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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Heart Broken Teacher of Teachers


My Heroes Are Falling,
My heart is breaking,
My body is exhausted, 
I fall to my knees,
Fold these hands,
I lookup,
I carry on. 

Maybe I am just too stupid not to leave.
Too stubborn to give up now.
Born for this fight,
Blessed by my Momma's angels, saints, candles, and prayers.
We look through the assessment data from his urban middle choice school,
Dr. Turner and his former Literacy Center Teacher,
Now Middle School Reading Teacher.


He said: "Dr. Turner, I am lost,
Exhausted, and
One step away from leaving."

Show me the data?
14% of their six, seventh, and eighth-graders reading at grade level,
A vast majority reading 4 or more grades behind,
I said our children need an army of tutors,
Our teachers need an aide in every class.
You should have seen their eyes roll,
Their ice stares,
The mocking shakes of their heads? 

We can't do that,
What is the plan?
Buy more of the same tech invention programs that took them to this place.
I did my best to sell change is coming.

The Reading teacher is leaving.
Sir, I am sorry,
Can you blame him?
I can't,
I can't,
I can't.

You have nothing to be sorry for,
25 years of giving your all,
25 years of lifting children,
25 years of spending your own money,
25 years of being first in the building and last out.

I will not have you,
One who is my hero,
Be sorry for giving your all. 
What is my hero doing next Thursday?

Next Thursday,

I shall join New Haven Public School Teachers as they rally the fight for their classrooms.
Come with me,
Leave fighting,
Leave standing.
Remember this one last Dr. Turner truth?
You, sir, have not anything to be sorry about,
25 years of diving in the deep end of the pool,
25 years of pulling children out from the deep end. 
25 years equals not one single sorry moment.
Let us be heroes together one more time? 

Urban teachers are far past the boiling point,
This is the breaking point.
I say it is time for a national walkout,
Anyone saying we can't do that,
Did not study Dr. King,
Did not study the Women's Suffrage Movement, 
Did not study Elie Wiesel, 
Did not study Congressman John Lewis,
Did not study the Battle of Thermopylae,
Did not study Macaulay's Brave Horatius Captain of the Gate, 
Did not study the life of Mother Teresa. 
Here me teachers, 
This is the time!

Dr. Jesse P. Turbner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Badass Teacher,
Heart Broken Teacher of Teachers
Inspired Teacher of teachers

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my morning walk today, it is Makana's ZOccupy Anthem, "We Are The Man.". 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Unacceptable silence 20 years of failed Education Reforms

Every teacher knows it is not the children that cause teachers to leave; it is poor administrators and leadership.
Teachers are leaving,
Not because students are swearing at them,
But, because Administrators turn their heads.

Teachers are leaving not because students are throwing books out their classroom windows,
But, because Adminstators turn their heads.

Teachers are leaving not because students are throwing school laptops out their classroom window,
But, because Administrators turn their heads.

Teachers are leaving not because students are out of control,
Teachers are going because administrators have lost control.

This is not happening everywhere; this is happening where budget cuts have let librarians, music teachers, art teachers, social workers, and counselors go and increase class sizes.

Teachers are leaving urban and poor rural schools because the district administrators have decided there are no consequences for bad behavior and poor administrative decisions.

This is happening because chasing test scores have become more important than opening minds.
Trust me on this teacher shortage is the direct result of the worst Education Reform Leadership in our lifetimes.

Dr. Jesse P. Turner
Uniting to Save Our Schools
Proud Badass Teacher

If you like to listen to the tune that inspire my morning walk today? It is Crosby, Stills, and Nash's Teach your Children Well

Monday, March 7, 2022

Fear of Teachers Teaching Historical Truths

Dear Opposers of Critical Race Theory and Book Banners,
Reflecting on these Book Banners and their Anti Critical Race Theory attacks. I see what they fear. When I taught Tohono O’odham Nation Students in Tucson, Arizona. We fully embraced history and the truth. We use literature and poetry to face it head on, dealt with painful historical truths. I was looking through my dissertation this morning and came upon this poem written by a Tohono O’odham students from the reservation. 
Dennis Leyne (age 16) wrote:

“THESE ROOTS” (1997)
If a people don’t have roots,
What do they build on?

We can’t give them wings, and
If we can’t give them roots,
What will they relate to?

If we start to deny our history,
Our culture,
Our Existence,
The facts,
What are we doing?

We are sanitizing history,
Then what do we hold sacred?

Looking back 23 years to my days as a high school teacher of Native American students in Tucson Arizona. I see clearly what is at stake if we fail to address historical truths in our classroom for Native American students, and all our diverse students we attempting to sanitize history and to clip the wings of America's young people.
Why, cause knowing one roots is empowering, and empowering America's young diverse students liberates them. It give them the roots to change the world. Who doesn't want to change the world? RACISTS!  


If you are wondering which song inspire my morning walk today? Its Bob Marley's "Stand Up for Your Rights".

Back in the day!
Back in the day!