No Estoy Con Ella (And Here’s Why)

Before everyone jumps down my throat, let me make one thing clear: I will vote for Hillary Clinton. This is not the post of a disgruntled Bernie fan. I voted for Hillary in the primaries because, when thinking about the issues that matter most to me and make the biggest difference in my everyday life, I trust that Clinton will protect reproductive rights, improve the educational system, and institute better policies for working families. I respect Clinton’s intelligence, career experience, and track record of making changes for (mostly white) women.

But, I still feel super uneasy about voting for Clinton. As a Latina, I am critical of her actions toward Latinx voters as well as her foreign policy record in Latin America. As these two facets of my identity are inseparable, it has left me feeling highly uncomfortable about my choice in this election. Basically, I can vote for the woman who is friends with the man who helped to orchestrate the Chilean coup, or I can vote for a rapist Cheeto who will almost certainly increase deportations exponentially.

Young people of color deserve better options in this election. Here’s why.

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Voluntarily Running and Liking It

The other day, my seventh grade students were complaining loudly about the “buzzer test” they had to take in gym class later that day.

“It’s awful,” one girl informed me. “You have to run as a beeper goes off and then it gets faster and faster.”

“I’m just not even going to try,” her friend added.

I remembered being in their shoes as an unathletic youngster. I have a singularly terrible memory of being forced to do the same test in high school as “Dominic the Donkey” played in the background for some inexplicable reason, and thinking to myself, “This is what hell must look like.”

But times have changed! I explained to my students that I also hated running when I was their age, but now I go run outside for fun, so maybe they should give it their best shot!

They pondered it for a second. Finally, one student piped up and said, “Yeah, I’m still not going to try.”

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Teachable Moments: Seventh Grade

If you need your ego stroked on a daily basis, do not teach seventh grade.

Fifth graders are cute enough to make you presents. Seniors in high school are old enough to want to be like you. Seventh graders want nothing to do with you. You know somewhere deep down in their hormonal little hearts they harbor some love and affection for you, but they will never show it.

Do not teach seventh grade if you are afraid to be silly in front of pre-teens. If you are not willing to answer the question, “Ms. J-T, do you know how to dab?” by demonstrating your awful dance skills, causing twenty-eight youngsters to pee themselves with laughter, then don’t even think about it.

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