can-a-girl-get-some-color

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:

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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?

 

I currently teach English Language Development at Rhodes Junior High in Mesa Public Schools. I love seeing the incredible growth in my students and being an advocate for them. I am a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescent and Young Adult English Language Arts. Before this position I taught high school English in Arizona for 20 years. My alma maters are Blue Ridge High School and the University of Arizona. My bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Philosophy led me toward the College of Education, and I soon realized that the creative challenges of teaching would fuel me throughout my career. My love of language, literature and culture led me to the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College for my masters in English Literature. I am 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 me. I enjoy teaching students across the spectrum of academic ability, and keeping up with new possibilities for technology in education, as well as exploring more topics in STEM. In recent years, much of my professional development has focused on teacher leadership, but I feel like I am still searching for exactly what that means for me. I live in Mesa, Arizona with my family. I enjoy them, as well as my vegetable garden, our backyard chickens, our dachshund Roxy, reading, writing, cooking (but not doing dishes), hiking and camping, and travel, among other things.

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