For many wonderful years, I was a very happy, very creative inner-city high school teacher.  Suddenly, one year,  I was hit — as were so many of our nation’s lowest-income school teachers — savagely and unexpectedly by the sudden invasions demanded by those who thought to call themselves “benevolent” test-score-accountability school reformers.  Forced out of teaching along with the larger percent of our reform-greedy district’s older and more opinionated teachers, I sat down to face my overwhelming grief by trying to figure out what, exactly, had happened to me.  And it is thus that my book: Why Is You Always Got To Be Trippin’: School Reform and the Racial Divide came about.  I hope that you will read it.  I hope that you see what we are doing to our children.  I hope that you, too, will fight back.

15 thoughts on “ABOUT ME

  1. Ciedie,

    I taught for 30 years in one district in California where the child poverty rate ranged from 70 to 100 percent depending on the location of the school.

    In the community where I taught, there were violent street gangs, and at night even the police wouldn’t patrol some of the areas in that district. I even witnessed one drive-by shooting from one of my classroom doorways, and one night while working late with the all girl student editors of the HS newspaper, we were trapped in the classroom with a gang outside banging on the walls and door to get in. I told the student editors not to worry. The gang bangers had short attention spans, would get bored and eventually leave, and they did. They trusted me so they got back to work on the next issue of the school paper. We had no outside phone and the intercom had been turned off when the office staff left.

    The student minority population where I taught was white, less than 10 percent of the student population. I retired in 2005, and I never gave up on any of my students.

    I’m going to buy your paperback. I also want to suggest you promote your book to get it out there. I’ve published four books and sold more than 22k copies in addition to landing on one of Amazon’s genre top ten best seller lists more than once for a day or more. I’ve also given away more than 40k copies of my books through promotions I paid for. Indie authors give away — for only a few days — one or more of their books to generate word of mouth after the freebie offer ends. Sometimes it works.

    I’ve learned a lot about promotion as an indie author, and I’ll always be learning.

    To start, I suggest you join Goodreads, if you haven’t already, and find a group or two that you feel a connection to. Hint, don’t preach about your book. Instead, get involved in the conversations those groups are having. And if you do, resist the urge to respond to any negative comments or reviews of your book you think are totally inappropriate/wrong. If you are interested to know why, I’ll explain.


    Also consider joining Library Thing and take advantage of their earlier reviewers program.


    Books are like trees in a vast forest. When a new one sprouts, does anyone notice unless that tree pulls up roots and starts to do a song and dance routine.

    Depending on your budget, I also suggest going on book blog tour where you don’t’ even have to leave your house.

    My suggestions in this comment are the tip of Mt. Everest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lloyd…I am firstly just breathing in this moment of being recognized; your interest in reading my book is a wonder and an honor in itself. I wrote for therapy, I wrote for others who were being victimized, I wrote for the exposure of student abuse and cultural attacks…but I have not yet understood the next step: finding readers. SO I will take everything you suggest to heart. I have very little money, but I want to support the cause in any way that I can. As I said to Thomas Ultican: To be read, to be read. And more importantly? To be understood.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A shortage of money means you’ll have to work a bit harder on your own to promote your work, but it can still be done. For instance, if you load your e-book to Smashwords, you’ll be able to gift your e-books for free when you do giveaways through Library Thing and Goodreads. You can also sell your e-books through Smashwords and get paid. Then there is also Draft2Digital. I don’t know how D2D handles free books you are giving away to readers through Library Thing and Goodreads giveaways.

        Not so with Amazon. If you offer a book free through a giveaway and you have to provide a copy through Amazon, you pay for the gift certificate but then you also get back some of your money through royalties. However, there is no guarantee that the person that requested the free copy will use the gift certificate to buy your book.



        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s clear that you really know a lot about this stuff! I am such a greenhorn, every idea amazes me. Little by little, I see new possibilities (I have been very surprised how much there is to learn, even about a basic social media site like Facebook). Your insights are wonderful: THANK YOU.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I found you by accident somewhere out there but I don’t have time to read tonight . There are aspects of education I write about when it comes to kids intentionally pulled into the school to prison pipeline and the effect it has on their livves. I also saw what the no child left behind policies did to school and teachers as well as the effect of the removal of creative subjects and what it did. No one even tried to undo the damage. Now we have high school kids who can’t even write their name in cursive and have no idea what music and art is. I could go on and on. I will be back.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Ciedie…I am a teacher in the Boston area and this is my 38th year in the classroom. I am also a union officer. As crazy as it sounds given all that has transpired in education these past thirty years and amidst the era of Betsy DeVos and Charter Schools and vouchers…the road back means teachers need to organize as a guild on a national level and take back their power. There can only be one place for all teachers and that is one union.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s