To demystify th…

To demystify the meaning of love, the art and practice of loving, we need to use sound definitions of love when talking with children, and we also need to ensure that loving action is never tainted with abuse.”
– bell hooks.

From All About Love by bell hooks.

I chalked stori…

I chalked stories across sidewalks and penciled tiny tales in notebook margins. – Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is an accomplished and award-winning children’s author from Brooklyn. I fell in love with the above quote when I read it on her website,

My purpose is to create a mirror for the reader to see themselves, to create a light for people to see themselves in the characters, pictures, and stories. So they resonate.

–   Award winning author and illustrator, Kadir Nelson, speaking on a panel entitled ‘Why Picture Books Matter’, at  The Boston Book Festival, October 27th, 2012.

I walk into classrooms ov…

I walk into classrooms overflowing with students who feel terribly wounded in their psyches (many of them see therapists), yet I do not think that they want therapy from me. They do want an education that is healing to the uninformed, unknowing spirit. They do want knowledge that is meaningful. They rightfully expect that my colleagues and I will not offer them information without addressing the connection between what they are learning and their overall life experiences.
This demand on the students’ part does not mean that they will always accept our guidance. This is one of the joys of education as the practice of freedom, for it allows students to assume responsibility for their choices.

– bell hooks
Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
Routledge, New York, N.Y. 1994. page 19.

Author, thinker, and professor, bell hooks wrote the above words in reference to a college classroom. She, the professor; them,  the adult students.  Her words could easily be my own, in reference to my elementary school students. When I am discouraged and energetically pushed down by the negativity, and weight of stagnant teaching practices around me, I read from bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress so I can re-center.

bell hooks (b. 1952)

(Source: Biographical Dictionary)