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We Gon’ Be Alright: A reflection on Kendrick Lamar’s visit

“Something for me even bigger than mentoring is really listening…When I do that we have a little bit bigger [of a] connection than me being Kendrick Lamar and you being the student. It’s almost like we’re friends because a friend listens.” – Kendrick Lamar at High Tech High School Reflecting on Kendrick Lamar’s visit to our high school is challenging …

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Part 2: High School Students Write Essays on Kendrick Lamar’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly

“Over 40 years, we’ve made changes in this country, but did we make a change in the heart of the individual?” – Jalen (9th grade) Since my last post about teaching Kendrick Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) in the high school classroom, many people from around the world, including educators and music fans alike, have asked me to share some …

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Why I Dropped Everything And Started Teaching Kendrick Lamar’s New Album

When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds …

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Thesis Christ

How far reaching are the effects of our “authoritative” insistence that students should always be searching for conclusions? I wonder if there is anything at all, in my life, that I have come to a complete, definitive, absolute conclusion about. What happens to the development of young learners when we insist an “illusion of mastery”? When I heard Maxine Greene …

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Teaching to Heal

Teachers need to live with integrity because we are more than just content instructors. In many ways, we are spiritual guides. I don’t mean gurus or religious mentors. We should be teachers of spiritual principles – the same universal principles found in all the great works of literature. There is nothing more important. Many students, parents, administrators and educators believe that our …