Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Boss & Awaken Librarian Team-up Again!

It's the beginning of another school year! I have the fortunate blessing of working with my literary and spiritual sister, KC Boyd, for the BEST and most ENLIGHTENING professional development any librarian can ask for, hands down!!!


The above slides are just the creative and visual graphics of the same titled lesson I wrote for PBS NewsHour. Please click on that link because I worked hard to ensure those primary resources were well researched and representative of two icons that used their platforms to change the world: Mrs. Ida B. Wells and Billie "Lady Day" Holiday!
 
Art has always been a passion of mine. Whether I'm painting, drawing, playing my cello, cooking, I will always interpret and release what is inside of me or provoking a response. That, in essence, is art in its multitudes of forms. I believe everyone has a bit of artist in them. It can be in a craftmanship like old school blacksmiths, sculpture carving like Michelangelo, or fashionable art like Beyonce's Lemondae or Renaissance album (Gotta show my fellow H-town girl some love on her banging new release!)
I hope you enjoy today's presentation, but more importantly, I want to leave you with this piece of choral artistry, as a musician myself:

Enjoy the full-length video and please support Caroline Brewer's riveting and healing picture book, #SayTheirNames.
 
Also, I wouldn't be a librarian worth her salt if I didn't at least give you a sneak peak as to what you can expect from such an engaging and wonderful expression of healing.
******************** Here's the recap, in case you couldn't attend:

Monday, July 11, 2022

NAMLE 2022 Conference



Hello friends! I'm happy to report that I will be speaking at the wonderful NAMLE 2022 Conference (National Association for Media Literacy Education) this upcoming Sunday, July 17th at 12:30 EST. I'm in the 1st blue column.



I will give a more in-depth explanation behind my PBS curriculum content lesson, Using Art as a Response to Racial Injustice!


Stay tuned because there's an interactive video with this presentation that I will post afterwards. Thank you for supporting me as always. Peace be with you.

Thank you to Kate Stevens, Andrea DeGetts and Victoria Pasquantonio for including me in this presentation! *The lessons presented in this video are linked to the appropriate presenter. Just click their name above.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Teachers are not OK and my plate is full!

Let me begin by saying, this school year has done a number on me. I moved from my hometown to the capitol of Texas. That alone was a task, because I moved during the pandemic and after being unemployed for 14 months.

As if my plate wasn't full enough, then my state leaders wanted to attack librarians for having books that discussed the truth in American history--(sidenote: The removing of books and news related to racism, unprovoked violence, and the plight of Black and Brown Americans by willfully ignorant folks...THIS is how 90% of the nation didn't know about the burning of Tulsa, OK (Greenwood)--which, without a shadow of the doubt, had my stress levels on high because any person of color knows: "we are the last to be hired and the first to be fired."

As if my plate wasn't full enough, the powers that be determined inflation was the way to go, after a global shellshock of a pandemic. Rent went from $1800 to $2250 while my salary went from $61k down to $53k. I bring the same 20 yrs experience, but such a huge discrepancy from Houston suburb to Austin suburb. My oldest had to drop out of school just to help me make ends meet, which sets his education behind...systemic burdens.

As if my plate wasn't full enough, the year ended with the 2nd worst of BANGS: The Uvalde Shooting. The unspeakable horror, just a few hours away...just like the Santa Fe shooting was 20 minutes from my house when I lived in Houston...just like the horror that flooded my soul when I heard gun shots at my own school while standing in the cafeteria, after a young man decided death was his best option during an arrest.

As if my plate wasn't full enough, I started fainting in May for no apparent reason, aside from stress...which last I checked is a killer. THAT is the 1st worst of BANGS. My heart is supposedly fine, gratefully, but I've reached a point of infraction as an educator too soon again: it's taking a toll on my health...and quite honestly, our medical professions is plagued with racism too. Can I trust my doctors to diagnose me effectively, while I surrender to the "maybe it's this" elimination game?

For those of you that follow my blog, you know I've battled every bit of discrimination, racism, sexism...you name it. The double-down on my fears of workplace violence resurfaced yet again. I'm not okay. Every last educator is not okay. I won't be armed in class. I am a responsible gun owner that believes the school-house isn't the shooting-range...plus, I don't want my Black body to be holding a gun during a school shooting for an officer to fear for his/her life and shoot me. I want to be paid a living wage, plus the 20 yrs I bring to the table in experience. I want to inspire kids. I want to be unburdened.
Thank you, PBS Newshour, for allowing a small bit of release in the pressure-cooker that is public education. Take a look y'all and advocate for true change...while I recover and clean my plate this summer.



P.S. I made my birthday this month. It's significant because last month, all my loved ones were concerned that I wouldn't see it. Asé.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Aaaah! The FORCE is strong with us!

 

First, for those kiddos watching this blog like a hawk...


Yeah, I still support my Star Wars addiction...I just gotta keep it professional 95% of the time...but rest assured, I will be decked out in my best gear on May 4th, forcing choking folks working my nerves in my mind until the Jedi Counsel decides to initiate me with my purple lightsaber so I can continue the cause of the rebellion!


Friday, April 1, 2022

Happy Library, Humor & Poetry Month!


Between April Fool's Day, Librarian's Day, Earth Day, etc. I truly believe this month is full of revival and revelations! Here's the newsletter for this celebratory month! Enjoy!
 
My Haiku Diary for April 1, 2022
 
"Break Fast Me Not" 
Sun rays blinded me. 
My belly grumbles loudly. 
Pancakes, eggs and juice.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

How Librarians Select Books?

My, my, my it appears history is a revolving door, as it relates to book bans based on discrimination and prejudices. Therefore, let's breakdown exactly how library books are selected so that instances like the following can fade to black:


There are links to the articles for you to form your own opinion. But until those involved obtain a masters degree with hundreds of hours in the classroom and an exam completion rate of 80% or higher, please stay away from what you're not qualified to do. Entitlement to opinon is one thing, but taking away intellect for my kids, which is ALL kids regardless of socioeconomic, sexual or gender statuses...that's library treason, i.e. CENSORSHIP. We ain't having it. The "out of place" vernacular is intentional.
 
And before you ask, some librarians are more than qualified to choose books for students. Not only do we have the literal degrees, but librarians like myself, went a step further: reading literally more than a thousand books in a year's time in order to select the BEST BOOK to represent the nation. I served on the 2020 Caldecott Book Award Jury:
This lesson gives the background knowledge for students to obtain true learning experience on how books are chosen for the library. It also actively responds to the writing prompt: Write a proposal in which you argue which book would be most effective for a school-wide book club. In your proposal, choose an informational or literary text. Use text evidence to help explain how the text you chose is worthy.
Now for the lesson at hand, because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!


P.S. Here's a fun fact, politicians DO NOT have to have a degree to become a politician. Just like one wouldn't want a medical doctor operating on them without extensive medical practice and knowledge, one shouldn't have an unqualified person deciding what's appropriate reading for a child's brain. Librarians are not doctors...but we are experts when it comes to literary content, children's literary development and what criteria makes for excellent reading. We deserve some respect on our names. We earned it.