Posted in Health & Wellbeing, School Life

The Toll

Just need to chronicle this.

From the time we went into quarantine on March 13, 2020, my stress/cortisol or whatever had already been through the energy of ‘keeping my stuff together.’ That takes a lot of energy. I joke about “saving it for my novel,” but when memory trips back to certain events of the last two years at the school where I stayed, loved, and struggled for twelve years took on an admin team that, well, did not want me there and actively worked to ensure my departure, on top of having a disgusting, lying excuse for a human lead our nation into continued depravity, loss of democracy, and 600K deaths, my body just quit. My mind kept going, using all the energy, fuel, and functions to keep my brain going.

When I say “quit” I mean I just couldn’t move. I would try to go on walks with my husband in our neighborhood last summer and see people not wearing masks, and it hit soft spots of anxiety. Though I was wearing a mask, the fear took over. I got into social media arguments with people I thought loved me and my family, pushing back on mask-wearing, and the anagnorisis of witnessing that much white supremacist, cult-like behavior in my own community continues to be alarming.

And the actual daily sirens.

And the colleagues who dealt with their own tragedies and stress in ways that hit at dangerous intersections with my own.

And the sitting for hours.

Even though I had alarms to remind me to take breaks.

Even though I had alarms to remind me to stretch, playlists of songs for dancing, and a steady stream of online purchases to fill a void.

I didn’t overeat, thank goodness, but probably kept the wine delivery too stocked, if I’m honest. But I didn’t move. I hit snooze on my physical health. But the hours and days of sitting in front of a computer screen, waiting for students to show up in Google meet, the hours and days of sitting sitting sitting sitting staring at a cold screen, blurring my vision, all I had was my mind and creativity to do anything to keep students hanging on.

And now I’m paying for it.

Yes, I know I’ll get better. Last weekend I pulled weeds for hours, mowed the front yard, and just ordered a new seat for the stationary bike, because damn, the one it came with…not exactly motivating. We don’t have the funds for a fancy Pelaton, but maybe someday I’ll treat myself. I am vaccinated now and will start to walk again. I play with the dog. My canine extension of my own life is feeling it, too.

I drink gallons of water. I track my steps. I eat right. And I’m trying. But all of that in the world doesn’t matter if my mind just…can’t…make…my body move. I am mourning my body. These mentaphysical* histories and milestones: the body of my first decade — lithe and cricket-jump fast. The body of my teens and twenties, the ‘take for granted’ body. And the post-baby body. The forty, and now the fifty-ish-living-through-a-pandemic body. It’s rebelled. It’s worn out. And I’m too young for this. I must remind myself this is NOT MY FAULT. I didn’t break this body, but I’m the only one who can fix it.

*this should be a word

Posted in Uncategorized

Okay, so how is it “really” going?

Well.

Not great.

Collecting every positive quote about independence, strength, courage to be myself, know I’m who I say I am, yadda yadda yadda, but seriously, I sense a profound shift in my relationship connections with others of my species. I wonder…is this trauma?

And I’m thinking the only remedy is some kind of further homeopathic response: fight this isolation with further isolation, that somehow by allowing myself time and space to forcibly evict some of the harmful thoughts and events.

Just a garbage post to remind myself I can do better, it will be better, and it’s going to be okay.

Posted in ELL, Reading, Reading Strategies

Read All About It

TL:DR; how to help students read and access content areas.

Today, Saturday, April 24, I am a cartographer of curriculum mapping, trying something new, useful, and just a little bit sad, too. I love books and teaching ELA, and while I will still teach reading and writing, listening and speaking, my new role as the EL teacher in an alternative high school shifted my instructional direction.

Basically, I’m tired of students not earning their credits in other content areas. And since I can’t change content, I can change what I do and provide for students, and the space and intentional instruction.

We can many conversations about behind, learning loss, (!) grade level, Lexiles, etc., and the encompassing educational philosophical debates, but my students, right now, sitting in my classroom, are not earning credits, so I’m going to research this and modify through a diagnostician’s perspective.

Background/Context

The English Learner students must meet a protocol to join our building. Currently, the roster includes native Spanish and Marshallese students. The reasons for this are justified, however, the protocols do not guarantee students will come to the building with grade-level skills and strategies. It is an alternative high school whose primary mission is to help student retrieve credits expeditiously. We are on a quarter system: each quarter works like a full semester at the comprehensive high schools. If one could earn .5 credit per class in a semester, they earn .5 in a quarter. Because the instruction and content is truncated, which can be stressful and nearly impossible for some areas such as math and science, students must come to our building with a Level 3 proficiency in one of the EL domains:

But as most of us know, the ‘reading wars’* have been a post mortem blame battle, and I’m still sitting with students who struggle with content area texts. Taking an asset-based approach, my students love to talk, love their families, and many of them work, have started their families, and want to graduate from high school. I take a no-shame approach: we work on vocabulary, text features, etc. And one obstacle for me this past year is being allowed to sit virtually side by side with them in their other classes, like the para-educators do. I’m not going to waste much more time trying to figure out if it’s a trust issue that I can solve, because I can’t. It’s not my problem: what is my problem is helping students access the material in front of them.

My plan:

Schedule:

MondayTuesday – 4 classes +HomeroomWednesday 4 classes +HomeroomThursday 4 classes +HomeroomFriday 4 classes +Homeroom
Check-in day
30 minute online classes
Online students:
Those who chose to be online come to Google Meet classes
Hybrid students: come to the building for instructionOnline students:
Those who chose to be online come to Google Meet classes
Hybrid students: come to the building for instruction
Those who chose Hybrid work asynchronously Those who chose online work asynchronouslyThose who chose Hybrid work asynchronouslyThose who chose online work asynchronously
Fourth Quarter Schedule

Assignments:

Each class period, online or in person, the students will:

  1. Check Skyward for current grade and missing work
  2. Look at their schedule and focus on one class reading assignment:
    • Science
    • History or Civics
    • World Geography
    • Electives
    • PE
    • Math
  3. They commit to getting one thing down during ELA class and must write this intention in their notebook (composition notebook or digital).
  4. Use class time to do a first read of their assignments. The classes are mostly based on reading or viewing content, and worksheets based on reading packets.

Daily Check-In:

Reading Across Content Areas:

Five Words I Heard Vocabulary:

When they come across words in other content areas, they’ll write them on the wall, or a co-constructed anchor chart/word wall. These are the words they’ll also use in their Friday Five vocabulary presentations.

Building contextual knowledge:

My students will be tested this spring. Though the SBA has been waived again this year, the ELPA21 has not. That test doesn’t concern me, but passing their other classes does. Now that we’re back in the building two days a week, and most of my ELA students are physically present, I can support them in their other content areas. My hope is this becomes a habit, we increase text structure, text features, contextual understanding, reading strategies and skills and then build toward assessment and engage in some enrichment activities. I will offer books and choice to read independently, and I won’t settle for just getting them through it. But for now, this is how it has to be.

Reading Wars Resources:

*When I received my teaching certificate for K-8, our professor included phonics instruction and balanced literacy. I didn’t even know there was a problem or debate until this past year.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/11/the-reading-wars/376990/

Posted in burning questions

untitled*

“We are all the heroes of our own stories, and on of the arts of perspective is to see yourself small on the stage of another’s story, to see the vast expanse of the world that is not about you, and to see your power, to make your life, to make others, or break them, to tell stories rather that be told by them.”

Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

It’s been almost two months since my last post, and that just proves writing is challenging for me right now. There are many things that require reflection and thought, and my hollowed out self is busy restoring itself.

But something happened and I must address it, confront it, and name it, and that is the nature and narrative of betrayal. It’s about opportunities and unfairness, and how we little souls reconcile our sins.

Some of this might not strike the right tone. Another sin.

A brief history:

In first grade, in the spring, I was asked to be the lead in the spring concert/pageant. This is after a stunning performance as the Christmas Fairy for the Christmas pageant; I knew not only my lines but everyone else’s, and managed to be both stage manager, director, and star. That’s a lot for a 6 year old. I didn’t ask for greatness, it was thrusted upon me. So when I was tapped on the shoulder for the springtime theatrical extravaganza, I was in the middle of a painting, and I swear I asked them to wait until I finished, but the teacher only heard dismissal and disinterest. I remember lying in bed crying after the show telling my mom about the tragic misunderstanding.

Fast forward to seventh grade: I was new to the school, having moved from overseas, and it was MIDDLE SCHOOL. In my previous school, I had at least 3 boyfriends and was the siren of sixth grade: in my new school, not so much. But one boy did like me, Joel D. And one of my few girlfriends at the time (can’t remember her name…Ch**l?) confessed how much she liked him, too. Being a strong, albeit misplaced, feminist, I didn’t want to be ‘that girl’ and compete for a boy’s affections, so I told Joel that C like him, too, and…you know what happened. It wasn’t a cute, romantic Austen-esque farce of undying romance and revealed truths: he hated me, she hated me, and my middle school life became one of shunning and treachery. No one wins. He never spoke to me again except to talk trash about me. (But that has more to do with toxic masculinity: hope he’s grown up since then.)

More seriously, in our professional lives, my husband: 1. Was unjustly fired from a company but his brother (whom he got on board) stayed on and went onto thrive 2. Hired one of his best friends at a company, and then the best friend was promoted over him (there is more to the story: the friendship survived because his friend is a mensch and so is my husband). 3. I was in a toxic work environment for about two years (yes, I need to write that novel) and long story short: felt completely betrayed (there’s that word again) by my friends and colleagues who continued to cuddle up with and embrace some, well, pretty yucky folks. Those folks almost cost us everything, but fortunately, I had some great champions in my corner, and moved on.

That was one truncated paragraph summarizing years of pain, disappointment, and coming to terms with my own failings, life isn’t fair, shit luck, and survival. And it takes time to heal, and there are scars. That’s it. When asking my husband for advice today, and recounting some of these memories he visibly shrank and his body language asked me to stop talking before he could get out the words. He then said he didn’t want to go through thinking about it again. (I am not being hyperbolic when I say: it was horrible.) Recounting past trauma of betrayal, redemption, forgiveness, and rebuilding takes…courage? Safety? I have no answers. I thought I was okay. I mean, between the pandemic, worrying about my students, their families, and the omnipresent existential crisis, and possible destruction of the US democracy, things were looking up, right?

Currently I am on the other side of this. I won’t go into the details. But it’s weird. When the catalyst occurred, my husband’s advice was ‘you don’t turn down opportunities, because they might not come your way again.’ It was the spring pageant all over again. This situation is fraught with another’s grief and tragedy. Nothing is equal. I can’t take my PTSD and experiences and say they are worth less or more than another’s. There is no value here. And the ethics are muddy.

Maybe that is truly the essence of equality: if opportunities and love are shared, are they provided for all?

I have been told by a friend I betrayed her. And I’m just going to have to sit with that for a while.

*just can’t find the right words

Posted in Close Reading, Reading

Runs in the family.

Please read all the heartfelt comments in this thread: many teachers and parents reached out with amazing resources, love, and ideas.

Last night my younger son, Daniel, who’s 23, was hanging out with me, and I asked him how reading The Hobbit was going. He had mentioned he was reading it because, well, he never had, and thought he’d go through Tolkien’s books. He said he hadn’t made it through the first chapter. He said with ADHD, he has to read paragraphs repeatedly, and he just gives up. I asked how that made him feel in school, like everyone knew some secret magic that he was left out of, and his body language and face, his deflated posture, broke my heart. Yes, he confirmed. And it made him feel ashamed. School was a place that took a bright, funny, smart,* laughing little boy and turned him into someone who’s had to fight hard to find his own path. Like every other kid out there. He’s not special. His generation has never gone to a public school building without testing from kindergarten through their senior years, and drilled skill after skill, without little experience or joy knowing what those skills were for. Reading logs and extrinsic motivations, academic achievement, meetings with the principal and band director because the band director was going to flunk him because we needed to go on a family trip for personal reasons. Time and again, the cruelty was the point. My older son followed all the rules and fit their mold. Daniel did not. Nothing I did or didn’t do. And yet these two beautiful sons of mine taught me so much about how horrible a place school can be.

But why does this have to be this way? Why does school have to be a place that most of us ends up hating? We end up resenting?

I told him during the pandemic, this past year, I’ve struggled to read. My escape of novels and fiction just isn’t there. Friends posting book after book on Goodreads while I languish. I find myself reading the same paragraphs, too. I just started reading Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians and am embarrassed to admit I am going to have to start over again for the third time because I don’t understand what happens in the first chapter. Is that an elk? A fight? A fight with an elk? And please don’t step in and explain it to me. I’ll get it. About all my brain can handle right now is watching old episodes of Inkmaster and

My dad, who’s 79, tells a story with some trace of bitterness, how one teacher told him his fate would probably be jail. I don’t know what my dad did or said that prompted this reaction from his high school teacher. My dad was a middle child of three boys, all close in age, with two parents who worked outside the home. And I guess he was mischievous, a troublemaker? Prone to staying out late, maybe? I don’t know details of my father’s high school years. I do know my dad is one of the sweetest, funniest men I know.

My own troublemaker self was almost kicked out of kindergarten, and often sent to the corner or hallway many times for talking in first and second grades. The teachers simply did not understand that I was trying to help others near me understand the material. But those corners of the room smell like tooth-fairy breath and shame. And I didn’t learn a damn thing about staying quiet, except that when I do share ideas and thoughts, it comes with anxiety and sometimes pain.

Okay, enough of this. We have a family history of ADHD, this seems pretty clear. Now what? Whenever I am overwhelmed, I make a list. Here are some of my initial thoughts, and many of these were echoed on Twitter. I promise I was not ‘workshopping’ anything — what a breathtaking community you are. I love you, my teacher out there — ready to jump in, share ideas, with love, compassion, and without hesitation.

  1. Reading is not just print on paper. It’s audio, acting, movement, illustrative, and beyond. Let’s embrace a culture of reading.
  2. Love of stories must come first, and remain, the goal.
  3. I want Dr. Gholdy Muhammad to head up change in our education system with her ideas on Cultivating Genius.
  4. Burning questions (allow students to co-construct their units of study with teachers and shifting classrooms– this is a seed of an idea I have)
  5. More money for better early reading instruction that extends throughout all grade levels
  6. All teachers have a partnership with specialists
  7. Art at every grade
  8. Music at every grade
  9. Physical movement without ableism
  10. Multi-modal essays and collaborative work
  11. Sketchnoting, and other interactive ideas to express glorious passages of the ‘grand conversations’

There is so much more, and we’ll keep talking adding, and thinking.

My son will probably finish The Hobbit someday. Right now he’s switched to Recording Unhinged by Sylvia Massey because he’s been playing a lot of music lately with his dad, (who does not have ADHD), going to school, and working. I’ll finish my books, too, and figure out what that elk is doing.

And please follow Nicole Biscotti, M.Ed:

Some books folks recommended, on my reading list:

I Can Learn When I’m Moving By Nicole Biscotti, M. Ed.

ADHD and Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table by Blake ES Taylor

*He’s still funny and smart. And very darn cute.

Posted in Teaching During the Pandemic, Technology

#edtech for parents

Please don’t be offended. If this isn’t your child, or you, or your child’s teacher, great! There may be some useful tips in here, maybe. I don’t know yet, and I’m in kind of a mood. A mood without filters.

Background: I have been teaching for 15 years. I have been using technology since the late 80s. When I met my husband to be, he had an Apple sticker on his truck. *Swoon* I love technology, and have written about it many times on this blog.

“Back in my day” when report cards were mailed out once a semester I kept track on paper what my grades were, or asked the teacher, and if I failed something quickly worked to make it up or redo it, and scrambled before the report grades got into my parents’ hands. Now parents can check an online grading system and get notifications if an assignment is missing, late, or if grades drop below a threshold.

And with 1:1 environments and now distance learning, many parents are witnessing what students have been experiencing for years now. Between Remind, Canvas, Google Classroom, medium agnosticisms, Microsoft, Peardeck, Nearpod, etc., the amount of platforms, programs, pings, pongs, and persistent pokes of online and digital assignments.

It’s stress inducing, to be sure.

  1. Many teachers and districts to not coordinate communication efforts to parents. From this place, move on. Do not allow their lack of coordination affect your peace.
  2. Your child will lie to you.
    Maybe not intentionally. Maybe so. If they are under the age of 25 their prefrontal cortex is not fully developed and they don’t want to get into trouble. That is their only focus now. They will tell you they did their work, their homework, their assignment, they don’t have any work, they’re caught up, they did the reading, the practice, took the test, whatever. And maybe they did. But the default answer is “I did it.” And it is not true.
  3. Everyone works better writing things down. Every. One. You’re not extraordinary, or special. Even if you set reminders on your phone and don’t hand write things, you’re still “writing it down.” Get your kid a planner and some cool pens. They need to write by hand anyway. Really.
  4. Read up on the adolescent brain.
  5. Set one time a week to check assignments. Trust with verification.
  6. Limit the amount of help, though. Productive struggle is great for brain growth.
  7. This is your child’s job. But they are not little Microsoft executives. They are not “digital natives.” Many of their teachers will smirk, act superior, smug, and generally awful about your child’s ability to turn in or not work assigned to them. Ignore it. Seriously. Ignore it. Just help your child make their list, use the Pomodoro method, and learn how to write an email to their teachers.

Two of the main “LMS” (learning management systems) are Canvas and Google Classrooms. Each have methods for students to upload assignments. I strongly recommend you look at tutorials on how to do this:

Canvas for parents: https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Observer-Guide/How-do-I-sign-up-for-a-Canvas-account-as-a-parent/ta-p/540

Posted in #ProjectLit, Anti-racist work, Being a better teacher, Big Questions, Curriculum Ideas, ELA, Exploration, Lesson Ideas

The Words of Warcraft

Over the decade of playing World of Warcraft ™ I’ve run across a few allusions to other works in literature, music, and the arts. For fun (!) I thought I’d do some research into how many allusions appear in Azeroth.

Just the other day, I came across this:

THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO by Edgar Allan Poe
https://www.poemuseum.org/the-cask-of-amontillado

There are also numerous puns:

Get it?

And while there are many literary references in Wow, 10 AWESOME BOOK REFERENCES IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT the pop culture ones are as valuable and endearing: List of Pop Culture References in WoW.

Winne the Pooh reference in Stormsong Valley

https://www.wowhead.com/news=286599/winnie-the-pooh-reference-in-

In a region called Bastion, which is full of angels and paragons, (it’s a little creepy, quite frankly), one of the NPC dialogues is “clear skies, full hearts, can’t lose” which I immediately recognized as a Friday Night Lights line, though I haven’t seen a single episode. I’m not a football person. How did I know it was from that show? Because popular culture exacts a toll. One of my colleagues used it on T-shirts or something for students. We know things in the moment because it’s collectively shared or shoved. I think of the groundlings in Shakespeare’s audience chatting around the village wells sharing one-liners and bawdy jokes from the plays. It was entertainment. And I realized most stories and series I watch are based on Bible stories. No one can convince me that Better Call Saul isn’t grounded in Cain and Abel. And I’m not even a Christian church person.

And I need to think more about this. Recently, #DisruptTexts was attacked. That aggression will not stand, man. I’m thinking of the disingenuous argument that people won’t know where ideas, references or allusions come from unless we muddle through language that’s over 500 years old. Yes, novels that continue to be taught do provide a cultural reference point. But whose culture? What reference point? Yeah, you know who. Allow me some time to ponder this, and work with some amazing women I know.

Posted in Anti-racist work, ELL, Equity & Cultural Competency

Cement.

In my drafts folder is a post of what I really want to say, things I want to expose, but experience tells me to censor myself. For now. Reframe it, be mindful, professional, and progress.

[TL:DR Skip to the last paragraphs if you want to know what EL teachers do.]

Context: I’m in my second year of EL teaching, and my fifteenth year overall. Straddling between imposter syndrome, confidence, and COVID19 building closure, I stepped in my usual gopher holes. But fortunately (and this is an understatement) I work with an admin and district person who could not be more supportive, intelligent, insightful, and there. And while I had to let go of my institutional expertise and community standing (whatever the heck that means) to leave the district I was in for twelve years, it is hard on my ego to admit that I just don’t have the credibility or trust that others do. And my Ego and I had a long talk, a few, actually, and decided it was okay, that what I do have are these two women who are in the work with me to help our students. Do I wish folks would listen to me? Yes, of course, because it would sure make things easier for our students in the short and long term.

The issue, mixed with lack of trust, an unmanageable amount of stress and fear, is this: I was having difficulty coordinating the support time for the ELs in their other classes. Most districts call this the “Check and Connect” time, and having been on the general education teacher side, I have seen my share of great EL teachers who truly support and help scaffold, and those who just saunter in the room, chitchat about football or the weather, and then walk outside again. I am definitely NOT that teacher. Nor am I a paraeducator (and this contains multiple meanings).

Turns out I was not the only one who met with challenges about how to best proceed to support students during the building closures/remote learning. A few weeks ago, however, I sensed the need for clarification on my role in the building, and put together a pretty cool slide presentation to share. However, I didn’t get the chance, and the reasons are painful to write about. But things converged and aligned, and my admin invited the district point person to share at one of our staff meetings.

But– before all this–I have one student who does her work. She shows up. She’s highly motivated to graduate, and it is in her personal character. I am not suggesting that other students don’t care, aren’t motivated, or any of that. They are trying to survive. And while I was helping her with a science lesson, one of the words was “cement.” For some reason, I asked her if she knew what cement was, and she said no.

Think about that for one minute. Or two. Or sixty. A simple scaffold I’ve done for native English and English learners alike is to pull out the vocabulary from a lesson, do anticipatory guides, comprehensible input, etc. Background knowledge building is critical. Contextual information, also critical.

I wanted to share this with a meeting with my admin and the science teacher, but alas, the science teacher had to back out of the meeting at the last minute.

Last year, one of those quick meetings would have been no big deal. I worked in other teachers’ classrooms, sat quietly, listened. pulled out vocabulary and created support instruction and shared. My colleagues seemed genuinely pleased to have me in the building, and collaboration and cooperation was heartfelt and beneficial to our collective students.

This year, I’ve been accused of lying for my students, giving them “the answers,” and helping them cheat.

Yeah, it’s been awesome.

I am just going to put it in the mental bin that year has been too much. Others have unseen pressures, sorrow, grief, and fear that I do not see, nor do they see mine, and grace is not easily bestowed. I’m not sure some folks know what grace means. If it came in the form of a crystal necklace owned by a pointy-eared woman named Arwen and we could pass it back and forth, sure, it would be easy. Maybe we need to make “grace passes” like bathroom passes for when we need each other to back the heck up and think twice about sending that long, nasty email?

This year, I’m not allowed to sit in on their Google classes. I hope that changes, because the EL students need me there. Not “me” but an EL teacher. One teacher has taken me up on my offer for the SIOP protocols and I wait for students to seek help, but I know it would be better if I was there in real time. Believe me, I do understand other teachers’ fears of having teachings ‘observe.’ We had an instructional coach who blatantly said she would tell admin what we were doing, which is a cardinal sin of instructional coaching.

Trust between colleagues is thin and broken now among many teachers across the country. Why wouldn’t it be? We don’t trust each other to wear a mask. Why would we trust each other in the workplace? I’ve seen it firsthand, and felt the long lasting damaging effects. And I hope one day I get a chance to tell a few colleagues this, to share my story, and because of that I have vowed not to harm and try to maintain trust.

My independence is tethered for a bit, and that is the cost. I will pass everything through my admin, and we’ll do what we can. Moving forward, I will still continue to do the best I can, continue reaching out to students, make my little instructional videos, send my notes and letters, and telling students to reach out to their content area teachers first.

Oh, and we have some cultural misconceptions to clear up, too, but that’s for another post.

Posted in #Deconstruct, #ProjectLit, Anti-racist work, burning questions

Moving on.

Yesterday was a terrible day. Nothing in particular happened to me or mine personally, and maybe it was just the last seven months, inside of four years, and the lack of healthy spiritual oxygen to my brain and soul. Our country is in its most precarious place now, and maybe I’m just sick with anger. Anger poisons, doesn’t it? A caustic oxidation process that burns away hope.

But that was yesterday. I turned things off for a bit, watched The Queen’s Gambit (saved the last episode for tonight)! The anger, though, is still there, like a feral cat who demands food but accepts no love or comfort. What do I crave, what will I be denied?

I want an apology.

I want an apology from colleagues who use their power and privilege to stop conversations and dialogue that seems to threaten them. And I want an apology from every teacher who voted for Trump.

I want an apology from parents and teachers who don’t “believe” their children should be allowed to read “that book” (but never seem to have an issue with white authors/protagonists). Teachers who use the word “indoctrination” in social media groups. I want an apology from 57% of white women voters in this nation for confusing fear with male gaze. My dears: they are looking right past you, and stepping on your Botox to get to their true prize: patriarchal power.

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

https://genius.com/Pink-floyd-wish-you-were-here-lyrics

And for pity’s sake, people, WE KNOW:

I want us to create a mandate.

To not accept less for our students and their families.

We understand and teach science, evolution, anti-racist practices, know how to dismantle conspiracy theorists, teach culturally relevant and responsive practices, use Zinn Education, Teaching Tolerance, Facing History, #DisruptTexts, ProjectLit, #1619Project, and parents are not allowed to censor texts wholesale, we listen to BIPOC parents and students when they bring attention to texts that harm, are racist, bigoted and of poor scholarly quality. We support teachers and students who want to read a wide variety of texts and decolonize curriculum. We teach civics, political discourse, the consequences of platforms and policies, the mechanics of power. We teach consent and healthy views of our bodies, our lives, and our communities.

Oh, and those apologies? Keep ’em. And if you can’t come up with one, get out of the way, please. I’m not waiting. We’ve got work to do.