Where There’s Smoke…

 “I’ve come upon something that disturbs me deeply. ... but I have come to believe that we are integrating into a burning house. I’m afraid that America has lost the moral vision she may have had, and I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that … Continue reading Where There’s Smoke…

…Will Keep You Posted

"Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow." Mark Twain This is a work of creative nonfiction. While all the stories are true, some names, locations and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved. School closures have me thinking about what I miss about … Continue reading …Will Keep You Posted

Jazz Improvisation and Public Education

Curious. Eclectic yet grounded. Always slightly off beat. Thelonious Monk is arguably one of the greatest jazz musicians who ever graced the piano. His penchant for dancing around the stage in the throes of the music enchanted audiences. His effortless style, both musical and aesthetic, influenced the direction of the genre. Monk is the embodiment … Continue reading Jazz Improvisation and Public Education

Stepping Out of the Boat

“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” - Matthew 14: 29-31 … Continue reading Stepping Out of the Boat

It’s About Damn Time: Virtual Productivity in a Pandemic

"Space I can recover. Time, never." -Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) Working virtually has quickly gone from an option in the educational field to an absolute necessity under the Covid-19 global pandemic. Schools and universities are finding ways to reconnect people on platforms that help to keep the stream of collaboration and creativity flowing between educational professionals … Continue reading It’s About Damn Time: Virtual Productivity in a Pandemic

Guarding the Gates: Arrivals, Departures and Delays

Everybody, everybody wants to know,Where you going to,What you running from,What you going through, Where you coming from, What you going through, Where you coming from.-Ms. Lauryn Hill After years of anticipation, the Oracle of East Orange has finally spoken. Ms. Lauryn Hill has once again tapped into that timeless space where "Hip-Hop meets Scripture" … Continue reading Guarding the Gates: Arrivals, Departures and Delays

We Don’t Love These Holes: Embracing and Overcoming Resistance

We'd just ended our Title I Annual Meeting and as the parents began filing out of the cafeteria I saw one parent approaching me and smiling. I knew her well from afternoon dismissal. Her daughter was one of our best 5th grade students and I'd recently remarked to her mother that her daughter's report card … Continue reading We Don’t Love These Holes: Embracing and Overcoming Resistance

Principals on the Prayer Line

Analytical psychologist Carl Jung introduced the concept of 'synchronicity' in the 1920's as the principle of "meaningful coincidences". Nothing that occurs in our complex lives is an accident. Events that have no causal relationship are meaningfully related. My most recent experience with synchronicity occurred as I joined a conference call with fellow principals in our … Continue reading Principals on the Prayer Line

Creating Spaces that Nourish Youth Activism

The week preceding the Thanksgiving Break is a busy one for any school principal. There are evaluations to be completed and parent events that require attention. In my movements through Marbut's hallways over the last few weeks I've encountered two fourth grade students who continue to politely remind me that they would like to meet … Continue reading Creating Spaces that Nourish Youth Activism

Emotional Intelligence Matters

Walking through Atlanta's Little Five Points neighborhood is a Saturday ritual for me. From Moreland Avenue, I find my usual table in the corner of Sevananda Natural Foods Market and observe the steady flow of eclectic patrons pouring into the iconic store. I've been visiting Sevananda since the early 90's and the experience has always … Continue reading Emotional Intelligence Matters

Trouble the Waters: Beaches, Barriers and Legacies of Overcoming at Jekyll Island

Barrier: an obstacle that prevents movement or access. The string of islands we refer to as the barrier islands protect the mainland from storm surges. These islands have a history of their own of barriers, overcome by the will of courageous individuals who survived enslavement, challenged discrimination, and reshaped the social order. On the evening … Continue reading Trouble the Waters: Beaches, Barriers and Legacies of Overcoming at Jekyll Island

The Lost Art of Diplomacy

One of the best lessons I learned during the first months of my principalship was that diplomacy matters. In a life of service, verbal assaults become par for the course. Think Jackie Robinson. Think MLK. Think Barack Obama. Are you able to rise above the rumors, the attacks and accusations and focus on the work? … Continue reading The Lost Art of Diplomacy

The Courage to Fight

courage noun .   cour·age | \ˈkər-ij,  ˈkə-rij\ .   : mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty This month I've been talking to students about how to display courage.  In order for our young people to understand how to embody courage, we must show them examples of those who have confronted obstacles and risked comfort … Continue reading The Courage to Fight