Influential Voice

Unlike any other profession, the strongest work-related and school related relationships are built within the world of k-12 public education. We build and foster deep relationships with colleagues and students. There is something very unique about education that allows us to cultivate intense and long-lasting friendships/relationships. Even as we trek and promote from one district or county to another, our connections and relationships remain strong.

On some levels, the relationships we have established with our students also begin to reveal the fact that we are all growing older. I will soon be performing the wedding ceremony of one of my high school students of the past.

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A Shared Interview

Dr. Ammar, CASCWA is exceptionally impressed with the leadership that you are providing to the membership of CASCWA’s Bay Section. Please tell us a little bit about your career in education and your current responsibilities.

My first experience as an educational practitioner was with a Day Treatment School (NPS), in San Francisco (Westside Community Day Treatment). Educationally, my primary passion has always been psychology and the essence of consciousness, but while working on my MS in Counseling (MFT), I decided to pursue my PPS Credential as well, never thinking I would put it to use. Before formally entering the world of education, I worked as a therapist and clinician with underserved adolescents and mentally ill adults. I entered the public k-12 domain of education as a School Counselor at Benjamin Franklin Middle School (4 years), after being persuaded by my former 8th grade Science teacher of the Middle School I attended as a child–who at that time was the Principal– to work with her. Not only that, but her husband was my varsity basketball coach in High School. She asked me for two months to work with her before I finally consented. Read the rest of this entry

The Importance of Lifelong Learning: Creating a Tone and Climate for Student Educational Exploration Beyond High School Graduation

“I remember visiting a high school just after the last spring exams and before graduation. As I approached the school grounds, I saw a group of students standing around a roaring fire, to which they were heartily contributing. I went over and asked, ‘What’s up?’ ‘We’re burning our notes and our books replied one. ‘We’re outta here!’ Upon further conversation, I learned that these students were not occupants of the bottom ability group, but rather A and B and C students, many headed for college. That little incident continues to trouble me. I wonder how many students not so labeled are in fact at risk, with little possibility of continuing learning? How many graduate from our schools and exult in the belief that they have learned all they need or intend to know? Read the rest of this entry

Decolonial Thought: Coloniality & Its TK-12 Educational Impact

Critically aware of potential internal, uncontrolled, and non-intended resistance, the goal of this brief literary construct is to advance the enigma and need for a generative understanding of the urban student condition through the lens of coloniality, or as some scholars coined the epochs, modernity. Read the rest of this entry

Violence, Trauma, Grief, & Loss: Understanding the impact to Urban Males

City of Oakland homicide rates have been a perplexing and daunting conundrum for the past 25 years. However, there is a critical familial nuance and subtle shift that must be considered for deeper analysis and reflection. Crack cocaine flooded American inner-city streets, near the approximate epoch of 1985. In California, during that time, gang activity skyrocketed in Los Angeles, resulting in increased homicides, drug/gang/turf wars, incarceration, and police aggression. Within the same period, new dynamics of a drug culture were developing in the Bay Area, with greater lethality and intensity in Oakland (primarily – East & West Oakland). In 1986, Oakland annual homicides began the trend of blasting past the 100 barrier. Read the rest of this entry