Blog Hop

Tagged by Kenzo Shibata

“My Chicago Teachers Union sister Melissa Barton who blogs at Skool-Aid tagged me in what is called a “blog hop” which she described as,

A chain letter for blogs, but ”without the threats of supernatural punishment should you fail to do it in a timely fashion.”

So the idea is that I write a little about myself and link back to other people’s blogs that I like.”

What do you write about and why? 

I write about all things that are impacting public education (poverty, violence, bad educational policy created by non educators etc.). As a high school history teacher with a masters degree in urban policy studies, I have started becoming increasling aware of all the attacks with faulty data against public schools and public educators.

It is a challenge to say the least to teach all day and do the things that teachers love to do (which are working with kids and all things teaching) and then leave school and hear radio ads, politicians, conservative think groups (thank you Milton Friedman), fake educators (Michelle Rhee) and fake educational organizations with “clever” names (Students First, Stand 4 Children, Advance Illinois, Democrats for Education Reform among many) bash teachers and everything public for the sake of their or their friends own profits.

Where besides the blog do you write?

I have written for the Huffington Post, Gapers Block and Alternet. Mainly I wrote for the Huffington Post.

What do you do besides writing this blog?

I am a father, husband, teacher, spoken word poetry coach, involved in the Chicago Teachers Union, just finished my masters at UIC. I have many things to keep me busy.

Which authors do you find inspiring?

Howard Zinn.  Any and all Civil Rights era writers, activists, and speakers. Educational writers like Diane Ravitch, Kenneth Saltman, Lisa Delpit, Alex Kotlowitz, Linda Darling-Hammond. The three best professors I have ever had, Bill Ayers, David Stovall, and Pauline Lipman.

Chicago has some of the best spoken word poetry around and a few (there are many) of my favorites are Kevin Coval, Malcolm London, Roger Bonair Agard, Patricia Smith, among many many others.Check out Young Chicago Authors to get into the Spoken Word in Chicago.

Basically any author that is willing to speak the truth to power. Read any of these people and you will know what I mean.

What is your writing process?

I usually find myself very upset and frustrated with whatever I feel the need to write about. I usually work out, get my thoughts in order, then write a frustrated copy, edit it myself, then have my amazing & brillant wife or my dad edit the version then submit it for publication.

What blogs are you going to give shout outs to?

There are a whole lot of people out there doing amazing work. I’m going to give a shout out to my dad who was in Vietn Nam and now actively speaks out against war. Check out his blog and get educated to the realities of the military.

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