The first step always starts with a teacher’s current crop of kids. The one question I always ask myself when students walk in is, “What do I see?” Then, “What do I think I see?” I’m laying down some of my general assumptions for me to probe, then trying to understand why I feel that way. Sometimes, these assumptions come from observations I’ve made about the world, but often, they come from hearsay and stereotypes I’ve also inherited. Red herrings like black hoodies, big earphones, and unbelted low-hung pants might tell me that the person in front of me has no respect for any classroom courtesies, but he could just as easily be making a countercultural fashion statement. He might spend as more time on the block or in his house helping his mother. He might actually care about what I have to say or he doesn’t on that particular day for any number of reasons.
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Jose, who can’t keep the secret in anymore …