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Black Culture Education Equity and Justice Grandparents Parenting Teaching Teaching and Learning

From Grandparents to Primary Care Givers.

From Grandparents to Primary Care Givers.

When you reach the stage of a grandparent, your role is different from that of the parent. You’ve raised your kids, hopefully in a manner that makes them responsible. No one warned you of the possibility that you’d go from grandparents to primary caregivers.

One day, far in the future I’ll be a grandparent. My role will be to give my grandkids a couple of days out of the month, so their parents can remember what it was like to be kid-free. A grandparent is to the equivalent of a relief pitcher; the biological parents are the aces.

Moreover, taking on your grandkids full-time can be both positive and negative.

The Positives.

1. The genuine love that you have for kids that are an extension of you. These kids embody your genetic makeup.
2. The ability to watch your grandkids learn and grow in a controlled setting.
3. Giving your grandchildren a stable environment where you can be a decision maker or a narrative changer.

The Negatives.

1. Anger or resentment, which is natural because these are not your children, you’ve raised your children.
2. Guilt; feeling as if you didn’t do a good enough job with your child, so you’re on the hook for their kids.
3. Grief, no longer having your independence.

Some folks dream of the day when they can walk around their homes, the way they want to walk around.

Tips for Grandparents who become Primary Care Givers:

1. Take care of yourself. You deserve that, and you’ve earned it.
2. Make sure you have hobbies to center the universe around you. ”Me time” is significant.
3. Building the capacity of the grandkids is okay. Kids nowadays are capable of being a lot more independent.

Moving Forward with the work.

According to data from AARP in 2016, three million grandparents are raising their grandchildren.

As we move forward in this work, I would like to bring attention to the following. Grandparents often receive no additional income for raising their grandkids. There needs to be legislation that allows grandparents to foster and adopt their grandchildren. Grandparents should be eligible to receive government funding in addition to money from their pensions. It may help with some of the stress associated with grandparents as the primary caregivers of their grandchildren.

Categories
Civil Rights Education Equity and Justice Parenting school safety Teachers trauma

Trauma-Informed Classrooms

Student Trauma in the Classroom.

Trauma-informed classrooms help. Student trauma from home to the school is a real thing. Some of our students have seen the very worse of what life has to offer. These students don’t need nor want your pity, but they deserve your respect. They deserve for you to walk a mile in their shoes. Our kids deserve love and nurturing.

Your scholars deserve this from you because what they have experienced is by no fault of their own.

Growing Up in Trauma.

As an educator, I have the uncanny ability to spot student trauma. Through lived experience, I know what to look for. As a child I exhibited signs, but teachers didn’t always pick up on the signs. For example, there were times when we didn’t have running water, and my oh balance would be off center. Or times when my homework wasn’t complete because the electricity bill wasn’t paid.

These were all sorts of issues that I had no control over. Moreover, the adults in my life never really picked up on these sorts of things.

Adults Who Care More.

I don’t want any kid to grow up the way I grew up. No kid should be cursed at or demeaned at home. I agree on kids deserving discipline, but not to the levels some people are willing to take things. Students should not be made to feel like they are less than anyone else.

Our jobs as educators are to protect our students. No, you can’t control what occurs at the homes of your students. However, you can manage how you embrace the trauma they are experiencing. You can turn your classroom into a safe space, so kids want to come and talk with you about their experiences.

Creating Trauma-Informed Classrooms.

A teacher who goes above an beyond is the teacher that knows. The teacher that displays a culturally relevant mindset is a teacher with the openness to learn their students. Providing the right mix of care could mean the world of difference for some students. Keeping your hand on the pulse of your students is equal to ensure the students are learning.

Student Trauma is Not my problem.

Consequently, you’ll have some educators that are of the mindset that they aren’t paid enough to deal with any types of trauma. I won’t argue against that. What I will say is, if you came to education for the money, this probably isn’t the right career for you. We need more folks that are willing to make a difference in trauma filled neighborhoods. For some of these scholars, it’s their only way out.

Educators that have Experienced Trauma.

Some educators have or still may be suffering trauma. If that’s the case, we can’t be of any good to our students until we address our issues. I’m providing you with a measure of trauma. Please use it to self-diagnose. Once you know if you’ve been impacted, it will allow you to be in a better situation to help your students. Trauma-Informed classrooms help.
ACE test <—– take the test!

Categories
African American History Black Culture Education Education Reform Equity and Justice Parenting Teaching and Learning

The Day We Cape for a Quality Education for PoC; Instead of Caping for Jussie and the likes. ‘No Cap’

Eight Million:

If we could “Cape” for our students of color the way we “cape” for actors and athletes, 8 million students would be better off.

Imagine a world where we advocate for the education of the poor and disenfranchised, No Cap.

There are Eight million students of color, currently receiving less than adequate instruction in the United States. The areas most affected are centralized ‘urban cities’ or port cities. Please name me a port town where students of color are performing well academically. A port town where unemployment is equal to suburbia and crime is at a minimum. If you can find such a city, I will stop blogging.

Poor Jussie:

Moreover, we have enough to worry about in current day society. By in large, 400 years of physical and psychological trauma, enter Jussie Smollett, or Jamal as you Empire watchers like to call him. Immediately we took him at his word when he said the attack occurred. Any black male that questioned the attack risked accusal of exhibiting “Toxic Masculinity.”

Toxic Masculinity:

fullsizeoutput_15a9Toxic masculinity, in theory, can’t be every time black males do not agree with the mainstream. Currently, it is over usage diminishes its value. Overall, there was nothing toxic about feeling like this story was “fake news.” People continue to remain silent, hoping that the results matched Smollett’s account. That story is now in question. We will continue to see how it plays out in the media.

Democratic Cap(ers):

Every major Democratic politician admonished the alleged assault against Smollett. Most if not all are very quiet as details surface around this being a staged attack. It is all the more reason for us to rechannel our energy.

Notwithstanding, this is more of a reason to make these candidates focus on issues that matter to us. In essence, if this were true, and Smollett experienced an assault. I would want nothing more than his attackers to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, if he is found to be “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” celebrity aside, Smollett deserves prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.

Lets Rep for These Eight Million Kids:

On the other hand, what’s not in question is the eight million students of color that are still in failing schools. Factually speaking, with teacher strikes are on the rise, and teachers’ unions complex strategies to pit traditional public schools against public charter schools. We have to fight for our kids.

In closing, let’s “Cape” for our kids the way that we “Cape” for these celebrities on TV. Our kids need us, and it’s time for us to take a stand, ‘No cap.’

My blog: EverybodyluvsRaymondsedblog.com

Podcast: https://audioboom.com/posts/7177506-blackface-black-history-and-black-education

Twitter: @Mr_Ankrum; @8blackhands1

Categories
Civil Rights Education Equity and Justice Parenting Special Education Teaching and Learning

Black Boys in Sped, Why?

There are too many Black boys in Sped classes.

Sped Used Correctly:

In fact, Special Education, when used to its real intent, is an excellent resource. Teachers identify the challenges exhibited by students and help parents put methods in place that will assist in student learning. The special education process, when used to it’s the real intent can be an invaluable tool for student learning.

Consequently, the problem that I have with Special Education, and I’m sure this rings true in communities with PoC is when race plays a role in determining placement. As it stands young black males, simply started are overrepresented in Special Education classes.


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Black Boys in Sped:

Moreover, in the 2011-12 school year, black students were 14.4% of the student population in schools in the US. In the same time frame, Black students were also 19% of the 6.1 million students served under IDEA. More specifically, Black Males represented 12.8% of the 4.1 million males served under IDEA.

 

The Dirty South:

The South is the most egregious. Some of the statistics are unnerving. In the following states, the percent of their Special Education populations are staggering. They are as follows:

  • Georgia 50%
  • Louisiana 52.4%
  • South Carolina 43%
  • Maryland 45.2%

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Some of you may be surprised by these numbers. Unfortunately, many of us are not. Given the shameful history of white supremacy, these numbers make sense. The figures also become eerily correlatable to the school to prison pipeline, a concept that I will address in the future.

Some of the areas that Black Students have been over-identified in special education services are as follows:

  • Emotional disturbance
  • Intellectually Disabled

Reluctance to Address the Stigma:

The obvious answer and I’m walking on eggshells as I type is that there is a disconnect between the ways Black kids learn and the way teach Black kids. One can’t help but think that whom they are educated by plays a role in students being over-identified as intellectually disabled students.rrr-or-2015-black

Black parents are resistant to Special Education talks. They have personally had bad experiences, or they know of others who have had lousy experiences. So when a Black parent is apprehensive to your suggestions, it’s not because they don’t care about their kid, it’s the opposite.


Ways to combat Sped Stigmas:

  1. Cultural relevant pedagogy: make learning interesting to all students. Don’t be afraid to learn about cultures that may differ from your own.
  2. Relationship building: Understanding that kids don’t work for people they don’t like or trust.
    Building authentic relationships with families and students is a surefire way to start to break down existing barriers.
  3. Sensitivity to past trauma: Although these students may not have directly experienced slavery, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Mass Incarceration, they are descendants of those that have. They carry a sense of lived trauma that has not and sometimes we will never atone.

I chaired a parent meeting recently in which we went through the process of identifying a black male student for Sped Services. As I spoke to this grandfather, I could see the lived pain on his face.

I was cautious and deliberate with the words that I talked to him. I could tell it was more comfortable for him to take in because that message came directly from me, someone he knew cared, and would operate in the best interests of his grandson, a young black boy.

Categories
Bullying in Schools Education Equity and Justice Parenting

There is a Seven Bridges in Your School, Protect Him!

Seven Bridges Remembered:

There are many things we take for granted. Sometimes that includes life itself. My life has become centered on being selfless, bringing light to issues that affect our community, and helping to develop strategies to prevent future trauma.

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With great sadness, I write to you about Seven Bridges. The name itself screams of originality.  I’ll never get to meet Seven Bridges in person because Seven killed himself.  Classmates bullied him at school.  His parents alerted school staff, and his parents even made a move to change his school.  Alas, not even the change in schools would prevent Seven from taking his own life.


Bullying in Schools:

These types of events happen way more often than we are comfortable speaking. I understand why, but not talking about the problems won’t make them go away.

The problem, in this case, is bullying. How can we address bullying in our schools?

Whether through social media, mental or physical, bullying is on the rise.

Here are ways to address bullying in schools:

1. Awareness. Take a learning inventory of your students and your parents. Many don’t understand what bullying is nowadays. Many parents think about what they went through as students in school. We have to bring them full circle so they can understand the type of trauma students go through currently.
2. Have social workers and educators that are culturally competent. Cultural competence ensures students have space and opportunity to talk things through in what they feel is a safe space. Having trusted members on staff is helpful to the vulnerable population.
3. Have workshops with parents about how to identify the signs. If a student is out of sorts, or they aren’t acting like they usually act, parents and educators need to have a heightened sense of what support the child needs.

Bully Prevention:

Incidents like this can are preventable. Educators have to be vigilant. I for one would not want an incident like this to occur on my watch. To prevent an act like this from occurring, I’ll do whatever it takes. Will you? Join me in ensuring bullying ends with Seven.

If this story resonated with you, please share. We have to protect these kids!

Categories
Civil Rights Education Equity and Justice Parenting Politics

Tone Death to Blackface in schools

Tone Death to Blackface:

Aren’t you tired of reading stories about white students in blackface? Don’t they know how offensive and hurtful these actions are? Do they even care? Are the tone death?

Blackface is the act of impersonating black people by painting your face black. Blackface became prevalent in the 1830s. Whites and other non-blacks used blackface to perpetuate stereotypes, many of which still exist today. Are we tone death to this type of racism?

The practice as a whole lasted until the early 1980s but has creepily become popular due to a sort of tone-deafness that is running rampant in our country. It’s not okay for you to use blackface to reenact the experiences of people of color. That’s our energy, let us have that.


And if you are questioning why blackface is offensive to PoC, you’re a “low key” racist.


Students of Color Step Up:

I commend these Brooklyn prep school students for using their voice to bring attention to these racist actions. No child should be subjected to this sort of trauma. We have been experiencing these types of trauma and systematic racism for over 400 years. Is there any end in sight? Why don’t our minds and lives matter?


Covington, Kentucky:

Insert the students in Covington, Ky. Much attention has been made about the standoff between Nick Sandmann (student) and Nathan Phillips (elder), that has received a ton of media attention, and one blog post won’t do it justice. However, what hasn’t be spoken about enough is the culture of the — school. We’ve seen countless pictures circulating that show a clear view of the disdain these kids and their school have for black lives, as they attend sporting events against African-American athletes while in blackface. Why aren’t we talking about this?


Selective Outrage:

I know it’s not all white people. I have some excellent friends and colleagues that are white. Their hearts are true. But honestly, these events are happening so much; I’m starting to lose track of who is who. I need more people, all people to speak up when events occur instead of remaining silent. Silence often equates to acceptance. I know most of you don’t accept some of the things that are happening, but why aren’t you speaking more loudly about these things?

Unfortunately, we live in a tone-deaf society. Often when we don’t address situations correctly the first time, we experience revisionist history. As a country, I don’t think we’ve ever effectively treated racism and injustice. Currently, any mention of racism and prejudice gets met with apprehension. There is this reluctance in our society to call things what they are. In turn, we dance around difficult conversations, until events come to a head and we’re forced to talk about things.