Summer is coming. Thank the stars. Time is precious and we NEED to recharge during the summer, but it’s also a great time to reflect. It’s tempting to just unplug, but you could do a lil bit more.
If we are going to build new muscles and flex on the status quo, we need to grow. Leaders lead by modeling lifelonglearning. That is what we want our teachers to do as well. But, there’s little time and so many options.
Why is it worth it and how do you choose?
Continue reading “7 Summer Conferences for Equity Leaders, that are better than vacay”
If we are ever to bridge the opportunity gap and eradicate educational disproportionality, we need to make big changes. Readers workshops, project-based learning, and technology integration. Culturally responsive teaching, social-emotional learning, and restorative justice. Those are big ole changes!
These shifts require us to build capacity through some form professional development. No one wants another meeting, but we need to learn to work smarter, not harder. Especially if we want different outcomes.
Our meeting spaces need to be high powered, collaborative, and flexible. But you only have so many minutes in the contractual workday.
So what do you do?
Leaders do a lot of talking.
You may have the gospel pouring out of your mouth, but that doesn’t mean that you will automatically have disciples. But, great schools need great leaders in order to create focus, coherence, and align supports, especially for underserved students. A Malawian proverb reads, “If you are leading and no one is following, you are just taking a walk.” Many leaders are just talking, but want to be leading.
So what can you do about it?
Continue reading “9 times when leaders need to shut up and listen”
Students deserve to take courses that are interesting, relevant, and engaging. Sure, we can make all content more relevant and responsive, but you can also simply offer alternative classes. Better yet, you can make the alternative, mandatory. Ask yourself, what can happen when you make the interests of marginalized students central and essential?
Continue reading “Help, my school’s courses are culturally irrelevant!”
You want to disruptpatriarchy and white supremacy in the curriculum and in our learning outcomes. But, these patterns of oppression start in our adult interactions, and boy does it show up in meetings. Although difficult, it is possible to take action with some critical reading, radical norms, and the use of process checks.
In order to change outcomes, your staff needs to talk about teaching and learning in different ways. This requires new mindsets, tools, and ways of being.
Many times, white male staff feel very comfortable speaking up, speaking first, and filling the time. Sometimes, this gets disguised as “the voice of experience” because many staff of color tends to be younger, newer to teaching, and more transient in large urban school districts. But, the result is that people of color and women are often quieted and marginalized.
It’s time to turn up the volume. But how?
Continue reading “Interrupting patterns of participation in staff meetings”
It’s hiring season in schools and getting the right people on the bus is a leader’s most important task.
But first, you have to ask the right questions.
Nowadays, with lower salaries, a lack of national respect for education, and the increasing difficulty of the job, it is HARD to find good folks. Therefore, we have to make the best decision. And, the fate of humanityrests on you being able to find the best people.
So, how in the name of Paulo Freire, do you find them?
Continue reading “5 interview questions to find equity warriors”
Our identity has an incredible effect on our ability to make a change in schools. Whether you are a person of color or a white person, understanding of your culture, ethnicity, and race matters. A lack of understanding creates intentional and unintentional harm. It can be a limiting factor and contribute to institutional oppression. In the meantime, students are failing and being pushed out of schools. But, identity can also be a source of power.
It can be a tool, used to engineer for equity. How can you start building?
Continue reading “Can white leaders be culturally responsive?”
An equity-focused purpose can be a source of power to create urgency, build momentum, and transform your school. It can also build community. Leaders who know their purpose and know when to share it can inspire change, through tapping into our emotional core.
We show up to work every day and fulfill the duties of our job. The work, if you are in urban or inner city schools, is especially challenging. We work long hours, deal with setbacks, and keep pushing. But why?
Continue reading “Share your equity purpose with these 5 prompts”
“Banking education treats students as objects of assistance; problem-posing education makes them critical thinkers” Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Continue reading “Powerful Quotes – Ban the “banking model of education””
We usually think of change as big, overwhelming, and insurmountable. This might be the addition of graduation portfolios, raising reading scores, or addressing Social Emotional Learning standards. This feels more than you have time, energy, or resources for. So why try? Because change can start small.
You just have to break it down.
Continue reading “6 Habits of Highly Innovative Schools”