Category Archives: Education

#CMCmath Restorative Justice and Circle Talk Resources

I spoke at CMC South today and while I am super happy with how if went there will definitely be a reflective piece about my first time speaking (outside of the safety of TMC) and all the things I need to do differently next time.

But for now I just want to put up all the resources I used.


This is the post on circles I wrote a while back.

Looking at it now I want to do a whole post on circle questions.

Restorative Justice

I condensed what is 3 days worth of training into to 45 minutes so instead of trying to type all that out I’m just going to link you to all my resources.

I said this was WashPo but it’s NY Times Magazine.  This article is a primer in RJ.

What is RJ?

Implementing RJ in Schools

Edutopia’s Collection of Links on RJ


I will post more about the talk and circles later.






Chalkline with Noah Cho.

Dudes, the summer lazies are hitting sooooo hard.  So this is two days late.  Ooopps.

Episode 9.

This week I am talking to an English teacher!  I know shocking.  Noah Cho is super rad.  You can read some of his writing about his amazing identity curriculum here or here.  Or some thoughts on dating while being an Asian dude here.

To listen: Code Switch or NPR Politics.

To watch: Did any of you follow the #carefreeblackkids2016 hashtag?  It was so lovely this vine  I have watched it approximately 100 things.

To read: Melinda again, Melina always.  This article on the lasting impact of Social Justice on our students of color.


People Noah thinks you should follow on Twitter:  Nicole Chung and Celeste Ing

Chalkline with Ilana Horn. (Part 2)

Dudes,  sorry about yesterday.  It got away from me.  Which is silliness as I am not doing a whole lot these days. #summer  If you listened to the first half of this then you already love Lani would be my guess.  If you didn’t you should listen to that first cause this makes less sense without it.

Episode 7

This week’s syllabus.

To Read: Okay, real life.  My start of summer reading is rereading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  This is not cool.  Next on my list is finishing Shrill and For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood.

Oh, also this article Choosing a School for my Daughter in a Segregated City.

To Listen: Moses recommends this week’s On The Media about Orlando which I intend to go listen to right now.  Also if you missed Chalkline’s episode on Orlando it is pretty okay.

To Watch: Bryan just reminded me that I have been meaning to watch United Shades of American.  How about we watch and chat about it in two weeks?

Person Lani thinks everyone should follow on twitter:  duh, Fawn Nguyen.

Chalkline: Orlando.

I’m going to mess this up.  I’m going to say the wrong thing. I’m going to do something that isn’t right.  Correct me. Here in the comments, on twitter, or facebook.  But do it with some kindness and decency because this was rough, is rough, and will be rough still and I am just trying to properly use my tiny corner of the internet.

In this episode first I speak to Megan Hayes Golding from episode 1.  You will hear some stuff from her and here is the post she wrote to her students about how to handle this massive tragedy. Some of her advice will help you talk to your students. Some of it will just help your heart.

Then I talk to Maria Al-Shamma she’s a social worker and a hard core volunteer at our local LGBTQ center.  She runs Project Youth and is just an all over amazing person.  She talks about what our local center did and then general advice about talking to your LGBTQ kids/students.

I’m not going to write a ton more. Listen. This is important.

Episode 6

Donate here.

Some links. Gotta click them all.  this. this. this. this. this. this. this. this. this.



Chalkline with Sadie Estrella.


Dudes, do you know anything about Hawaii? Well you will after this!  Sadie is here this week to tell you all about the school systems in Hawaii, the importance of relationships, and the necessity of following your gut. Her feelings of belonging and her sense of self are so envy-making.

Episode 3.

This Week’s Syllabus:

To Read:  Lots to read this week.

1) Check out the #MTBoS30 hashtag for a bunch of great posts from math teachers.  I’m going to do a weekly round up in my next post here.

2) Grace’s post here.  On why love is not enough.  And from that this piece by Jeff Duncan-Andrade on Critical Hope.

3) Lastly, in the podcast I reference this NYTs piece on poverty and school performance which is so important.

To Listen and Watch: I don’t have a ton at this moment.  Is there something I should be listening to or watching?  Let me know here or on the twitters.

Person Sadie thinks you should follow on twitter: Brendan 


I might not be the big thinker.

I had a really lovely conversation with Tiffany about mathematics education as a whole.  What we are teaching, why we are teaching it, and Rochelle Gutierrez.  It made me think, as talking with Tiffany always does.

Here’s where I’m at:  I love math.  I love teaching kids math but mathematics education is not my passion.  I don’t have a deep drive to examine math.  I don’t have a grand desire to delve into why we teach the math we do in the way we do.  Do I think it’s important?  Heck yes. Is it my life’s work? Nope.

I think, and I reserve the right to change my mind, that my life’s work is kids.  Possibly at an individual level, certainly on a relational level.  Don’t get me wrong I am in no way implying that thinking about math education on a large scale is not beneficial to kids or hugely important.  I am so glad there are people who want to do that work.  I am even more glad that there are people like Bryan Meyer and Tiffany who are willing to talk to me about it because I trust both of them to make me think about things that are important. But for me it’s different.  I don’t want to say I don’t care because that’s untrue but it doesn’t excite me.

For me it’s success for the kids I have now in the system I am in. For me it’s each scholar I have a relationship with.  For me it’s helping my school build in systems of support for LGBTQ students and students of color. For me it’s smaller? Maybe I’m a small system thinker?  Maybe I’m not as progressive as Lawler would like me to be but I am doing the work I love, in a place where that work matters, with people who make me better, and kids that know they are important to me.

So, I think I’ll keep thinking small for a while.  Focus on my interests and learn more about them because I think that might have been Tiffany’s point all along.

Chalkline with Rafranz Davis.

OMG you guys.  Talking to Rafranz is like talking to the friend you’ve been missing for years who is so impressive it makes you babble.

Episode 2

We hit on growing up and reading her first book by a black author, segregation, #educolor, body image,  teaching her children, and surviving the zombie apocalypse.

This Week’s Syllabus:

To Read:  Can I say everything Melinda writes?  But particularly this piece for the Atlantic on why white kids need diverse teachers.  (Also, I mistakenly call her Melissa in the podcast cause I am the worst.  It’s Melinda. I’m Sorry.)

To Listen:  Is there any other option?  Lemonade.

To Watch:  (Well, also, Lemonade but)   Fermat’s Room.  I am showing this movie to my third period seniors and I love that it is not only a great and addictive thriller but it’s about people doing math, in Spanish.  This vine about Sexual Assault Prevention Month.  NSFW

Person Rafranz thinks everyone should follow on twitter: Zac Chase




I have not the words.

It’s Sunday April 13th. Tomorrow I will be giving a speech to my whole school.  A school full of girls. Two hundred and two girls sleep in their dorms about 1000 meters from my house. Tomorrow they will write essays.  Tomorrow they will prepare for spanish tests and physics tests.  They will brave the general difficulty that comes with being a teenager.

Their parents are at home in California, Massachusetts, Hong Kong, and Nigeria.  They are asleep.  They have chosen that their daughters be educated at this place. That their daughters be given the opportunities granted only by living in these gray walls.

My girls have brothers and sisters who they talk to as often as possible.  They have boyfriends and girlfriends and all types of friends. They are very very lucky. I am thinking about all of this as I write my speech.

Then in the middle of the night armed men enter the building and light it on fire. It is a well known fact that our school is built like an oven, stone on the outside wood on the inside.  The girls, being smart and well trained, evacuate.  There they are kidnapped. In whatever they are wearing, with whatever they have, they are removed from our care. They are taken in the night by these men with guns.

Before the government responds they are taken across international borders.  They do not call their parents or talk to their friends.  They are gone.

They have been missing now for two weeks. About twenty managed to escape but the rest seem to have vanished. Their parents are on TV begging for their daughters to be returned as news ticker divulges the details the last celebrity engagement.

There are stories about them being sold and married off and killed but they don’t eclipse the truly important opening of the new superhero movie.  Because this is America and we know what’s important.

It has been eighteen days and we have not gotten them back.

The thing is it would never happen here because my girls are wealthy, my girls live in America, and most of my girls are white. The problem with that is the girls taken in Nigeria are mine, too. They are all of ours.  So why aren’t we acting like it?



Writing. Thesis Writing.

Today I am working on my thesis.  This basically means that all of my thinking is there and I am struggling to type anything that isn’t that.

If you’re interested my thesis is called, “Adolescent girls’ perceived value of social networking sites.” It’s interesting because most of the research I looked at talked about a positive affect on their friendships and their self-worth but my girls reported no affect at all.  I think this is one of two things: 1) they lied a little to feel cooler or 2) they just don’t know what it’s like to not have facebook so while their friendships may have different layers then mine did it is all they know.

All right, back to my paper which is due Tuesday, which is my last class before graduating!


A Letter to my Students.

To my students: past, current and future,

I hope you have a lot of challenging days.  Days that end in tears, days that don’t seem right, and days full of unfairness.

I wish great struggles for you. That decisions don’t come easy and that there is hard work behind each and everyone of your choices.

I want to give the gift of constant uncertainty.  So that you never feel as though anything thing you do is exactly right.

I give you these hopes in earnest, knowing that you will be scared, cold, and angry some days. And still I want this for you.

I want this because you are the best people I know.  You are going to always be the best people I know and the best people struggle.

You will be shaped by the challenges.  You will learn to stand up in the uncertainty and your choices will be all the more yours when you have to work for them.

So, I leave you with cold, scared, and angry and I hope you will allow yourself to feel them.