Being Highly effective is a contagious feeling. In other words, I have gotten used to receiving highly effective ratings at the end of the school year. Year twenty is no different, in fact for the past 6 school years that was how my end of the year presented itself: a highly effective rating from my school administrator. It is not just from class room performance but all the other stuff I do outside of the classroom that some may call up and beyond; but I call it doing my job. As Brother Wesley so eloquently states in his book, "Onward and Upward towards the light"
As featured in The Sphinx® (“Omicron Eta Lambda," 2011) Alpha Attire as a chapter program was acknowledge by the fraternity and should be continued as a viable program to support our community.
In 2019, there is an interest to revisit the success made 9 years ago. The community Service team propose that we revisit Alpha Attire as a long-term endeavor with a robust goal. In 2009 there was a total of 75 suits collected. The committee proposes that we double and have a new goal for 150. Strive DC is no longer in operation, So Others Might Eat (SOME) has been a partner of Omicron Eta Lambda since 2010 in receiving our 1906 can food drive has a closet for men seeking business attire as they reenter the workforce and would become our receiving agent.
Omicron Eta Lambda: Washington, DC (2011). The Sphinx, 96(2&3). Retrieved from: https://issuu.com/apa1906network/docs/the_sphinx_spring-summer2011
My experience with the National Portrait gallery gave me the opportunity to have complete access to their entire collection at the Smithsonian. Having that access I was able to crate my own collections using the LearningLab tool. I have used the learning Lab to create both personal and professional collections that I use in my classrooms and beyond.
I recently was featured on the Learning Lab's website so visitors to their site could see firsthand how I use the collection.
HandsWhy hands are important?
The human hand is different to the hands or paws of other animals, because it has fingers and a thumb that can work together. ... Our thumb can work with each of our fingers, including our smallest finger and our ring finger, so we can do much more complicated things than most animals.
I recently visited the Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida where I was able to pose with Street Artist Case Maclaim and his mural "Hands". In a 2017 StreetArt360 article by Laurent Jacquet, Jacquet says, "The artist often focuses on representing hands, as for Case this is the natural link between the human brain and the real world. His perfect mastery of drawing allows him to play with the form of fingers and knuckles to convey emotion and message throughout. With Case Maclaim, the layering of hands is not just a physical movement of the body but also a political movement placed in a particular context where the viewer can visualize recent history and powerfully feel its emotion."
What have you done for or with your hands lately.
I have been debating and having some self reflection on this app. As a member of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery's Teacher Advisory Board, For one I'm impressed that they have included some images from the collection. (The educator in me) is somewhat disappointed in the app because there is nothing more than a random match, Google could have taken it a step further and provided more information on the matching portrait. So I had to do my own research on who my portrait twin was... Ironically I wonder did they read my capstone and know I was fully vested in mural art because my match came from a mural in South Philadelphia titled "ASpire," by muralist Ernel Martinez (2014). The mural, created in collaboration with Black Thought of The Roots, celebrates the life of Philadelphia community leader Dr. Shawl L. “Air Smooth" White.
If you have ever wanted to write for the National Portrait gallery, well the Teacher Advisory Board understand the need and the desire for other teachers to write for NPG. As unique as we are, we know that we can only scratch the surface of the multitude of ways that the museum can be utilized in classrooms across the country. That is why for the 50th anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery we are asking teachers to tell us how they use the Portrait Gallery in their classroom.
To see the complete story, check out my blog post that was posted on January 2018
I’m back… After making the transition to Charles County, I have been looking for my niche in both the school and the county. I missed out on the first County Wide Art Show. But I made up for it when one of my students’ artwork from last year was selected by Davis Publications to be featured on the back cover of the Advocacy Planner. The planner is published each year and is a planning calendar full of artist birthdays, holidays, quotes, and advocacy.
“I went through hell founding this organization and I want something done about these problems. Think of it, we have over a 120 chapters and I ask what are we doing? We have got to do something for Negroes . . . Shall we stand for it? We won't fight. Do something constructive so that your sons, your daughters and all who come behind them will be proud of you. We must fight till Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice." (December 1937 Alpha Phi Alpha General Convention in New Orleans, LA)
Although Tandy did not coin this phrase himself, it originated from The Battle of Bulltown which was a small skirmish fought during the American Civil War near Bulltown in Braxton County, West Virginia on October 13, 1863.
William Lowther Jackson, the cousin of "Stonewall" Jackson, led a raiding party of 800 men into central West Virginia to capture the strategic "fort" at Bulltown which overlooked an important crossing of the Little Kanawha River. The goal was to cut Federal communications between the Greenbrier and Kanawha Valleys.
Jackson approached Bulltown secretly. He divided his forces in an attempt to converge on the Union position from two different directions. The Confederates advanced at 4:30am on October 13. They quickly captured the Federal pickets and would have taken the garrison by surprise but one Confederate, whether due to excitement or nervousness, fired his gun and alerted the Union troops.
The Confederates advanced against the fort and a drawn out skirmish lasted until about 4:30pm, almost twelve hours after the battle began. Twice, Jackson sent a flag of truce with a demand to surrender to which Captain William H. Mattingly replied "I will fight until Hell freezes over and then fight on the ice."
Jackson eventually retreated back towards the Greenbrier Valley. Casualties were very light considering the length of the battle. On the Union side there were no fatalities. Captain Mattingly was wounded in the thigh and there were some other slight wounds in the Federal camp. The Confederates lost eight soldiers and a like number were wounded.
80 years after the creation of the life membership crusade in Alpha Phi Alpha and 23 years after I was initiated into the Theta Rho Chapter... I followed in the foot steps of Brother Oliver Wilson Winters, DDS and I have become Life Member 13577.
"Our Historian, Dr. Charles H. Wesley, notes that "At the 19th Convention (1926) the Fraternity endeavored to create an endowment fund by approving the idea of endowment policies on the lives of the Founders and Brothers. The details were to be worked out by a commission." Brother Winters credits this plan to the "fertile imagination of Brother Joseph Woods." But, a familiar story unfolded and amid the goings-on brother Wesley noted "These details were not put into complete operation." Fortunately for Alpha Phi Alpha O. Wilson Winters was a leader rather than a follower. Dr. Wesley continues, "In spite of this fact, Brother Winters took out a policy, continued payment of the annual premiums, and after ten years the policy was paid by check to the fraternity." Why would one one man continue to pursue a course of action which for ten years seemed to arouse little or no enthusiasm among his peers? Dr. Wesley states, "This action was a distinct indication of the deep affection which Brother Winters maintained for the Fraternity and a tangible expression of his faith and desire to see it placed upon more permanent foundations." And in 1937 at the New Orleans Convention, Brother Winters' faith was recognized and he was declared Life Member No. 1.
Unknown Author (1976, April). FOCUS:Life member Number One. The SPHINX, 62(2), pp. 13-17.
For years I was chasing dollars and staying in my comfort zone. When I leaped off the edge and left DCPS for Charles County, I realized 2 things. One, money is not everything. As a family we made some adjustments and in fact we have come out on top. And two, I can teach and push my students and not just a talented few of them but I can push them all. They want to learn, They want to be creative and They actually have a love and appreciation for the arts and what the arts can do.
And NOT ONCE have I heard anyone tell me, if you don't want to be here, you can be replaced; in fact folks want want me here. And above all I feel valued by my colleagues and administration.
What do I miss, I miss some of the opportunities that were afforded to me as a DC Teacher. Free trips and workshops for me and my students. The living breathing museum, that is called Washington, DC. However, working with NPG (National Portrait Gallery) I know that I can bring the museum to them and vise versa. Not having on going professional development, I will have to rely on my virtual kitchen cabinet for lesson ideas and tid bits to get me through.
As Asa Daniels always says, "this is not my first rodeo and will not be my last ride."
I'm more than my title will ever be.