Steven Ritz - Green Bronx Machine :https://greenbronxmachine.org/ He also does a Ted Talk (13 minutes) https://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_ritz_a_teacher_growing_green_in_the_south_bronx?language=en
I listened to this podcast interview with an inspiring urban school teacher. His experiences make our "urban" experiences seem pretty tame.
He is from the Bronx and teaches in the Bronx. The school he teaches at is rough to put it kindly. Here is how he described it.
He moved to a school with 4000 diverse, unsuccessful students in a building built for 1800 that was expected to close. It has:
- 17% graduation rate
18 deans of discipline
256 felonies per year
48 school safety officers
18 armed policemen
I don't know how many of these are his own but here are some of my favourite quotes:
He talks about motivating students "from can't and won't to must and done".
"Inclusivity means asking someone to dance with you to their music and celebrating them".
"No child rises to low expectations".
"Falling up the ladder of success".
"I believe that passion, purpose, and hope will get you far as long as you are endlessly resourceful and eternally optimistic"
"Set the bar high and be relentlessly unafraid to fail, because failure is what’s going to get us all to a better place as long as we accept it and learn from it and move forward"