Black Educators Matter podcast

Keep Pushing

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37:15
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“It’s time for us to mobilize.”

Keep Pushing

Mashanda Scott

Elementary School Teacher, Head Start Director

“I love the idea of constantly learning.”

With a Political Science major and Educational Psychology minor, Ms. Mashanda Scott surprised her mentors, family and teachers when she pursued a career in the classroom instead of the courtroom. Now, with over 15 years of experience as an early childhood and elementary school teacher, she is reflecting on the educators who influenced her, the eye-opening inequities that exist within the system, and the crucial moments in her life that inspire her to keep pushing.

“Our country is not designed for people of color, let alone the education system being designed for our babies.”

As a 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Scott speaks to the problematic nature of standardized testing, the Classroom to Prison Pipeline, and how she’s had to combat the demand to teach to the test (including a real life Matilda moment!). After unpacking all of the factors involved in education (teachers, money, curriculum…), she raises an important (yet often overlooked question): where are the kids in the conversation? In spite of the challenges that exist, Mashanda is done complaining and wants to focus on action and mobilization as we continue to love the students, and parents, that we serve.

Altri episodi di "Black Educators Matter"

  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Be Ready

    59:49

    “The achievement gap is artificial.” Dr. Cardenas Shackelford K-12 Math Teacher, Site Administrator, District Administrator “School should be an integration of fun, play, and the academics, you need to have all of them.” Dr. Cardenas Shackelford has seen both the beauty and the trauma of education, and he’s made it his personal mission to protect and empower the students that he serves. As a child growing up in the Black Panther era, he attended a segregated elementary school and dealt with race riots in middle school, before attending college in Utah on an athletic scholarship. He had NFL dreams and Air Force aspirations, but it was ultimately education that found him. “Come see me, and I’ll put you in a safe place.” What does it mean to support every child in the specific ways that they need to be supported (without medication?)? Is it possible to create an environment where every child can have a lightbulb moment? What is the interplay between school funding and achievement, and are we penalizing schools for achieving growth? As a classroom teacher, Dr. Shackelford worked to make math fun and understandable for students, and loves utilizing web based learning platforms. As an administrator, he speaks to the challenges he’s faced during his career, how he continues to produce and rise, in spite of being faced with resistance and set up for failure, and the best compliment he’s received from a teacher. And, in addition to sharing some fatherly advice, he reveals his source for ongoing development: his daughters.
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Greater

    40:01

    “We have a lot of power as educators.” Zataya “Shack” Shackelford Walter English / Humanities Teacher, Founding Educator, Network Administrator, School Leader “You can’t do this work without being hopeful.” What can you do to make a greater impact on the communities you serve? Educational Leader Zataya Shackelford Walter, also lovingly known as Shack, has been pursuing the answer to that question for over 21 years. Remembering her own elementary school experience in the Bay Area, she discusses her mothers sacrifice that allowed her to access a quality education and the cost of going from being the smartest kid in the room to the only Black kid in the room. Very early on, Shack recognized that school looked different for kids in different places. “How am I going to dismantle this system, this very institutional and historical system?” After beginning her career in education, Shack relocated from California to Chicago, where the segregation of the schools was mind blowing. Her father was a trail blazing educator, and she followed in his footsteps, using education as a form of activism. Having school aged children of her own, embracing the notion of self care for educators, and reflecting on the impact of her decision making are all factors that have influenced her perspective on education, and how she’s working to create spaces that affirm and elevate instead of cause harm or reinforce bias.
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

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  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    In Love With Math

    37:48

    “How can I service these children?” Adrienne King Middle School Math Teacher “No matter what, I love myself for who I am.” As a National Board Certified Teacher with 14 years in the classroom, Adrienne reflects on her open and transparent approach changing school culture and making education more than a checkbox. Although her own elementary school experience in Utah was filled with covert racism and labeling due to dyslexia, she had women who poured into her, making her realize that anything was possible. After an incredibly affirming HBCU experience, Adrienne had the courage to teach in Korea (English and Religion) before beginning her career in middle school math. “Enjoy the moments that you’re at.” Adrienne taps into the interests of students to teach math differently, to help kids fall in love with the subject they once hated. As an observer of trends and patterns (#shoutout to the math and science brain!), she challenges her coworkers to be equitable, encourages first year educators to find their person, and wants students to explore EVERY career pathway (“Trades are ok. Hands on work is ok.”).
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Keep Pushing

    37:15

    “It’s time for us to mobilize.” Keep Pushing Mashanda Scott Elementary School Teacher, Head Start Director “I love the idea of constantly learning.” With a Political Science major and Educational Psychology minor, Ms. Mashanda Scott surprised her mentors, family and teachers when she pursued a career in the classroom instead of the courtroom. Now, with over 15 years of experience as an early childhood and elementary school teacher, she is reflecting on the educators who influenced her, the eye-opening inequities that exist within the system, and the crucial moments in her life that inspire her to keep pushing. “Our country is not designed for people of color, let alone the education system being designed for our babies.” As a 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Scott speaks to the problematic nature of standardized testing, the Classroom to Prison Pipeline, and how she’s had to combat the demand to teach to the test (including a real life Matilda moment!). After unpacking all of the factors involved in education (teachers, money, curriculum…), she raises an important (yet often overlooked question): where are the kids in the conversation? In spite of the challenges that exist, Mashanda is done complaining and wants to focus on action and mobilization as we continue to love the students, and parents, that we serve.
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Keep Your Receipts

    30:18

    “Social justice led me to being an educator.” Ami Relf English Teacher IG: @TouchingLivesTeaching Twitter: @AmiElizabeth76 “Every child deserves a Black teacher.” This week, we are joined by Bellwood, Illinois native Ms. Ami Relf, an educator with over 22 years in the classroom. Due to redlining, she grew up in an environment that was incredibly affirming, before experiencing white flight (including a teacher who didn’t support integration) and segregated classrooms in high school. As an educator, she quickly realized that she needed to continue her mother’s legacy of advocacy and activism. “Education in this country was not set up for us to succeed.” In spite of the lack of diversity within her own school buildings, Ami recognized that she was not alone. Over the years, she’s formed The Ebony Club, The African American Leadership Team, and the Justice Group, initiatives that highlight the power of numbers and give a voice to her students and colleagues. She is growing and evolving as an educator (she’s been at least 7 different versions!), and has incredible advice for young educators: “Keep your receipts” and also, find a Black mentor!
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Every Student

    37:37

    “We have a system that funds public education that is inequitable.” Dr. Patricia A. Frazier Teacher, Administrator “You have to be ready.” No child should ever be left behind. Over the course of her 35 year career, Dr. Patricia Frazier has recognized the power of connecting with each and every student. Thanks to the guidance of her Economic and Calculus teachers, she realized that she had an aptitude for math - which led her to a career in education that she never would have imagined. “Integration did not seem to serve us well.” As a student growing up in Alabama, Dr. Pat attended segregated schools for her entire K-12 experience. In spite of this, she notes the incredible sense of diversity and support that existed, including a strong sense of community, especially among the descendants of the Clotilda. Dr. Frazier speaks about having and not-having, the lack of resources in some school districts, and why it’s important to help students pursue their interests, so that no student is ever left by the wayside.
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    West Instructional Services

    39:16

    “I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do, and I’m loving it.” Dr. Wycondia West West Instructional Services 1st grade teacher (16 years), Reading Intervention “You don’t know if you don’t know.” Dr. Wycondia West began as a 1st Grade Teacher, transitioned into tutoring and after building the confidence to bet on herself, launched West Instructional Services. Over the course of her impressive career, she has shifted from early childhood education, to supporting students for ACT and college readiness, and now providing professional development for the teachers, giving them the tools they need to support all students. “Do what you can with what you have.” Although she had a great mix of diverse teachers growing up, a young Wycondia didn’t know the history of her community, and the close connection to Africatown. Dr. West speaks on the freedom she felt after launching her company (although, entrepreneurship ain’t for the faint of heart), connecting the dots for students as they face struggles and a message for entrepreneurial educators. Stay with your gift, find your niche… and remember, “If you can solve a problem, you got a business.”
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Trust My Genius

    53:44

    “History and power go hand in hand.” Dr. ShaDawn Battle Assistant Professor, Gender and Diversity Studies, Literature, African American Literature, 20th Century, Hip Hop Studies, Critical Race Epistemology www.drshadawnbattle.com “What do you do with that privilege?” Get you an educator who can do both. On today’s episode, we are joined by Dr. ShaDawn Battle, a 14 year educator who brilliantly breaks down nuanced topics about race and education. As a Chicagoian based out of Ohio, ShaDawn reflects on the educational experiences that shaped her, how her environment influenced her, and how her approach to the classroom is inspired by cultural icons (RIP Nipsey Hustle). “We don’t feast with our oppressors.” One of the things Dr. Battle is most proud of is the mentorship she provides to her students as they learn how to navigate whiteness, and how to reject becoming an agent of the power structure. She emphasizes the role of student activism in making societal change, and recommends American Skin as a must watch film. Her work with the Stained Glass Initiative, as well as her upcoming project Footwork Saved My Life, demonstrate how her authenticity, potential and genius are unlimited. A final note from Dr. Battle - “Don’t ever count Black academics out.” We won’t.
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Identity Talk Consulting

    56:40

    “Stay true to the teacher in you.” Kwame Sarfo-Mensa Math Teacher, Tutor, Mentor, Founder: Identity Talk Consulting Identitytalk4educators.com @kwam_the_identity_shaper “If we’re really going to talk about anti-racism, we need to commit to proactive and continuous capacity building.” Have you ever thought of education as healing work? As an educator for the last 15 years, Mr. Kwame Sarfo-Mensa utilizes his youthful spirit and commitment to the community to actively bring joy into the lives of the children he serves. This week, we learn about his origin story, how he navigated his childhood in Connecticut and Ghana, and how he utilizes his lived experiences to support educators in developing their practice. “Read the books, but look in the notes section, that's the gateway to building your knowledge.” Kwame breaks down the state of education in Black America (and schools us on the Saving American History Act of 2020), calls out the testing companies that capitalize off of the white washing of teacher education, and asks “whose voices are being centered?” He also shares lots of resources and recommendations for educators, including James Baldwin’s “A Talk to Teachers”. He’s trying to dismantle the white supremacist norms which influence the way that educators teach. Once you get informed, that’s when the unlearning starts to happen. His advice to educators: Rethink pedagogy. Remix teacher education. Learn your teacher identity.
  • Black Educators Matter podcast

    Rose Cafe

    32:48

    Iesha Malone ELA Teacher, Mentor, Paraprofessional, Edpreneur Rose Cafe https://www.rosecafe.org/ Instagram and Facebook @RoseCafeChi “My foundation was set with a Black preschool teacher.” Roseland, stand up! On today’s episode, we are joined by career changer and edpreneur, Ms. Iesha Malone. Ms. Malone reflects on her educational journey, her where she’s been and the ambitions she has for the future. She shares pertinent advice on remaining authentic while following your passion and purpose (you gotta go inside out), why she feels we are losing in education, why she’s hopeful for the future of her community… #Shoutout to the rose that grew from the concrete. “Give me these kids.” Initially unable to pass the Illinois teaching exam, Iesha began her career working with the Department of Children and Family Services. The circumstances she witnessed led her to always advocating for the underdog, because she recognizes that there is always so much more to the story. After connecting with her Mentor about her desire to teach, she accepted a role as a special education classroom assistant, eventually graduating with her masters degree in special education. Ms. Malone speaks on the power of modeling the behavior that you want, demanding the respect that you want and setting the standard. You will always find Ms. Malone with a book. Meet her at The Rose Cafe.

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