Real Advice for Real Teachers in Our Toughest Schools
Thursday April 24th 2014
Remembering Why We Do It

Remembering Why We Do It

Photography by Jeremy SchulzI’ve said it before. In public education, there are more sad stories than happy endings. Even so, after graduation this year I have to admit that the happy endings might outweigh all that bad stuff. Well, not [...]

Ending the Year on a Real Note

Ending the Year on a Real Note

With all the pink slips going out this year, I can’t help but being reminded of a story my mentor told me about when she first began her teaching career. She received her first pink slip in the mail from our district “Postage Due.” That’s [...]

The Ambitions of Ghetto Youth: Too Small

The Ambitions of Ghetto Youth: Too Small

You want to know the hardest thing about motivating students? It’s this: Every student out there wants to have one of three jobs. They want to be an actor, a musician, or an athlete. That’s it. Three jobs.I remember talking to a 9th grader [...]

Black Boys and Shakespeare

Black Boys and Shakespeare

I once asked my students to write about the cultural differences between them and the other cultures they see around them. I don’t remember the exact book I was teaching at the time, but I do remember one student’s response. We’ll call him [...]

Michael Shaughnessy interviews Matt Amaral of Teach4Real.com

Michael Shaughnessy interviews Matt Amaral of Teach4Real.com

Matthew, you have a web site called Teach4Real.com. What led you to set up this site?Well, first and foremost I wanted it to be a place for new teachers in our toughest schools. I have noticed an alarming trend in first year teachers at my [...]

Blame the Parents — I Do

Blame the Parents — I Do

Last year at Back-To-School-Night, I was pleasantly surprised to see both parents of a struggling student show up. The student was in my accelerated 9th grade class. She had an F, she didn’t do any homework, and always came into my classroom [...]

Let’s Make a Deal: How to Help Fading (and Failing) Students at the End of the Year

Let’s Make a Deal: How to Help Fading (and Failing) Students at the End of the Year

Everyone loves the end of the school year, especially the teachers and students. The parents, maybe not so much.The reason I like the end of the year so much is because it is such a clean break. At no point during the regular school year do I [...]

An Open Letter to Teachers Seeking Balance

An Open Letter to Teachers Seeking Balance

Guest Author Dr. Jeff Duncan-AndradeWhen I talk with educators about the intense effort that will be required from them to be successful in our communities, it is nearly always the case that some of them will ask me: How can I do all of this and [...]

Giving Homework in Good Conscience

Giving Homework in Good Conscience

Two years ago I taught a “Strategic” 10th grade English class. “Strategic” is the No Child Left Behind term for students far below basic. Before that it was called “Sheltered.” A hundred different schools have a hundred different names [...]

Music—Probably the Worst Thing Out There

Music—Probably the Worst Thing Out There

I was in Argentina for three weeks this year. My wife and I were checking into a hotel, and the young man helping us behind the counter was in his early twenties. There was a radio on behind him, and when a new song began to play, he smiled and [...]

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Guest Articles

The Conditioning of Urban Teenagers

The Conditioning of Urban Teenagers

Here is a great article from Rockman, a social worker/blogger who works in an inner-city high school in Brooklyn. Even though we're on opposite coasts, we all face the same problems, and so do our youth. If you get a chance, check out his blog at: http://realteenissues.com/If teenagers can be conditioned to believe that “getting [...]

Education is Personal, Not Corporate

With the school year rapidly approaching, we've decided to highlight some other voices around the educational world. Here are some great thoughts from teacher extraordinaire Kimberely Gilles.Education is Personal, Not CorporateOkay, here’s my truth.  Everything about education is personal.  And that is exactly what the national [...]

An Interview with Editor-In-Chief of Red Ochre Lit, Mimi Ferebee, on Matt’s New Novel “The Darkness Inside Me is Sparkling”

An Interview with Editor-In-Chief of Red Ochre Lit, Mimi Ferebee, on Matt’s New Novel “The Darkness Inside Me is Sparkling”

***Interview with The Darkness Inside Me is Sparkling author Mateo Amaral***from the December Issue of Red Ochre Lit: A JournalMimi Ferebee: Mateo I am thrilled to have you as our interviewee this month. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you this year and I am happy to present you to RED OCHRE’s readership. First, I think we [...]