Step Your Nerd Game Up

This is how we do things in MisterMinor's neighborhood!

Step Your Nerd Game Up

June 10, 2013  |  Culture, Teaching, VIrtual Book Club  |  No Comments

Someone just asked me what I’m doing this summer.

My answer was this:

Reading Books for Adults:
  • Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang – This book is a living history of EVERYTHING that exists now. If you know anyone under 45, read this book. It puts our existence in the appropriate cultural context.
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz – If you love, nurture, teach, are, or have had your life changed by a nerd of color, read this book.
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin – Vampires exist because of a government conspiracy. Farfetched? Last week we thought Obama reading your text messages was science fiction.
  • Reamde by Neal Stephenson – Video game players and midwestern farmers team up to topple terrorism in the most brilliantly stylish way you have ever imagined.
Reading Books for Kids:

What I'm doing this summer.

What I’m doing this summer.

  • No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Nelson – This book is a testament to why the pen is in fact mightier than the sword… or sexism or racism. Words matter.
  • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger – Star Wars. The hottest thing in 1978 is now the hottest thing out right now.
  • Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz – Blow your mind awesome adventure goodness!
  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Vol. 1-3 by Brian Michael Bendis – Spider Man. In Brooklyn. Enough said.
Reading Books for Teaching:
  • Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation by Christopher Emdin – Science is the new black.
  • Clock Watchers: Six Steps to Motivating and Engaging Disengaged Students Across Content Areas by Stevi Quate & John McDermott – You can’t teach a kid that does not want to be there. Don’t just make them want to be there. Make them belong there.
  • Fearless Voices: Engaging a New Generation of African American Adolescent Male Writers by Alfred Tatum – As class and real-estate re-segregate education, saying, “I teach public school.” means “I teach brown kids.” This is your guide.
  • Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom by bell hooks – She affirms why we all became teachers, and gives us even more tools to be the best that we can for children.

Basically, I’m upping my nerd status. In a major way.

– Corn

The end is near. Prepare for it.

The last day of school... Finally.

The end is near. Prepare for it.

June 5, 2013  |  Teaching  |  33 Comments


We were trending tonight! Teachers rule.

We were trending tonight! Teachers rule.

The chat was an amazing success! Thanks to everyone that “attended”. We were one of the top ten trends on Twitter Monday night. Yes, a group of teachers made more noise online than the new XBox AND the new Kanye West album. We’ve got a movement building here, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Here is the entire transcript. In it are links to all the resources that people mentioned. Over the next few days, I’ll put more online. Thanks again!


As I’ve crisscrossed the country this month, all of my teachers are asking me the same thing: “It’s June. How do I get these kids away from me ready for summer?”

I’ve got answers, but I’m not the only one! I’ve heard and experienced so many brilliant ideas for helping kids to make the most of the last days of school as we transition into summer.

I’ll be hosting a twitter chat on Monday June 10, 2013 to discuss many of these ideas and to share resources for closing up shop, summer assignments, and things that you can do to keep yourself sharp so that you will be in good position for a productive and pain-free fall term.

My twitter handle is @MisterMinor and I’ll be using the hashtag #TCRWPcoaching You will be able to find me online from 8:30 – 9:30 PM EST (Sorry, Shanghai and Singapore). I hope to see you there… There could be special guests and prizes!

Feel free to post in the comments below with anything that you would like for me to address or resources that you want me to share!



Virtual Book Club: Lean In…Let’s Begin!

May 22, 2013  |  4 Comments

Virtual Chat: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg


Okay, I dove in, and I’m dying to share thoughts and read thoughts with you all about Sandberg’s theories on women in the workplace.   To be honest with you, I’m not sold on Sandberg yet.  But I’m wavering.  I do like this idea of leaning in, but it’s complicated, and when does Sandberg start talking about that?? (Disclaimer: I’m only on chapter 3).

Let’s start a comment thread to fuel the fire for our virtual chat here on Monday night at 8PM EST.  (Click on comments underneath the post’s title to see the thread and add comments).

Girl Power! (But what kind of power are we talking about?)

Here’s what’s running through my mind:

1) Sandberg claims that she does not advocate for all women having the same objectives, i.e. that it’s cool if some woman choose to go to work and that some women choose to stay home, saying “Some of the most important contributions to our world are made by caring for one person at a time.  We each have to chart our own unique course and define which goals fit our lives, values, and dreams.” (Sandberg 10).  However, she also claims that the only way for women to gain equal status with men is if women hold more positions of power.    She advocates for “ambition in any pursuit”.  Let’s keep it real Sheryl- those two ideas are dichotomous, and in my mind, they punch holes in your lean in theory. I question whether it’s possible for women to gain enough power in the world  to attain total equality with men given the biological drive women feel to stay home with their children, or spend time with their children.  The gap between men and women is the widest disparity in the world-it cuts through time, it cuts through culture.  Moreover, I question the idea and interpretation of “power” in our society, and wonder how attaining the power that Sandberg’s talking about will provide equality between men and women.

2) I love the connection between Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Sandberg’s Lean In: both profess how speaking up as a women in the workplace will laud you the title of “bitch” or that you are being “bossy”.  I work in a place full of women, and I still feel every time I speak up and am direct, people feel hurt or that I am being “bitchy”.  Sandberg says, “When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy. Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of the boss does not surprise or offend” (19). I wonder how many other women feel like when they take the lead, they are judged negatively? Moreover, how can we as women support one another in these scenarios as opposed to pull each other down through gossip, or the expectation that we should receive emotional vindication at every meeting in the workplace?

Comment at your own pace!

In solidarity, Kass

Addendum: Let’s take two weeks to read this book.  It’s loaded! Can’t wait to comment throughout the weekend and chat on Monday via

Double Addendum: This is a friendly chat designed to provoke our thoughts and to grow and learn from one another.  We might think differently, but that’s the awesome part.