Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

Image
As I wind up my 24th year of teaching in Los Angeles classrooms , I pause to think of my past lives in different schools and neighborhoods. While presenting to students in Finland I always included a slide of past eras of my life such as growing up in the Eastside, college and adulthood in the Westside, teaching on the Southside, and married life in the Valley. Apart from being a native Angeleno, significant years of my life have been spent living in many parts of town, and teaching in many communities. I love all of them.

Which is why I have no doubt in my mind that what students all over L.A. need more than anything is an ally on the school board. My South Central students need a warrior who recognizes that our teachers’ strike was more than just a salary dispute, but a movement to reclaim our rightful place as agents of change in the profession we love. One that will help us do our jobs serving students. My West Valley students need a fighter who will challenge our legislators to …

Lamar Queen, the Rapping Math Sensation Entered in Get Schooled Ring the Bell Contest

 When the Get Schooled foundation asked for nominations for outstanding math teachers in its Ring the Bell Contest, one name stood out among the other:  resident superstar teacher Lamar Queen!  Below is the essay that was submitted on his behalf:

In 2007 a new Algebra teacher arrived at our urban middle school in South Central Los Angeles. Lamar Queen was the kind of teacher that you know off-bat will have a bright future.
His calm demeanor, impeccable dress, and rapport with students was instantaneous. We knew he would be destined for greatness.

Well, it didn't quite work out that way. His students got over his youth and looks and soon started complaining about class being boring. Mr. Queen was mortified. He became stressed.

He showed up at our school's New Teacher support meetings and admitted he couldn't sleep well at night trying to figure out a way to make class more engaging. And that's when the magic began.

Mr. Queen began writing his lessons in the form of math raps. He wanted these raps to pass the stiff criteria our students use to deem what is "cool" or "not cool." His first rap, Slope Intercept Form, was a huge hit with students due to its original lyrics and beats. Soon, a youtube video followed, and Mr. Queen became a certified superstar in the 'hood. He has developed a whole range of entertaining and educational raps for students of regular and higher math, and has turned on students to a subject they once feared.

As an African-American male, in a community desperate for role models, Mr. Queen has lived up to the promise we saw in him. We are lucky to have him in our school. His video is at

If Mr. Q.U.E. wins the contest, he gets a free round-trip ticket to New York City to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010!  Stay tuned for details, as we are awaiting word about the winners.  Feel free to contact Lamar at lamar.queen@gmail.com or follow him on Facebook at Mr. Q.U.E.'s fan page.  His music can be found at musicnotesonline.com

photo from lawattstimes.com

Comments

  1. Much support to this wonderful teacher.

    not sure if you have seen this- some pretty honest data about green dot

    http://susanohanian.org /show_atrocities.php?id=9086

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love love love this!! I am a student studying to get my degree in mathematics.

    I love the way he motivates students to learn mathematics!!! I can not wait to use his music in my class!!! No matter if I get high school or middle school my students will get exposed to Mr. Queen.

    As the only African American math major in my University, I want to say Thank You!!

    Christine

    Christine...where is the fan club site or something?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

FULBRIGHT: Countdown: Day 7

Who is AvalonSensei?

"There Are No Emergencies"