Dr. Lorraine Monroe has been a teacher and professor of education for decades, and has made a significant impact on the way that children are educated and teachers are taught to teach in New York City.
Dr. Monroe is the founder and Executive Director of School Leadership Academy, an educational consultant, and was the Chief Executive for Instruction at the NYC Board of Education. She founded the Center for Minority Achievement at Bank Street College and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Columbia University Teachers College.
I spoke with Dr. Monroe after she’d just given a talk about the schools that she oversaw, and how their transformative mission requires them to fight the many ways that Euro-American schools poison African-American children. She spoke of the necessity of getting city kids out of the city and into nature, and in particular to a healing camp that provided meditation that they loved, a camp whose quiet restored their serenity and gave them the blessing of stillness.
Monroe also spoke of learning and teaching compassion by taking care of hurt or abandoned animals as means to help children become better citizens, and she emphasised the importance of, as she put it, putting the feet where you want the feet to go, and planting the seeds where you want the seeds to grow—that is, taking children who are the victims of the American political-economic-social-educational system to visit colleges and universities so they will be more likely to see post-secondary education as a natural part of their own futures, thereby transforming them into victors in their own lives and communities.
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