Archive for the ‘Principal Salome Thomas-El’ Tag

Women have no place in education….   2 comments

DISCLAIMER: The thoughts contained in this blog post are those of the writer and the writer only. I don’t really care if you agree with me or not, but this needs to be said; I have never been able willing to ignore the elephant in the room. If the millions of people ‘concerned’ about the state of education were genuinely concerned, then this post would not be necessary.

Ok, now to explain the title: Women really do have a place in education, but I can’t help but wonder if working as a classroom teacher in some ways limits our opportunities to assume leadership roles, e.g., administration, superintendency, charter school developer, etc. Now I know there are some very dedicated, qualified, and damned good classroom teachers who have absolutely no desire to transition into a leadership role. I can and do respect that. But what about those who do? At what cost? What must she/they exchange in order to exercise their dynamic and visionary leadership skills and leading their staff in transforming a school that ensures the success of every child?

In previous blog posts I have given ‘shout-outs’ to Principal El, Dr. Steve Perry, and Principal Kafele for their tireless efforts in ensuring that minority kids and those from low-income families receive the best quality education, thereby increasing their post-secondary options. I applaud these men for their work, but where are the women? I kinda feel an Alex Kotlowitz-esque book entitled, ‘There are no women here: Exposing the glass-ceiling in public education,” coming on…I bet it would sell but I digress.

How many women leaders can you name? I am sure we can all name Marva Collins, whom I respect and admire, but is she the only one? Seriously? Where are we? I need to hear from you! I am really wondering if a penis is a prerequisite for getting professional respect and an equal opportunity at making a difference. I shudder at the thought….

I’m out!

A little break from the (Education) insanity   2 comments

I’m back. The Twitter and blog hiatus did me a lot of good. I had the opportunity to rest, evaluate, recharge, and regroup. At least that’s what I have told myself! Participating in various education-related chat groups on Twitter (BlackEd and EcoSys) have provided me with the opportunity to ‘hear’ what others are doing in the their respective classrooms, both K-12 and higher ed. I will admit that it is easy to become disillusioned after interacting with other teachers/educators. For the most part, we all seem to have viable and feasible ideas for seriously addressing eradicating the ‘opportunity gap’ that exists for many minority and economically disadvantaged students; however, few of us have the opportunities or resources to share our ideas on a large scale. My observation: Far too many teachers are concerned, not enough administrators, superintendents, and knowledgeable policy makers share the same urgency. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not give credit to Principal El, Principal Kafele, and Dr. Steve Perry, for they are in positions to initiate, cultivate, and nurture change within their respective environments. Furthermore, those leaders foster leadership in all stakeholders (students, parents, etc.) How many of us can honestly say that our building leaders have done the same? How many committees within your building are chaired by the exact same people, year after year? This type of leadership is one of the reasons why we continue to have the same discussions; nothing ever changes. When demographics change, our instructional and leadership styles need to change as well. Some of us ‘get it,’ and the rest, well….But I would like to know how we are supposed to keep the fire lit, given all the elements that work against us? How can we ‘Choose to Stay’ when greener pastures present themselves?

I will ponder those questions as I listen to my girls’ piano lessons. I hope that the answer presents itself soon, as I feel myself running out of steam and I have grown tired of bumping my head against the wall known as public education bureaucracy.