Can a Girl Get Some Color?

Amethyst Hinton Sainz Life in the Classroom

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In order to “flow” my foray into hip hop artistry, you’ll have to internalize the following rhythm:

Hip Hop Blog 3

Color, Please?

I waved to the security guard on my way into the lot. Writing and lit was in my thoughts. I pulled into my spot, with my mini-van bumpin. my mind was on my lessons, had to get the legs pumpin.’ I stopped for my copies on the way in, and I saw a familiar sight that made my teacher brain spin. On the little cubby shelves where we ‘spect our stacks were dozens of reams of potential learning, white and black, ‘cause tho we still got a few problems of a racial nature those two colors love each other when it comes to teacher’s paper.

I use the word “color” loose, like a looseleaf notebook ‘cause any color I got comes outa my own pocketbook ’cause I ain’t CTE, I ain’t STEM, I ain’t magnet I teach a poor core course, and black and white is what we get. The order forms are color coded for the clerk But I pay for astrobrights with my after-school work.

You know the eighties are back, neon’s hot, sister Every screen’s in 3-D & these kids got a pocket full of color How can 3-hole punched T-charts compete with interactive apps Even double-sided skeleton outlines got kids catchin naps or peeks at their smart phone, why not technicolor learning? Yo, yo our “color problem” has the English teachers burning.

It’s 2013! We seeking authenticity. And it ain’t all black and white, what these kids are s’posed to read And it ain’t just Common Core that’s mandating these kids can read and create multimedia texts with ease The streets that they swagger down are filled with color, shapes and claims And it ain’t much of a life kickin’ butt and taking names Alldayeveryday, citizens gotta analyze the power, and the truth, and the lies every minute of the hour.

Yeah, I’m a ROYGBIV teacher in a B&W room. I usedta have posters, but they faded soon, And these greyscale handouts got these students taking Zzzzzzz’s Can a girl get a little bit of color? Please?


Amethyst Hinton Sainz is National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent and Young Adult English Language Arts, and is constantly trying to live up to that standard! This year she will begin teaching at Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona as an interventionist. She has taught junior high ELD and high school English in Arizona for 25 years. She has been a Stories from School blogger since 2012. Amethyst’s alma maters are Blue Ridge High School, the University of Arizona and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Her bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Philosophy led her toward the College of Education, and she soon realized that the creative challenges of teaching would fuel her throughout her career. Her love of language, literature, and culture led her to Bread Loaf for her master's in English Literature. She is a fellow with the Southern Arizona Writing Project, and that professional development along with, later, the National Board process, has been the most influential and transformative learning for her. As a board member of the Mesa NBCT Network, she works with other NBCT’s to promote this powerful process throughout the district. She supports candidates for National Board Certification, and loves seeing teachers realize and articulate their teaching and leadership power! She enjoys teaching students across the spectrum of academic abilities, and keeping up with new possibilities for technology in education. Last year she had the privilege of running our school garden, and will really miss that this year. She is currently learning more about social and racial justice and is striving to be an antiracist educator. She lives in Mesa, Arizona with her family. She enjoys time with them, as well as with her vegetable garden, backyard chickens, and the two dogs. She also enjoys reading, writing, cooking (but not doing dishes), kayaking, camping, and travel, among other things.

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