Author Archives: Mark E.P. Roberts

About Mark E.P. Roberts

teachermandc is Mark E.P. Roberts, a middle-aged, high school English teacher entering his ninth year of instructing young minds. This blog is an attempt to capture the challenge of teaching and the essence of learning. At a time when DC has become the epicenter of educational theory, this blog will keep its preferred focus on students in an somewhat typical DC high school. I have taught in both public and private schools. To date, 95% of my students are of color. All names have been changed, and complaints about in-house politics will be avoided. Hope you enjoy.

…and the Children Shall Lead Them

I still have some work to do.  Summer is almost here, and I still have work to do.  Last week, we finished our lessons on the Children’s March in Birmingham, Alabama.  In 1963, some eight, hard years after the negotiated … Continue reading

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Spring Break

I miss the cherry blossoms.  I’ve been off this week and seized the opportunity on several days to travel down Rock Creek Parkway, settle at Haines Point, churn my music, and watch the fishermen tempt the fish.  The only things … Continue reading

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Unforgivable Blackness: Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Emmett Till

Last week, I watched Part 1 of Ken Burns’ documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson on PBS.  It got me thinking.  A little over one hundred years ago, the “Fight of the Century” pitted the brashly … Continue reading

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Shackles and Shout Outs

I purchased a set of slave shackles once from the estate of an old Virginia plantation a few years ago.  I wanted to honor the experiences of ancestors whose names I do not know.  I wanted to remember the men, … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Mr. Holland’s Opus

I recently took advantage of a free HBO trial and binged on movies I had meant to see but never did.  But today, while home for Dr. King’s holiday,  I watched Mr. Holland’s Opus again.  I had forgotten how much … Continue reading

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The Ties That Bind

These past few weeks have been marked by a period of introspection for me.  My students continue to charm and grow.  I took my Public Speaking class of seniors to see the film “12 Years a Slave.”  I rarely do … Continue reading

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Sins of the Father

My students have drawn me into later and later hours at school.  For years, I was known for exiting the building at exactly 3:30 PM, yelling, “I don’t do overtime” as I neared the front door.  With the exception of … Continue reading

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Starburst and Hot Sauce

When I was at DCPS, the observers always warned me in post-conferences about being “too dynamic.”  My job, they said, was merely to facilitate the students’ own discoveries.  No matter how successful the class was on testing or other measures, … Continue reading

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Did You Hear What I Heard? The Teacher Calling

As is my habit, last Thursday I headed out in the early evening for a karaoke joint not too far from my home.  As usual, I arrived as “James,” my singing alter ego, replete with a cool, sideways cap, dark … Continue reading

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Teacher Dreams

Teacher Dreams:  mine started about two weeks ago in earnest.  Like most professionals, teachers always bring their work home with them.  There is always something to grade, or someone to consider, as well as the steady revisions to the daily … Continue reading

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