Newsletter #153: While We Sleep

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My whole life, I’ve been fascinated with sleep. How is it possible that we’re able to change consciousness within minutes (or if you’re advanced, within seconds) — and then to remain in that state for several hours? And what exactly is happening while we slumber? This week’s lead article explores the secrets of sleep and urges us to prioritize sleep for overall health.

Also check out great articles on how to deradicalize white supremacists, how the ACLU is changing its approach, and why school desegregation alone will not build a more equitable society. Read, enjoy, and leave a voice message with your thoughts! (Big thanks to loyal readers Lopez and Jamie!)

While We Sleep

For all you loungers out there, rest assured: Sleeping is popular again! That’s true even for ambitious, Type-A folks. The average American sleeps seven hours a night, two hours less than a century ago, and sleep deprivation correlates with diabetes, dementia, and heart disease. This article uncovers what happens while we sleep and encourages us not to curb our natural circadian rhythms. Bonus: Loyal reader Erin recommends Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker. I’m going to check it out! Not in this article: The power of micro naps, why I dream immediately after falling asleep, and why I have sleep paralysis. (19 min)

How to Reform a White Supremacist

I’m no longer as interested in stories of white men who become white supremacists (#81#117#119). Now I’m more interested in what to do about this repugnant problem. Reporter Wez Enzinna argues that denouncing white supremacists will not persuade them to change. Because most white supremacists have a history of isolation and abuse, they long to belong to a greater cause. Therefore, a successful deradicalization movement must offer empathy and a narrative of redemption — treating hate primarily as an addiction. (34 min)

The Twilight of Free Speech Liberalism

This excellent profile of the American Civil Liberties Union explains how the organization has shifted since the 2016 Election, modifying its stance on the First Amendment and investing more in grassroots advocacy. (Example: The ACLU will no longer defend the right of white supremacists to protest with guns.) Also please check out the ACLU’s new podcast, At Liberty, especially this outstanding episode featuring Patrisse Cullors (#143), cofounder of Black Lives Matter. (27 min)

The Limits of School Desegregation: The Goal Must Be to Redistribute Wealth

Loyal readers have challenged me on my unwavering belief in school desegregation (and my crush on Nikole Hannah-Jones) as the answer to inequitable educational outcomes. Isn’t there a better way? they ask. Besides, how can I advocate for integration when I’ve worked mostly in segregated schools? If you’re struggling with where you stand, this article offers a broader, nuanced case, from a socialist lens. (22 min)

With dedication and resolve, you’ve completed this week’s issue of The Highlighter! Tell me what you thought by using the thumbs below. Also, please welcome new subscribers Lisa and B! If you like the newsletter, please encourage a friend to subscribe. Or suggest an article! On the other hand, if you don’t look forward to receiving The Highlighter, please unsubscribe. I’ll see you back here next Thursday at 9:10 am. Have a great week!

Podcast #38: Anne and Mark Banter About Reading

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Last month, we did a deep dive on reading instruction. Now it’s time to reflect on what we learned and to share some of our highlights. It’s also time to realize that we’ve just scratched the surface on reading — and that the topic deserves another month of study!

Also in this episode: Anne shares her favorite article of the month from the newsletter, and Mark shares his favorite podcast episode selection from Anne-otations. We’re in a bantering mood, so please enjoy!

We’d also like to hear from you. Do you think podcasts in the classroom should be considered reading? Also, what do you do if you have a ton of content to cover but know that teaching reading is important, too? Call and leave a voicemail at (415) 886-7475. Don’t be shy!

Take a listen!

Do you like what you’re hearing? There’s more over at the Podcast page. Or better yet: Subscribe to The Highlighter Podcast on iTunes | Google | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast | RadioPublic | RSS

Newsletter #140: What Fullness Is

In January, Roxane Gay (#82#99) decided to get a sleeve gastrectomy, which greatly reduced the size of her stomach. “As a fat person,” Ms. Gay writes, “I am supposed to want to lose weight. I am supposed to be working on the problem of my body.” She told no one, not even her family, about the operation. Now she’s losing weight — but isn’t any happier. (21 min) (For more on weight and our sense of self, see #104#105#124

Newsletter #127: Within Reach

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In this week’s issue:

Within Reach, by Nicole Pasulka
Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories, by Christopher Payne
Bad Boys, by Tim Stelloh
Can You Arrest People Before They Commit Crimes? by Sam Dean
Anne-otations: As U.S. Retreats From World Stage, China Moves To Fill The Void, Fresh Air
The Highlighter Podcast #26: Alvin Chang, senior graphics reporter at Vox

Here’s The Highlighter #127. Like what you see? Subscribe!

Podcast #26

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Alvin Chang is senior graphics reporter at Vox and the author of the lead piece in The Highlighter #125, which focused on school resegregation. Mr. Chang creates explainers that include data, cartoons, and history. He believes that our society's most challenging problems emerge from the everyday decisions that we make.

On the show, Mr. Chang and I talk about how he got into data journalism, how he approached this piece, and what his response is to people who say that integration is not the right solution to our challenges in education.

Take a listen!

Do you like what you’re hearing? There’s more over at the Podcast page. Or better yet: Subscribe to The Highlighter Podcast on iTunes | Google | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast | RadioPublic | RSS

Podcast #25: Welcome to Anne-otations with Anne Nyffeler!

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Anne Nyffeler is a great teacher and instructional coach in San Francisco and is the editor of Anne-otations, The Highlighter's new feature! Each week, Anne will select one excellent podcast episode to share.

This week, it's "You Had Me at Black." We talk about microaggressions and how white teachers can lessen the violence that many students of color face in the classroom.

At the end of the show, Anne and I talk about Anne-otations and why we decided to launch the new feature. In particular, Anne encourages you to continue the conversation and to give her ideas about which podcasts she should spotlight. (Listen for her email address during the episode!)

Take a listen!

Do you like what you’re hearing? There’s more over at the Podcast page. Or better yet: Subscribe to The Highlighter Podcast on iTunes | Google | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast | RadioPublic | RSS

Podcast #24: Artist and Teacher Leader Omar Bryan

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Omar Bryan is a talented artist, art teacher, and school leader, and he’s our guest on this week’s episode of The Highlighter Podcast!

We talked about his childhood in Jamaica and Long Island, his passion for art, his transition to education, and his theory of action working with young people.

Later in the show, we chatted about this week’s lead article, “Millennials Are Screwed,” by Michael Hobbes. As a millennial himself, Omar had deep insights about the lot of his generation, plus some keen thoughts about the piece’s author.

Take a listen!

Do you like what you’re hearing? There’s more over at the Podcast page. Or better yet: Subscribe to The Highlighter Podcast on iTunes | Google | Pocket Casts | Stitcher | TuneIn | Overcast | RadioPublic | RSS

Newsletter #124: Millennials Are Screwed