Summer Trip of a Lifetime

Next week, I fly to Mexico City to see people I haven’t seen in 25 years. I’m bringing my husband, my kids, and a surprise. I’ll tell you about the surprise soon. Now I invite you on my journey with the important backstory, and a hint. Twenty-five years ago I went to Mexico alone against the advice of my family. Warning “You should go somewhere with more culture,” one family…

Read more

Sankofa: My 30-Second Poem

I cannot change history, but in this moment I have a choice:
Do I open my eyes to clearly see?
Or bequeath the blindness bequeathed to me?

Read more

Kindergarten Teachers Collaborate to Innovate with Technology

At George I. Sanchez Community School, a Title I school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Title I Kindergarten students are actively using technology to collaborate, create and communicate in ways that deepen content learning. It didn’t start this way. Learn how teachers collaborated to transform their teaching.

Read more

Albuquerque Teacher Leaders Open Doors to Observation Inquiry

“Instead of brushfires for excellence, we need infernos of excellence. Our project will do this.” In a packed hotel conference room in Albuquerque, New Mexico, teacher leader Maureen Torrez, NBCT, describes the observation inquiry pilot project she and her team of National Board Certified Teachers are leading to deepen how teachers and students learn in Albuquerque public schools.

Read more

Four Sentences Educators Must Stop Saying About Students

The language we use to talk about students matters. It reflects and shapes our perceptions, and most importantly, our expectations for student success.
In your school, make a courageous commitment to shift all staff conversations about kids and their families from a deficit mindset, which views diversity as a problem kids bear, to an asset mindset: one which truly values students and their communities for the diversity they bring. Begin by reframing these four sentences.

Read more

Beyond My Discomfort—Let’s Talk About Race and Teacher Expectations

In a new study, Gershenson, Hold, & Papageorge (2015) reveal that non-black teachers have lower expectations than black teachers for the same black students in the same schools. How do white educators respond to these findings? Do we point the finger at others, or get personal to reflect humbly on what we each might better understand about ourselves, and change?

Read more

Using Twitter to Enhance Professional Learning

This is the third blog in a series on using Twitter for professional learning. In Part I we explored the question “Should Twitter replace professional development?” In Part II we delved into the pros and cons of Twitter for professional growth. Now let’s get specific about how to leverage Twitter to enhance school and district-level professional learning.

Read more

Outsider: A Call for Connection

I wrote this poem about being an outsider in China in an effort to build empathy for what I have never experienced: being a new immigrant in the United States. I wrote it primarily for monolingual English speakers in my country who ask about immigrants, “Why do they stay together and speak their language?” “Why don’t they learn English?”

Read more

Risk-Taking is Essential for Professional Learning

Risk-taking is the make-or-break ingredient of effective professional learning. Without it, we are just going through the motions of “doing professional learning.” How do we bridge this gap between gathering ideas and transforming how we teach?

Read more