Soon — very soon — my students will be authors of a book. A real, published, four-cornered, many-paged book with a cover, a table of contents, and yes, even a signing party. The brilliant people at Chapter 510 and the Department of Make Believe, a chapter of the national 826 Valencia writing mentorship program, have … More On the Importance of Telling and Hearing Our Very Own Stories
Last Saturday, I brought my white 10-year-old son and his best friend to the local game store to buy Magic cards, and while the boys were geeking out over Magic, I bought a jigsaw puzzle for my sister. It is called, “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” and has drawings of famous rabble-rousing, nonconformist women on it: Fannie … More On White Boys in AntiRacist Struggle: Where and When They Enter
A few years ago, our school, after seeing a real need for an interruption of rape culture, created gender-specific, monthly groups to address the needs of the girls, the needs of the genderqueer/queer students, and to address what we saw as the perpetration of rape culture amongst the boys. We have been doing these groups … More A Plea: Address Rape Culture in Schools
I have the honor of teaching 12th graders this year, a group I have taken from 9th grade — jittery, loopy handwriting, matchy-matchy outfits — through 10th, 11th, and now, to their senior year, when they breathe in, and breathe out into futures of their making. I also have the dubious honor and real responsibility … More Teaching in the Time of Trump: An Action Plan
My mom and I just took my two boys, ages 6 and 8, to Disneyland. It was their first trip, and we went excited to experience it through them. It was spring break for us — and, it seemed, for most of the world. Wait times for rides were 30 minutes at the very least, … More On Disneyland and the SAT
I am currently teaching the most difficult inquiry I have ever embarked upon. I am putting the capital D in Dangerous right now, people. I am teaching my juniors a unit on intersectional feminism. My guiding questions are: What is intersectional feminism? How does it work as a lens to uncover oppression? How might it help us … More On Living in the Contradictions: Messy Reflections on Teaching Intersectional Feminism
I have focused the second quarter of my 11th grade American History curriculum on reading Ta-Nahisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations” as a lens through which to look at post-Reconstruction America. His writing and ideas are, as is now widely known and recognized, lyrical, compelling, challenging and important. I may, at some point, post something more … More Creating Reparations: How Might We Nurture the Unreasonable Imagination?
This past Friday afternoon after dismissal, I was putting errant chairs up on desks, collecting student journals to read and stuffing papers into my backpack to grade over the weekend, and I got word of the Paris attacks. I turned on the radio and scrolled through social media to find information, and I listened to … More On Cultivating Radical Imagination, or Why I Will Never Teach Debate Again
I want to be honest and announce that the best part of this post is the very end. The end of the post answers the question that I wish many people would actually ask: what do young people in Oakland really wonder about? But first, an explanation of how I am able to post these questions. … More On 20% Time, Autonomy, and Standards: What Do Young People in Oakland Wonder About?
I spent way too much time this week struggling with my administrative team over a teenage girl’s belly and thighs. This was not how I wanted to spend my week. Being forced to think about it, though, has allowed me to develop and articulate another aspect of my Teaching Dangerously Manifesto: I have no f#$%s to give … More Dressing Dangerously