anymore. You both have talent and like a team I need you to push your squad, and me and [Co-teacher], the coaches. Push your talents on the basketball court and in my classroom please. I definitely am trying to bring you my A+ work and I need y’all to help me be great by doing the same please.
Football-Training 

I’m long winded. Enjoy your weekends. Be safe.

P

Oh wait, I’m a second year teacher now

Oh wait, I’m a second year teacher now

SkoolHaze Classroom Purge

Ok, so my goal is to actually get this post out. I’ve tried to write this two times before this and I just ended up trailing off in a blur.

Life is so different for me now than it was for two full years ago. You see, I’ve realized that the time I spent in Boston is a memory now for me. For so long Boston was my life, it’s finally dawned on me that I’ve been in NYC long enough to have created new memories. And in order to do so I often pull back to my time and experiences in Boston. The Bean really was a starter city to prep me for East coast living. Now, being a near two year resident. I can even begin to pull on early experiences living in the city to help push me through to bigger and better with my future. I know that sounds weird – but I want to create history. I’ll say it, even though I feel like its one of those things they don’t like to hear black people say. Of course, my boy Kanye agrees.

kanye genius skoolhaze

We read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in my Sophomore English class this cycle. I love reading about Black/African history. It enriches my soul. Imagine that we’re all sitting around making our own history, stories that people will read and learn from and engage with and write about…etc… LoL. I mean, I definitely want this blog to be a part of that history. Y’all can think I’m crazy. I don’t even care anymore. #Kanyeshrug

I read it (The Narrative) for a second time this summer during my reading marathon. That was really dope by the way, and I can’t wait to do it again this summer. One of the books I’m really excited to get into is Introduction to African Civilizations by John G. Jackson. I got to steal some time and read the first two chapters a few weeks ago during winter break. I was a HUGE Discovery/History Channel/Documentary person growing up. I’ve heard stories about the evolution of humans, but conveniently I’ve never heard much about how this evolution took place on the African Continent. The early chapters of the book discuss this evolution and actually use really engaging language that is easy to understand and follow.  In a nutshell it talked about how pre-humans evolved into barbaric humans. Then how barbaric humans turned into civilized humans living in ever growing groups that turned into actual civilizations. It also talks about how humankind went from being a matriarchal society to patriarchal society.

Introduction to African Civilizations John G Jackson Skoolhaze

Speaking of making history…. I mean making historically wise decisions for myself. I’m facing a tough situation at work – again (see Schoolhouse Blues). Long story short I feel like admin has taken aim on me over some bullshit. She wasn’t happy with my peroformance, and as a result gave me some very low marks on my evaluation. The difference between this time and last time is I was actually prepared to talk about it and call her evidence into question. Our last few meetings have looked like this –

Skoolhaze Grapple

I feel like I’ve stepped into a battlefield over the past two weeks, and most folks are recklessly aiming somewhere in my vicinity. Work is a mess man. Classes are ending, Classes are starting, teams are changing to frame a bit of it. The amazing difference is that I actually know my value now and have been far less hesitant giving my opinion on why things that affect my work are the way they are.

I made a conscious effort to wake up and have an amazing and jam-packed Friday. And I was pretty successful. Outside of all of the other trimester ending activities listed about, I had an early morning IEP meeting that almost didn’t happen do to scheduling and communication challenges. IEP’s were one of the most daunting things to figure out 2 years ago. The paperwork behind the scenes is still a nightmare – and to be honest one of the few areas where the powers that be try to act as though I’m incompetent. None the less, the meeting went very well and was probably one of my strongest to date. I made a quick smartboard presentation that helped the fluency of the meeting. I may try to upload the pres once I wipe all the personal information.

Most importantly… and the only thing I’ve really been trying to share over the past few weeks is that I’ve FINALLY made my first curriculum. My post graduate prep course has finally finished its first iteration. I remember back in Boston there used to be all this talk about making a curriculum or finding curriculums that spoke specifically to the students were dealing with back then. Talk about being lost! I’ve finally made my first real curriculum and it feels great. The curriculum as is is far from perfect and there’s plenty of room for growth. But having the skeleton feels amazing! Some of the things I’m looking forward to incorporating this time around is more creative writing, more critical thinking, more activities, more take home resources, more technology skill development, and… better resources in general. If you know any 😉 def send them my way.

I cant think of much more to say. And of course, this was sooo much better in my head. But oh well. Just like the gym sometimes you just gotta get in there to get the kinks out so that next time things turn out even better.