Tag Archives: Grad school

Behind the scenes: Schedule of a spectacular day!

BEHIND THE SCENES: SCHEDULE OF A SPECTACULAR DAY!

I’ve had such a powerful day! I have one more thing to do on my to do list to really knock today out of the park. But before I do that, I wanted to come and lay some track for anyone reading.

Today is the type of day to document, because, it already comes on the heels of a powerful week. Monday, I was able to deliver an amazing day of coaching service at a local non profit after school program. Tuesday I was teaching my graduate-level Teaching Strategies course, and Wednesday I was teaching my graduate-level Teaching Seminar course. Each time getting positive feedback back from my students. I’m always surprised when students praise my teaching practice.

Teaching practice and coaching practice is hard! Shit! I’m finding in my entrepreneurship and research that teaching and coaching is about constantly evolving, and challenging yourself. It’s about communication. Its about the transfer of knowledge, and the equipping of tools.

That’s hard, but we here are EDGE-ucational Media Company, LLC believe it to be possible to strategically equip yourself with tools and lived experiences, in an effort to craft the leadership journey you want to live here on Earth. We believe that is possible and curatable in the living moment. We believe you the reader in this moment holds the power to determine your programming and ultimately where your path will lead, and the impact you will have.

Getting back on topic – as a company we had one of the strongest days of the year today. And we’re still conquering items on the to do even down to this post. the to do list we start the day with is the guide for what can be a powerful day of creation, or a wasteful day of consumption.

Today’s to do list – written during our morning journal time:

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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.

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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.

The Purge – Advance

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The Purge – Advance

So, I’ve had the audacity to start thinking about what’s next after this Masters of Urban Education degree is complete. People hate it when I say this, but I can’t really put into words what this experience has done for me. I’ve really tried to implement what I’ve learned about coasting on my talents versus agitating myself to reach new and uncharted successes in my life.

AdvancementOpps

Thanks to Jullien Gordon, I’m thinking about looking into organizational leadership, strategy, and entrepreneurship courses. It’s a very early thought, but a thought none-the-less. If I could create a field of study or skill that I wanted to learn more about it would definitely be Social Entrepreneurship or Community and Public Leadership, something along those lines. There’s still plenty of time before I really need to know this information though. But if you know somethin about somethin let a pimp know! Especially if you have any leads on fellowship and scholarship programs out there because I’m definitely not tryna pay.

Why these programs? Well, I mean I’ve developed a thirst for knowledge and skill in teaching. For me, I think its safe to say that I’ve reached a point of perpetual curiosity to explore my knowledge and boundaries in education. However, through my education practice and readings I’ve also begun to really thinking about leadership. What is leadership both in theory and practice? Why do some people have it? I’m interested less in corporate leadership (MBA) and public sector leadership (MPA). I did start an MPA program at Northeastern University in Boston 3 years ago, but it just wasn’t the type of expertise I was really looking for. I’m not here for those industries. Civic Leadership sounds like something that would be right up my alley! I’m not sure if there is a program that has exactly what I’m after, which is cool because I’m always down to cross-pollenate educational experiences to get what I want in the long run 😉

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Take a second to think about what you learned in 2013? What new things are you looking to learn more about in 2014? Where can you find these resources? Don’t limit yourself to books and classes at a traditional school, like me LoL. There’s also youtube, blogs, private classes, mentors, etc… Personally I plan on taking a sewing class this year by a young lady I found on Meetup.com, no certificate or pay increase needed. But I know once I’m done I’ll have learned a new skill I can always apply. Lets make sure we’re advancing our skills and knowledge in 2014.

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Personal Inquiry – Interests and Preferences

Personal Inquiry – Interests and Preferences

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Much of our work this semester in grad school has been focused around the idea of inquiry. Observing a student for who they are. One class has been focused on identifying potential behaviors that are limiting the child’s academic success, another is focused on identifying who that child is as is. In essence, once you can identify the child, you can better figure out what you can do as their teacher to support them in the academic environment, if they need your support. I’ve decided to observe Student A described here: Challenging students or challenging environment

Over the past two months I’ve really been fortunate to be able to observe him in almost all of his classroom settings. Part of the observation process is to try to describe your child as is, without assigning values to what the child does. A few of my peers in the program have found that relatively difficult, which to me speaks to a perhaps a larger issue with teachers being unable to see their students as young people without trying to describe why they engage in the behaviors they do. When you think about it, its pretty dangerous to try to describe why a student or any person engages in a particular behavior when you in fact have no idea how true or false your opinion is. Especially given that often times the way these behaviors are being described is from a negative/deficit perspective. It speaks to the often overlooked power dynamics that come into play as a teacher who is entrusted to protect and develop the young people you serve.

Anywho, I wanted to share a piece I wrote up about myself regarding my own interests and preferences. The assignment is attached below. The goal was to deeply review one of our own interests and think about how deeply it influenced our own identity as a person. We’re being asked to do the same thing for our students we’re observing later in the semester.

Assignment                                                              

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Response                                                                       

Track and Field

Describe the different ways this interest has shown itself as you grew up or the different forms this interest/preference has taken at different times in your life. In this description, describe:
  • how you came to know you had this interest or preference
  • what you did with this interest as a child
  • whether you pursued this interest on your own or with others; how others supported or showed interest in what you were doing; how others knew you had this interest

I had the benefit of living on a block where there were long stretches of road and sidewalk that somehow became racing posts for my neighbors and myself. When I was young, I remembered racing was always the activity/sport/game that I enjoyed the most with my friends. There was a solid group of us all within the same 3-4 year age range who would often congregate in our cul-de-sac to play games or just be kids. Fast-forward to the future and many of us became star/active players on many of our high school’s sports teams. My sister – soccer, Tiara – track, Darren – basketball, Ranard basketball and football I think, and myself track.

We had 4 different racecourses that we would use. For quick sprints we could use the 70m of sidewalk around Tiara’s house, or the entire length of the cul-de-sac and back in front of our house. For longer sprints we could use the long hill that all of our houses sat on. Ranards at the very top, passing Tiara’s house, our house, all the way down to Darren’s. I would say the hill had to be about 200 meters long. And then finally the long course of running the Sullivan Lane, Hickok, and Blackhawk Drive which was possibly a half-mile long.

Running had always been my passion from early on. I could play basketball all right, and did a season of soccer my freshman year following my sister’s footsteps. But there was something about the black and white competition of running that I loved more than anything in the world. It was competition that everyone could see and everyone could understand. I loved that I was always one of the fastest kids on the block even though I was a skinny scrawny non-athletic looking kid for most of my life.

As a child I couldn’t do much with this interest but continue to race people on the street. I didn’t know about AAU leagues or the USATF yet. I was probably in middle school when I first started to pay attention to track meets on TV. I couldn’t wait to join track in high school as it was the first thing I’ve ever felt confident I could be good in.

I’m not quite sure how others supported me running.  I have a tendency to live in a world of tunnel vision. Off top I would say my soccer coaches and teammates, cross-country coaches and teammates, and family supported me in varying and actually competing ways. My mother, infamously made me quit the track team early on my freshman year because of a bad grade I was getting in math. Around this time (approximately 2 weeks into conditioning) I was actually really frustrated with the team. I hadn’t imagined how exhausting and difficult training would be. The practices and training were so much harder than I had experienced in soccer. I don’t know what I would have done, but I believe had I not been made to quit I would have fallen off the team to my own accord just given how difficult it was for me.

Luckily, I had to spend an entire year listening to people tell me I sucked at running which is why I quit. It really made me furious because I knew I was fast, and knew that my speed was the last thing I was worried about. Luckily sophomore year came around and I went back out for the team, and became an instant contributor to the varsity team.

  • Describe briefly how this interest/preference lives in your life now.

I don’t run anymore. I actually haven’t watched a full track meet since I left NCAA Nationals as a senior on my college’s track team back in 2007. Track became and still is a bittersweet experience for me. It paid my way through college, and serves still today as the impetus to every opportunity I’ve gotten in life. Any leadership position in college, and in my professional life stems from the experiences and status earned through track and field. Even my closest friends, rivalries, and enemies stem from track and field. At one point I was a college roommate with two of my biggest rivals in the state in high school. My frat brother/big brother was also a member on my track team. My close female friends were members of the team as well. All of whom are still in my life.

Through track I grew into my body. I remember graduating high school around 5’8 weighing 123 pounds. I was extremely skinny and lanky. I graduated college at 5’10 around 145. And now weigh around 159 pounds. 165 around my heaviest. I say this to show that through track I grew into the physical man I am today. Which may sound superficial or unimportant, but as an athlete it plays a huge part into who I am to the outside world, and most importantly to myself. Track made me healthy, it made me look healthy, it taught me how to keep myself healthy and in shape. It is through this lens that I constantly critique my health, fitness, form, mental state, and appearance for others and myself. To translate – because of my 9 years as a semi-professional track athlete, I feel chained to keeping myself healthy and in shape. I don’t run anywhere near as much as I should, but I do maintain a pretty active and consistent space in LIU’s gym and Planet Fitness. (As as I’ve mentioned before on the blog, when I’m not in the gym my entire life seems to spiral out of control.)

  • Describe what you may have learned from pursuing the interest and the satisfactions you may have gained from it.

Track has taught me the art of competition. I was a natural winner that relied totally on natural talent for the entire time I ran. My largest lesson from track is failure. I relied on talent so much that I can see in hindsight how much further I could have gone had I understood what it really meant to push myself. I made it to nationals and was ranked in the country off sheer talent, and wavering interest. Similar to an early Serena Williams, but of course not as great or iconic. Had I been in the weight room, been training at my peak at all times, rehabbed seriously, and worked with my coaches more effectively I could probably still be running right now professionally for a living, as I see some of my college peers doing via Facebook.

I take these lessons and apply them to my everyday life. This is why I try to go so amazingly hard in grad school and teaching. It’s the first opportunity I felt I’ve had since, that I could really push my own boundaries and train for excellence as though I was back on the field.

On the surface, I gained a lot of medals, friends, accolades, records, experiences, travels, money, and headaches, and frustrations from track that I would never return. But this understanding of success and training is the most important take away that I feel I’m able to apply better now than I could 6 years ago as my time as an athlete came to an end.

Dressed within the Cloak of Privilege

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Here is another paper I turned in for one of my graduate classes earlier this summer. Thoughts and comments are welcomed and encouraged below.

Dressed within the Cloak of Privilege

Throughout my life I’ve seen that it is uncommon for black men to receive their bachelors degree, hold self-sustaining employment, pursue a graduate degree, and understand their culture in a way that pushes them to give back in a focused and direct way to their community. Being a special
 education teacher for a high school with a 55% Black and 45% Latino
 student body, I see younger versions of myself each day. It’s
 empowering and devastating all in the same breathe. My students 
come to me older than the average high school freshman. Most enter
 my school as freshman at 16 years old, two years behind their age 
peers, many years behind academically, and are expected to earn 
their high school diploma at 20/21 years old. Approximately 50% of
 our students have Individual Education Plans (IEP’s). Most students 
I have come across present as learning disabled, emotionally
 disturbed, and many struggle to maintain regular attendance.

The
 student I chose to focus on for this project is the son of Jamaican 
immigrants, and moved to this country himself at a young age. I’ve
 taught Keanon each trimester this school year and have been 
frustrated, disheartened, amazed, inspired, and humbled by his
 ability to make a fortified stand in various situations. The once
 standoffish young man has come into his own and begun to play with
 knowledge and academics in front of my eyes. I see Keanon anywhere 
from 1-3 times each day throughout the week, so I benefit from
 getting to observe him frequently and often.

Growing up in the midwestern version of the Cosby house in
 Chicago’s south suburbs afforded me countless opportunities that my 
peers didn’t have. My father, is a retired Illinois State Police
 Officer, part-time community college professor, two-time small 
business owner, and nonprofit volunteer. I fondly remember watching
 my mother, a devoted Illinois Department of Children and Services 
social worker, sit glued to the dining room table into the wee 
hours of the morning where she completed schoolwork toward her two 
masters degrees in Social Work and Education. Being first 
generation college students completely shifted the trajectory of my
 parents’ lives, and resultantly the lives for my sister and I. 
Growing up I was told I was going to college. This expectation, so 
heavily ingrained in my adolescence, makes me feel unaccomplished 
even today. Earning my first graduate degree serves as the first
 major accolade I will have conceived and achieved on my own accord.

Understanding how class, sometimes known as 
privilege, can unfairly shift one’s trajectory of life is a common
 realization in the black community. It is apparent to the 
individuals that find successful ways to enter and flourish through 
class mobilization, the family members they leave behind, and most
 importantly both groups’ children, which is where I myself
 fall.

I’m from South Central, 
LA, a place that’s historically impoverished and pretty
 marginalized. I come from a low-income family, I’m a 
first-generation college student, and I’ve kind of seen how just by
 the fact that I left for school, in another neighborhood, I got 
access to all these other opportunities, and just sort of had had a
 different trajectory. And I’ve known that both, from on the ground 
level and becoming a researcher and understanding the policy level, 
sort of the higher level. That there’s sort of a system that’s in
 place that works against what it is that you would want everybody 
to be able to obtain, which is success. So, the way that I’ve kind
 of framed success for my own personal use is the ability to 
influence and impact that system from a lot of different vantage 
points. (Gordon, 2013)

The 
blazing contrast between my childhood, neighborhood, and education
 compared to those of my cousins is etched in my memory. Each time I
 went to visit family members we departed on an hour-long excursion 
out of the suburbs, past the large ominous rows of government 
housing (projects) as they cast down shadows on the expressway to my family 
members’ homes. That exit out of, and entrance into – always 
triggered my senses in a way that was foreign from my suburban 
haven.

I cannot guess what goes on in Keanon’s 
head. However, he is a proud Jamaican, first, and American second, 
if at all. He describes Jamaica as 3rd world, but pulls strength 
and energy from his heritage. It is a badge of honor for him; and
 it empowers him socially, which helps him push for achievement
 academically. Keanon, as many of my other students, doesn’t believe 
he can trust people. In fact most of my males felt as though they
 couldn’t trust people. Growing up, I never knew a world where I
 didn’t feel safe, largely because everynight I went to sleep with a police car parked infront of my house. The privilege of growing up in the middle class 
has in many ways blinded me to the strife and challenges the
 many black young men must overcome to succeed. This thought 
repeatedly plays in my mind as I create my teaching identity.

I am the product of gifted/honors/and AP 
program at my school. It was there that I was exposed to class disparities in education. Obvious to me then were inequalities in
 rigor, expectations, and the resulting productivity of general
 education classes as compared to more challenging courses. I was one of
 the few Black representatives from 4th grade, and watched
 subconsciously as each year fewer minorities filled the classes 
with me. One of my most memorable experiences occurred during my
 9th and 10th grade years in high school. I decided, as a young
 adult, that I didn’t feel like doing math homework every night
 anymore – a staple in the honors math courses. My unrelenting
 rebellion caused me to fail Honors Algebra my freshman year, and 
half of my sophomore school year. The administration and my parents 
moved me to a general education algebra class. I was shocked at the 
culture of low expectations, rowdy behavior, and slow pace of the 
class. Here, I sat, having bought into my label as talented and 
bright and I still struggled to pass a general education course 
several times less rigorous and structured than my otherwise full load 
of advanced classes. I ended up going to summer school to earn my 
math credit through an insultingly elementary computer program.

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Keanon like many of my students has low math 
computation skills. At 17, he again like many others, struggles
 with his basic times tables, mental math, number sense, and
 confidence with identifying and applying key pieces of information. 
My co-teacher and I try to keep an orderly classroom, but our more
 expressive students work their magic and ignite nonstop
 disturbances that must be managed and extinguished throughout 
instruction and independent practice. I can imagine this having a
 negative effect on Keanon and his peers. This trimester we have
 covered factoring, factoring and graphing, trigonometry, area, 
perimeter, and volume. Keanon is one of two students set to pass 
the course this cycle. However, deficiencies in his basic
 arithmetic are still present, and are being addressed in a separate
 computer math course that I also teach for Keanon.

As I develop my teacher identity I rejoiced at having 
built a connection with a student like Keanon. His strength, 
curiosity, steadfastness, and nobility emit from him each and
 everyday. Earning his acceptance has made me feel validated within
 my own self. He and I both respect what it took to grow our 
relationship to where it is. I am older, but I view Keanon as my
 partner and equal. In my mind we are currently in a space where we
 share knowledge and beliefs with one another. Keanon has begun
 sharing why his Rastafarian spirituality is so important to him. He 
allows me to respectfully receive his message, which in turn seems
 to make him even more comfortable being himself, and testing his 
own skin.

There must be a 
meeting of the minds if educators are to play an influential role 
in the development of their adolescent students. This meeting can 
occur around formal social interactions, depending on the goals for
 the “meeting.” They key is that the educators’ thinking be made as 
transparent as possible in order for students to access and connect 
with it or for them to contest and reject it in an informed manner. 
(Nakkula & Toshalis, 2010)

However, I can’t be blinded by Keanon’s social
 transformation in the school. His math skills still require serious 
development for him to enter this world fully suited to succeed. As 
a teacher it’s disheartening to know that throughout the school
 year we never created the opportunity to develop many of our 
student’s subpar foundational skills on top of their functional 
skills. Framing this positively, I feel empowered knowing I can use
 these growth areas to develop more specialized understanding of my 
craft including new and targeted instructional methods for next school year.

My parents made sure that I grew up with a strong 
foundation in humility and servitude. We understood that we
 experienced privilege. However, there are many people who do not, 
like my family members, many of my peers, and the foster children and families
 my mother often exposed us to. The fact that it is a rarity of 
African Americans to have consistent exposure to supportive 
educational, social, and class privileges such as these is
 mortifying to my soul. This serves as the primary motivation
 driving why I must always try to build others as long as I’m able. 
To many, this may seem disconnected, unrealistic, or too kumbaya as I like to describe. However, for me it is the foundation for why I am an educator, and the doubts serve to reinforce my fortitude for the craft. My life experiences have brought
 me to a place where I am knowledgeable, both theoretically and
 experientially, about privilege as a member of the minority group
 in observation. Through school and work experiences I can guess how 
those more closely positioned to the dominant class experience and are 
blinded by privilege. I know first hand how difficult it can be 
with and without a solid education for minorities that are expected 
to navigate their way, successfully, through institutions that 
fortify such privileges by luck, grit, and pulled up bootstraps. I 
try not to judge, but I do wonder how others, more heavily layered 
in privilege come to develop their own understanding of this issue, 
and whether it festers within their souls as it does mine.

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Now, as an educator, a huge chunk of my 
identity is tied into my own experiences and benefits from
 privilege. I therefore see and weigh a lot more of my performance
 with my students based on the person I am to them and for them, on 
top of the role I play as their academic and social educator over
 the next few years. In many ways, as is evident with Keanon, I’ve 
learned that I have focused more so on my students’ social
 development, than their academic development. Keanon himself has
 shown that even with his natural gifts for leadership, compromise, 
and inquisition, he still needs the basic academic skills to
 navigate the modern world, successfully, and out of harms way. As 
with Keanon, my own identities often shift between student of
 education, professional educator, and that same little black boy
 that absorbed so much inherently from my surroundings in 
Chicago.

Currently, I feel like I must show all 
of my students and peers that I/we can accomplish anything we set
 our minds to. I frequently identify the links between them as high 
school students, and myself as a graduate student. I show them my 
frustration and unconditional love for them in the classroom. I let
 them know when they’re letting me down and vice versa. I show them 
what difficult assignments and work looks like for me, and discuss
 why its important that they persevere through their own complaints
 about scribing as little as a paragraph. I explain how my job and 
life intertwines with theirs’ and how the 10 years they view, as a
 separation in age is more of a proximity that should be explored 
and utilized to their advantage. I definitely use them to foster my
 own growth and knowledge development.

This 
summer, my challenge is to strengthen how I stimulate and support 
my students academically. Similar to Keanon, I enjoy the feeling of
 being roused into action. I enjoy the idea of constantly polishing
 myself into an even better teacher. This year I’ve seen Keanon go
 from being extremely closed-minded to being prophetic about the 
importance of school, teachers, and learning. I’ve tried to make 
the connection for my students that they are role models for their
 younger brothers, sisters, and cousins as I undoubtedly am trying 
to be for them.

My students are creating and 
experiencing foundational events that shape their adolescence and
 will guide their adulthood. I am no different, even at the current
 stage of my life as a young professional. As students and teachers, 
we are co-creating our identities. Interestingly, I view myself as 
the student, or rather, feel that even as a teacher, I have a need 
to be educated and nurtured by experienced veterans and mentors. I 
am a teacher, and I teach everyday as my profession, but my role in 
life is that of the student. Like Keanon, I am challenging 
assumptions and learning how to create an image of myself that most
 closely represents my idea of self.

In short, adolescents [and adults] are 
in a near constant state of constructing their lives. Far from
 assuming or growing into a particular stage of development or
 simply adapting to an environment that determines development 
possibilities for them, [people] are actively creating development 
itself. It is largely this process of creating [oneself] and the
 worlds [we] inhabit that we call the construction of [life]…
Ultimately the meaning [you] make of [your] experiences is [yours], 
regardless of how it may match or conflict with ours… Given the 
magnitude of the consequences involved in self-construction, 
especially as [you] come to be realized in schools, the 
constructionist perspective is anything but academic or abstract. 
It is, rather the real-life heart and soul of [life] itself. 
(Nakkula & Toshalis, 2010)

Works Cited

Gordon, J. (Producer) (2013). Side conversations with Jullien The Innerviewer Gordon and non-profit manager education consultant [Web]. Retrieved from http://insidehustla.com/side-conversations/

Nakkula, M. J., & Toshalis, E. (2010). Understanding youth – adolescent development for educators. (3rd ed., p. 05, and pp. 8-9). Cambridge: Harvard Education Press.

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– We often focus on our challenges, but have you taken a second to think about your privilege(s) and how they shape your view of the world?

– Privilege is just that… a privilege, something that not everyone is privy to. I’m not saying you should feel bad for the privileges you’ve attained or been born into. But, I do believe that it’s our duty to create a space for other people to benefit from the “access” our privileges have afforded us.

Be purposeful with your privilege(s), pay that shit forward!