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Saturday, January 23, 2021

There ain't no high-stakes test gonna keep me in my grave


What my Hero Teachers in my life taught the teacher in me?
There was no:
Standards, or
Standardized test,
That could prevent them,
From teaching us what really mattered to us.
My Hero Teachers came in all colors, all faiths, some American born, and some came from afar,
They were, Culturally Relevant,
Before it, became the professional thing to do.
Yes, I know what is in the:
Standards, and
On those high-stakes tests,
But, more importantly,
I know that no power on earth,
Can keep me, or those I teach out.
My Hero Teachers were bigger than data walls,
My Hero Teachers were bigger than any standards,
My Hero Teachers were bigger than any approved curriculum,
My Hero Teachers were bigger than the test scores.
My Hero Teacher fortified me with a legacy of:
Dignity, and
Hope, and
They were beautiful, opinionated, and powerful. But, she was the fire burning, Here is to our fire burning, Mrs. Stanfield. We sat at lunch, talking Baldwin, Gather on the practice field hearing Garvey, Hanging on the corner, critically discussing Beawolf, In the park, we wanna be gang bangers, citing Sheamus Heaney, At 5:00 in the afternoon when Ignacio Sanchez Mejias fell in the bull ring, We lamented with Federico Lorca Garcia Diablo Poetics,
We walked with Maya's I know why the caged bird sings. We owe it all to her, Mrs. Stanfield knew there were bigger lessons that her girls and boys needed learning, Hail to every hero teacher, who saw us, not some distance curriculum.
I walk in the footsteps of Hero Teachers bigger than me,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director
If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk this morning, its Jamie Wilson's cover of "Ain't No Graver"
Need some fire? Places to go, and people to hear, and lessons to learn, tomorrow it's all Radical Love in the time of pandemic: Imagination and hope in Public Education. Come learn with us > <

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Mr. President, this is what dignity looks like

 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: ""Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

To the rioters and haters who assaulted our nation's capital 3 days ago. I know something about Marches on Washinton.

This is what dignity looks like,
This is what a respectful march on our Nation's Capital looks like,
This is what Civil Disobedience in action looks like,
This how hope lifts democracy.

My Grandfather was 68 in 63,
At 68, he took his namesake 8-year-old grandson to this;

I am the grandson whose World War 1 Veteran Grandfather made sure his grandson would walk in the light of creative altruism. I went up to the mountain, Because you asked me,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools National Committee If you are wondering what song I am listening to today? It is Patty Griffin singing " I went up to the mountain"

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Dear 2021, Not On My Watch

Dear 2021, Not On My Watch

Dear 2021

If we don't speak up for equity and justice in our public schools?
Then we are cogs in the status quo of evil that denies Black, Brown, Poor, and Special Education Children a quality and just public school education. I reject being Evil's Cog,
I reject silence,
I reject apathy, and
I reject this status quo of evil occupying our Public School System.

If we don't speak up?
If we don't act?
Then evil wins!

Evil shall not win on my watch,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner

If you like to listen to the tune that inspired my morning walk it is Marvin Gaye's "What going on"