by Mike Melie

Listen to full Micro-Confessions podcast episodes here.

Read Regina’s take on this same topic here.

“For they are all our children; we will either profit by or pay for what they become.” -James Baldwin

This past spring our school had two racially inflammatory incidents that enraged both staff and students. In one case, a white female student athlete was filmed writing the N-word in a message on a classroom whiteboard, and in another a white student took a picture of a black student and posted it online with the N-word as its caption.

Our school is…

by Regina Armour

Image courtesy Richard Houldsworth

Read Mike’s take on this topic here.

I have said this in private, in public, in front of audiences, and even in my sleep, I think. The WORLD IS ON FIRE! If you haven’t noticed, then you have been living under a rock — that has been living under another rock!

Now, don’t get me wrong, the world has been on fire for a long time, but like the wildfires of California and Australia, those winds and the ever-oppressive heat and pressure have fanned the flames to out-of-control proportions. …

by Regina Armour

Under the Bridge (Image Courtesy of Brecht Vandenbroucke)

This, my friends, is an example of the classic watershed moment. A teacher who works with SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism) at a local school district reached out to me right before school started. She wanted suggestions on how to handle the situation of “cyber-racism” where a White student used the N-Word on a popular digital platform several times while showing pictures of fellow African-American students. These photos were obviously taken without their knowledge.

On her end, she was personally appalled and flabbergasted; but at the same time, in this moment, she felt shame and powerlessness. She was White too…

by Mike Melie

@Each_and_Every1 @MrMelieTeach

I work as a high school English teacher, and recently my school had two different incidents in which students posted racially inflammatory pictures and videos on social media. In the first case, which is a short video, a cheerleader in her team uniform is seen standing in front of a whiteboard at an away event. She writes a student’s name on the board, followed by the phrase, “… is a n@#%*er”. The student, who is blonde and white, seems to be having fun and doesn’t seem to see anything wrong with her use of the n-word.

In the…

by Regina Armour

Tribalism in Effect (Image Courtesy of NPR)

With all the talk of the rise in tribalism, I say it never left. As a fellow homo sapien, tribes have been a reason for our collective survival for millenia. If we did not cling and connect together through common points that make us who we are, we would have died off long ago. But, just like anything else that is not implemented with moderation, our sense of tribalism has become skewed. It’s ironic that tribalism, in its current Westernized form, is being used to polarize and separate instead of to bring people together.

I, myself, belong to many tribes…

by Mike Melie

Cheese Heads (Image Courtesy of Wisconsin Goods)

I have some friends that are fanatical Green Bay Packers fans. They’re a different breed: I don’t know if it’s because the team is owned by its fans or because it’s the only pro football team in Wisconsin, but Packers fans are crazy focused. They know the ins and outs of the weekly injury reports; they call players on the team by their first names sometimes when they talk about them; they shell out stats; and they’re quick to remind you of the franchise’s history and success. …

by Mike Melie

HOPE (Image courtesy of Creative Commons)

I’m a high school English teacher, and my role also includes the opportunity to work as an Instructional Coach. This means that I get to help other teachers to try new things their classrooms, engage in best practices, and focus on student success. It’s an amazing opportunity, and I’m grateful that I get to work with my colleagues in this way because I learn more from them than they probably learn from me :). Then I get to share their knowledge with the next teachers I meet, and the cycle repeats!

This idea of repetition and cycles has been on…

by Regina Armour

HOPE (Image courtesy Creative Commons)

The holidays….They’re back again. Thanksgiving makes me ponder what I have to be thankful for — -in the collective sense. Yes, of course I am thankful for my family, my job, being alive and healthy, etc., etc., but I’m feeling very tentative about our collective community. What am I thankful for with respect to my country? Or my fellow citizen that doesn’t live where I live and know what I know? Someone who hasn’t experienced what I’ve experienced and who seems bent on trying to dismiss and eradicate what I have lived? …

by Mike Melie

We’re so distracted by how things end, we usually forget how beautiful the beginning was.” — Lamiya Waheed

It’s hard for me to believe when I think about it, but I’m at the beginning of my 15th year as a high school teacher. To travel back in time to my first year in front of my own classroom is to go back to another era of my life: I was trying to hang on to my relationship with my college girlfriend that I’d been with for 2 years and, more than anything, I was focused on making it as a…

by Regina Armour

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

On the first day of having my own classroom, I encountered a phenomenon that would fuel my passion for educational change and that still haunts me even now. In the early nineties I became a teacher at a small Catholic elementary school on the west side of Chicago. The neighborhood at that time was very, very depressed, and the school was not too far from a major Chicago housing project. Many of my students lived within those buildings but had parents that made the necessary sacrifices so that they wouldn’t have to send them to the closest public school. …

Each and Every

Mike Melie & Regina Armour: Two Educators in an Evolving Conversation on Acceptance, Social Justice, and Educational Issues

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