Showing posts from 2019


Keep your head up. 

Difficult is Only Temporary

We were about to lease a building but after we had the building inspected, we decided not to move forward. 
The problem is not that we don’t have the building, the problem is that our ideas for how to manifest our vision for community research centers won’t get out of my head. I want nothing more than to get them out but I have to finish one thing at a time. Right now, that one thing is to become a scholar-practitioner. Scholar = Doctor Practitioner = Model Teacher/National Board /National Geographic Certified 
First off, being a scholar-practitioner makes me more effective for my students and allows me to coach other educators (specifically educators who teach students that share commonalities with my population of students) on growing the minds of their students, as well. 
Secondly, it will allow me to build the knowledge and skills needed to design a research-based practice that I can pass on to the future generations of my family. I love teaching but no matter how hard I teach, there…


Be more explicit when asking questions. Learning that in life.  Must teach students how to do the same and how to understand implicit questions.  People do not always break things down.  How do I teach them what to pay attention to and what to annotate?
Doctoral annotating is hard for me.  Being a teacher and a student is harder.  It makes me feel overwhelmed, all of the time.  And the loss I recently experienced has added on  to my inability to think straight.  Can’t focus as easily as I was able to a month ago when I was finally getting a hold of my procrastination and perfectionism.  For the past 2 weeks I’ve been immensely inattentive and it’s harming me because when I sit off task, daydreaming and ruminating for too long, fear takes over my entire body.
Last night I admitted myself to the ER. Funny how the nurse remembered me from 4 years ago. He asked if I ever finished my PhD and how my family in New York was doing.  
He made me feel safe as I was asked to remove all of my jewelry, my coat…


I’m trying to push through. That’s it. Just continuing to fight the urge to quit. 
On my 5th attempt to finish a paper, multiple readings from both classes, etc. I really just want to get in my bed and matter how much I lose focus, I’ll try again and keep going...until midnight. 12AM is my cut off time because I am still a teacher and have to have enough energy to give to my school. Thinking about leaving the classroom for the next few years because it’s really hard being a student and teacher. I’m staying, at least to finish this year but everyday I think about how much more I need to be attentive to my students and how much more reading I need to do for my classes. It’s literally guilt. I feel guilty for choosing my education over their’s. I don’t want like this feeling but I really think I will be more effective, doing 1 thing at a time. I have to honor myself by being gentle with how much I stretch myself to work. I still want to be a teacher but I don’t want sacrifice g…


I’ve had to start this article over so many times in the last week. I don’t know why I won’t just close it and start a different one. I just keep trying and starting over and trying again and restarting, all over again. 
I may need a different annotation text-code key to help me get through this. It’s not even too complex, it’s just me. I’m not focused. My mind is always on something else ...
I’ve been thinking about my students who read “on grade level” but do not want to annotate their texts. I taught them how to but I realize, I was not explicit enough about why they need to annotate, even if they understand the text. 
Maybe I need to try scaling up. What if I give them super complex text and teach them how to annotate it with a critical eye, in addition to using it for the purpose of answering comprehension questions from the curriculum? Then, have them go back to grade level texts that are less complex, and see how their efficacy and motivation to text code shifts....? I can incorpo…


Stretching myself and growing in so many different ways at once was the challenge, this month. 
I just realized this during my meditation. 
Tonight, I am setting new self-care goals for November. 
Thank you for allowing me to be a human.  


I asked my advisory if they had a million dollars, what would they do with it and where would they get it from. To answer the second question, most said "rob a bank, rob trump, or hit the lottery." At what age is it appropriate to start helping them see how lucrative their future can be? When do we teach them how to acquire generational wealth? All of them said they would use the money to "buy a house." When do we teach them to buy land or buildings?


I just paid my tuition for fall out of pocket. I turned down a McDonald’s ad that would’ve covered my whole year because...
Anyways, I was pissed about dipping into my savings but then, I realized just being able to pay it needs to be celebrated. There are many that cannot and I certainly could not have a few years ago. There are so many other desires I could have invested in but I chose my education, with the intention of making it so my children and beyond never have to choose between their desires, again. 


stopped posting videos because my classroom became my show. By winter 2019, I realized, my social media ratings were greater than my students’ results. Don’t get me wrong, this is not about standardized test data as a measure of growth. This is about my students not just reading words but deeply comprehending them enough to use texts as weapons against injustice. Yes, I went there. I still have the same agenda, to free minds, that I’ve had since the beginning. The lessons I was sharing were not impacting the literacy difficulties among students with ADHD, anxiety, and depression in my classroom. I was teaching but I was still not reaching my students with disabilities or moving them beyond the barriers keeping them from learning. 
Getting into a doctoral program came at the perfect time. It led me to begin asking why I was not successful in serving all of my students.As I found causes for adolescent illiteracy in urban districts in my research, I found statistics that revealed the star…


My students wear their puffs just like mine, or maybe I wear mine like their’s. 
I love it. 
Today, I found out I earned an A on my sociology paper that I was stressed about! Really feeling myself. 
Celebrating by sitting in the park, watching the birds dance with the leaves. It’s nice to be at peace and fully caught up. 


Paper 1: Submitted 1 week late.  Paper 2: Submitted 1 day late.  Paper 3: Submitted on the day it was due...which is today :)
Goal for Paper 4: Submit 1 day before it’s due. 
I know I can because I am truly growing from week to week. It’s hard but it’s worth it! The speed of my reading comprehension is increasing. I am finishing articles in 30-45 minutes—used to take at least 1 day about a month ago. I think I’ll stay committed to strengthening my reading skills before I begin practicing my writing because I know reading will naturally improve my writing.  
This process makes me lean deeply into my work as a teacher. I realize how much I need and how much I have to give to myself to push through this work. My students need me to not only be this for them, they need me to teach them how to be this for themselves. 


I fell asleep so many times in the last 3 hours. I keep waking up on the same page. 
I’m not giving up though. 
Why is it easier to stay up and binge a show on Netflix than it is for me to read, silently? 
This is the same science that I am exploring to understand among urban youth but I see I have to start with myself, first. 


these corporations don’t see me as an educational activist. they don’t care about my commitment to banning the idea of their being an achievement gap. 
all they see is the numbers. they are not reaching out with 10K to support my students in getting iPads. they are asking me to promote some sh’t and they don’t care what I do with the money they give... 
our economically disadvantaged students need more than ad money, they need abundant, adequate resources. 
that is what my platform is for ...

im reading faster than ever
my writing will improve soon, too because i started journaling ...


I haven't implemented a Reading Apprenticeship Strategy, yet, this school year. 
But I read those questions and felt moved. 
I need to choose at least one question to hone my action-research study on... 
I am grateful to be able to collect real time data that helps to inform my practice. 
Grateful for having a picture of this anchor chart of questions in my photos. 


Sometimes I hear your thoughts in my head and I feel afraid of what you think of me. 
But as I write these lesson plans for my 8th grade girls, I realize I need to be less concerned with my assumptions and more focused on my creativity. 
Refocusing my energy to where it best serves my ability to be a servant leader. 
Colorful stories I make up are not real. The girls’ need to become critical thinkers is ... they need me to be in good spirits. 
Dear Mind, 
Focus on your focus.


Turned down another ad today. 
Needed the money but I don’t want to endorse brands and companies I don’t believe in, just for the money. 
I’ll find another way to pay for school. 
I know I will. 


Today is better. 
I am caught up in both of my classes. 
I feel so good. 
Spending the night planning for my students, I love that work, I almost forgot how much I love developing lessons. 



I need to read this book and see if I can find myself ... so much going on in my head right now. Grateful to one of my professors for reaching out with a quote about mindset. 
But I’m still not progressing...

I will not quit. 
I can do this.  
I can. 
I am. 


Took that weave out.  
My scalp wanted to breathe. 
First blow out in 18 months. 
Over thinking. 
negative thoughts. 
I am. 

9:56PM — I’m Behind in the Readings

If you came here for the rest of the video I posted on my IG, you’ll have to forgive me. I lured you here just to tell you that you’ll have to wait on it because I am not coming back to social media until I have my sh’t together. 
I’m doing way too much. 
This email from my professor says it all: 

Teaching.  Nat Geo.  Keynotes.  Leading staff.  Being a human with a personal life. 
It’s heavy and I am NOT going to drop this course or fail as a result of continuing to juggle all my responsibilities. I just want to teach and go to school. Nat Geo is aligned with teaching but keynotes and social media are not, at this time. But full disclosure, if you see me post any ads on my stories, know that I need the money for school. Not taking out any loans, paying out of pocket, ads help tremendously. But other than that, I gotta stay out of my own way and stay caught up on the readings. 
I posted the videos on IG just to let you know, I am collecting classroom footage  but I am not curating  until I get my …

dc bound

Purposely left this goodie home. Triggers me. 

Finding myself feeling like an actress at times. Asking myself who I want to be in specific spaces. Myself said, “myself.”


I made it back to the states safely but every time I think about posting about my trip, I get knots in the pit of my belly. I know those knots are my gut telling me to take my time and speak out when I have thoroughly prepared my messaging. Telling me a post will not be effective enough. Telling me to put this phone down and organize an action plan. Telling me to develop essays that will not be biased but stand on facts and truths. Telling me to teach my peers and continue learning with them. The anxiety I feel is giving me permission to slow down and do things right, not right now. 
Even with the urgency I feel around the subject, I know I cannot act. I must be strategic and organized, there’s no room for reactionary moves in the revolution. 


Notes on being pretty with my weave and lashes. My look was inspired by Nneka J.  I love her style, head to toe. 
Found this suit a year ago at the Goodwill, for $4 !

I vividly remember leaving home and starting my new life as a freshmen at Morgan State.  The smell of pine sol in Blount’s halls.  My grandmother getting a box of biscuits from Popeyes.  The whole car was packed.  We went to Walmart and got things for my dorm room. 
I didn’t see her cry, though.  Not until the second time she brought me to school. As she was putting the last of her things in the trunk of her car, I felt her energy. Sure enough, when I looked up at her, she was crying. She was proud of her gran. 
I wonder how my mother would have felt.  Or my father...
When those freshmen girls began filling up the seats of the ballroom, I found myself smiling the entire time. I could tell, even from where I was sitting, who was from up north like me, who was starting to feel the silent tax of being away from a dysfunctional home, who …


I am in control of this energy. 


I need to write a thank you letter to Rihanna when I am done with my homework. 
I also want to reflect on my silence during a city-wide professional development session I was in this week. A fellow participant, who is in leadership in one of our city schools, used a very problematic statement to describe our youth, during a debrief. Since I was the one who added a norm requesting our session be a “safe space,” I won’t repeat what was said, but I’ll simply describe it as a disappointing. 
I looked around the room, searching faces for a reaction but everyone seemed to agree with the free spoken micro-aggression. It was as if the deficit-thinking was cloaked and only I could see it for exactly what it was. I wanted everyone to hear it how it I heard it. Could not let that propaganda live with them as they head back into the classroom in just a few more weeks. My mouth wouldn’t open to stop the person from finishing even though my heart wanted to dead the noise. I don’t know why I couldn’t …

Recitatif by Toni Morrison

My mother danced all night and Roberta's was sick. That's why we were taken to St. Bonny's. People want to put their arms around you when you tell them you were in a shelter, but it really wasn't bad. No big long room with one hundred beds like Bellevue. There were four to a room, and when Roberta and me came, there was a shortage of state kids, so we were the only ones assigned to 406 and could go from bed to bed if we wanted to. And we wanted to, too. We changed beds every night and for the whole four months we were there we never picked one out as our own permanent bed.

    It didn't start out that way. The minute I walked in and the Big Bozo introduced us, I got sick to my stomach. It was one thing to be taken out of your own bed early in the morning-it was something else to be stuck in a strange place with a girl from a whole other race. And Mary, that's my mother, she was right. Every now and then she would stop dancing long enough to tell me something imp…