We Are Wilkinsburg

For the last month Wilkinsburg High School teachers Dominic and Jason have been working  to give their students a voice. The predominate narrative for their school has been "it won't be there next year." Jason invited me into his room to talk with 7 of his students about how they wanted their voice to be heard. I felt privileged to be there - that they had invited me into their space. Jason's room is how I would have imagined my room had I decided to become certified at the high school level. My elementary classroom was full of bulletin boards and colorful things that I thought would inspire ... I spent hours on those bulletin boards and word walls. But looking back, I realize that I wasn't "all in." Sure, I was 22 and just out of college and doing the best that I know how, but education has a different face these days. Education is in survival mode - but that doesn't mean that the students in them have to be treated to education suited to that level. Jason's classroom is a place of survival. Dominic's video shows the power of flipped classrooms. Both show that Wilkinsburg is far from being forgotten - and through their student's voices they are determined to tell that story. 


cross posted at www.teachersleadingchange.com


Temple S. Lovelace

Dr. Temple S. Lovelace is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Her research interests include social justice and equity through a disability inquiry lens, as well as innovative classroom based instructional and intervention strategies in the areas of academic and behavior supports. With 15 years experience as an educator, she has remained committed to serving young children and supporting quality and innovative education initiatives that provide the opportunity and access all children deserve. Dr. Lovelace spearheaded the revitalization of the widely successful Fusion program, which is a partnership between Duquesne University and Center of Life, a Hazelwood-based community empowerment organization. As a graduate of The Ohio State University and a doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst, Dr. Lovelace's research has been focused on the principles of behavior analysis and education in urban contexts. Currently, Dr. Lovelace is focused on achieving equity for persons of color with disabilities and their families. In a partnership with The Color of Autism Foundation, Dr. Lovelace hopes to continue her community-based work using Pittsburgh and Detroit as models for how families, communities, schools and universities can work together in support of groundbreaking instruction and intervention supports for the Autism community. Research Interests "Making" and "Tinkering" as Evidenced Based Practices (rooted in STEAM & Literacy) Critical Citizenship of African American Students with Disabilities Youth Voice: Impact on Resilience, Engagement and Education Reform Culturally Responsive Behavior Interventions Teacher, Student, Community - Mediated Transformative Educational Practices (Behavior and Academic Interventions) STEAM-based learning for Females and other Underrepresented Group