Reimagining Education

A blog about pushing past the status quo in how we school our youth. Honest, data-backed, stakeholder-driven, and relentlessly committed to kids. 

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From an East Central teacher: The tangible power of stories

Few things have the unique ability to shape our opinions, construct our perceptions, and bring us together like stories. For most of my life, my story was one of rural Oklahoma. It was full of red clay, hollers and bottoms, and people who lived a life very much like my own. I was fortunate to discover the power of stories early. The tales of other people and experiences have inspired me to listen to the stories around me and give voice to my own. I’m lucky to know that words can invoke empathy, inform masses, and inspire change. Now, I teach others to find the power of their own words, their own stories. I am a tenth grade English teacher at East Central High School. I teach a subject I love

Let's end the "single story" phenomenon.

In 2009, one of my favorite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, gave a TED Talk that spoke on the “dangers of a single story.” During her presentation, she spoke of many examples of a “single story,” or stereotype, which can negatively affect the outlook some people have on individuals who are different from them. Her examples included her confusion as a young Nigerian writer, reading books created by and for a particular group of readers, as well as people placing culturally ignorant stereotypes on new acquaintances. Though her words caused her audience to giggle, this is a sad reality for many underrepresented or misrepresented groups of people. Often people tend to view others through the

Perception is reality: How we're working to change perceptions and create a new reality in Tulsa

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of perception—the way people view the world around them and how two people can be looking at the exact same scenario yet see different things. Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” I heard this when I was just a little girl, and it is still one of my favorite quotes. It communicates what I believe to be an important truth: that our perceptions of the world shape everything we do—how we communicate, how we interact and how we behave in our everyday life. These perceptions are the very things that dictate what we care about, what we dedicate ourselves to, how we judge other people. And these perceptions are form

From ignorance to awareness to action: How kids' stories gave me purpose.

I am a die hard, unashamed lover of Tulsa. I've traveled and am aware of what other cities across America have to offer. Yet, despite the benefits of other places, I’m certain Tulsa will forever be my home. When I describe Tulsa to those who are unfamiliar, I try to paint a picture of a community that has a natural inclination to help one another without expecting anything in return. There are good people here who promote good values. Because I was baptized in this ethos of virtue, I have always wanted to help my hometown in any way I could. Tulsans just aren’t the kind of people that can consciously ignore the needs of those in less fortunate circumstances. Most locals will agree that our c

We dare you.

Success comes in many forms. Ralph Waldo Emerson once described achieving success in these words: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.” Together Tulsa believes in and acts upon these same principles. We seek especially to find the best in our students, utilize the best in our community and to leave the

A post-election charge: Living together in love.

It wasn’t who I voted for. As the results came pouring in last night, I went to bed early because I didn’t feel like watching defeat happen in real-time. Instead, at 5:20 this morning when my alarm went off, I went to Facebook and saw the steady stream of anger, fear, pain and broken hopes. It wasn’t who I voted for. As a woman, as the family member of undocumented Mexican immigrants, as the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant whose family fled their country in fear, as the best friend and the cousin of gay men, as the student of international relations, as the friend of many Muslims, as a feminist, as the former teacher and adopted big sister of children from ALL backgrounds, as the sister of

A teacher's message: 'My students' stories will change your life.'

Over the last three years I have had the pleasure of teaching high school students in North Tulsa at both Central High School and McLain High School. My students have a lot to say and share with anyone willing to listen. However, they often lack a formal platform to voice their opinions, and, maybe most importantly, they often lack an audience dissimilar from themselves. You see, my students generally receive one of three reactions when they’re out around town: they’re overlooked, they’re intentionally avoided, or people expect them to be uncivilized. I know them. I know that they deserve none of these reactions, and so I find it heartbreaking. My students, a majority of the time, don’t even

Carrie Hill: Change starts with our youth

Creating change. It was the most challenging part of being a counselor. I remember the sobering experience of sitting across from a client who was in distress. When I looked at her, I could see her strengths, her potential, her resilience, and the overwhelming spectrum of possibilities that lay ahead in her future. All she could see was her circumstances rising up around her creating a wall of limitations. The truth is, it’s really difficult to change someone’s perspective using words alone. You can paint a picture of a brighter future. You can tell someone they are valuable, intelligent, resilient, capable, and worthy. And they might let those words into their heart a bit. But it feels v

We support and promote innovative educational experiences that give young people the skills they really need to navigate the twenty-first century economy, challenges, and demands they'll face as young adults.

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