School Chief to Educators: We Contribute to School-to-prison Pipeline

Her Expulsion Regret Creates Program that Reduces Suspension by 40%

Let’s face it. How often do we hear an educator openly admits he/she made a mistake? Seldom. So when I started reading Ms. Hanks’ regret of making a mistake, I was hooked, stunned by her brutal honesty and courage.

A news story featured her in the Washington Post in 2016. The occasion: her speech at the Teach for America summit. There were 1000 pairs of eyes from her fellow educators staring at her. Yet, she fearlessly delivered her key message: a lot of them possess an “unconscious bias” on colored students and contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

She told the audience, “I know that’s hard to hear. But yes, you and I, intelligent, well-intentioned warriors of equity — we contribute to the pipeline.”

Super Principal Builds Relationship by Visiting Homes of 1000 Students

Super Principal Builds Relationship by Visiting Homes of 1000 Students

In 2018, I read one of the most amazing news stories about an educator. According to the article, principal Ms. Elizabeth MacWilliams in Raleigh, NC, had visited every home of her students. Closed to 1000 so far.

Apparently, both the students and their parents love the visits from this principal in Carroll Middle School. Her profound commitment and dedication make everyone feels she cares deeply about her students. In return, they give her trust and love. A solid relationship is built between the educator and the students. Such a beautiful story!

How Engineer Brad Ports Became Surrogate Father to Neglected Students

How Engineer Brad Ports Became Surrogate Father, Mr. Ports, to Neglected Students

Brad is an engineer by trade. “Teaching chose me,” he said, after he experienced a massive layoff in 1990 at McDonnell Douglas (nowadays Boeing), where he worked in St. Louis, MO. He started his four-year teaching journey at Gateway Institute of Technology, a St. Louis public school. His first adventurous undertaking was to create the bulk of an intense, high-tech 3-year curriculum that no other high school offered to this detailed level in the US: Aviation Maintenance.

Little did he know, he would become more than a teacher to his students in the 12th and 13th* grades. Oftentimes, he found himself being the surrogate parent who took those lost and neglected students – his children – under his wings. He protected and guided them to the right path of success. Many of his students turned out to be pilots, engineers, and even an aviation missionary in the Amazon. Below, Brad recalls some poignant stories on how he and his fellow educators turned the lives of students around. He also offers his take on the school system: what helps the students and what fails them. (more…)