Valencia De’La Clay. I teach. http://www.valenciadclay.com/
Valencia De’La Clay (@valencia_valencia) Recent Photos and Videos
7 weeks until Model Pathway Portfolio is due and then National Board is up right after that, so I’ll be remaining offline until then, and I hope these Gardenlocs last me til’ then, too.
I just don’t want y’all to think I abandoned you, you know I don’t post just anything on this page and editing my classroom videos takes sooooo much thought and drains me of all creative energy, especially after teaching my heart out all day!!! It takes an average of 2 hours to write meaningful captions and publish them. Crazy right?! Sooooo yea... I am confident in my work as a resourceful presence for my peers here on IG but refining and organizing my teaching strategies into clear artifacts that convey evidence of how I grow my students as independent learners is my biggest challenge. It’s not that it’s not happening, it’s the fact that it needs to be put on paper, scanned, uploaded, labeled, and reflected on. Writing that actually sounds exactly like what I do here on IG, right? Exactly. So I am taking time offline to get this done so I can make it legit baby! Neither of these portfolios is easy! I’ve been going for National Board for 3 years and I’ve been avoiding Model foreverrrrrr because it’s really intimidating and I admit, I am a recovering perfectionist, who is also afraid of rejection/failure. But I don’t need to be afraid, I got this. Just need to put my all into it. And any extra time that I’m not using to work on accomplishing these goals, I have been using for r e a d i n g!! (shout to my friends for being my accountability partners. finished 2 books and it’s only the 19th day of the year yaaaay!!!) last but not least, I will see you all very soon because I have events coming up!!! 2 with @teacherselfcareconference (Texas and Miami) and 2 with @commoncurriculum (MICA and Impact Hub) go to their pages for details! I love you all, thanks for your unwavering support and understanding and walking with me as I get this work done!!! If you’re afraid to pursue the next level in your craft, trust me, I get it but you really gotta remember the power of perspective: anxiety can be looked at as fear or excitement. Choose excitement and go all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!
150682251:05 AM Jan 20, 2019
i whispered my broken spanish to the fire tip chenille bouquet...they smiled at my growth, they know my past and how hard it once was for me. . .not talking about my childhood narrative. talking about the native tongue that never came naturally...but my days are mine now. winter sabbatical. i am well, in my right mind. just want some me time.
10679881:30 AM Jan 3, 2019
read this. bye.
6075991:18 AM Dec 21, 2018
Reading was a form of therapy I never knew existed because I was taught to read for a grade, not for gratification...
1790426811:54 PM Dec 19, 2018
When I was a little girl, my grandmother raised me. She used to begin cooking for the holidays at least a month in advance. We would smell collard greens and smoked neck-bones that we couldn’t wait to taste. I would taunt myself by sitting in the kitchen, helping her peel yams, just because I loved to listen to her stories. One that is still most significant today is about how she dropped out of school in the 8th grade to help take care of her brothers and sisters. Me becoming an 8th grade teacher has a lot to do with my grandmother’s story. When I look at my 8th grade girls, especially around holiday time, I try to give them exactly what she gave me: a sense of comfort that will bring them loving memories for the rest of their days. Who are your women? #IAMWOMEN@calvinklein@macys#ad
129672813:20 PM Dec 15, 2018
133281309:19 PM Dec 13, 2018
A wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim. —Maya Angelou
111572846:46 PM Dec 2, 2018
We talk about the children who are failing our classes a whole lot more than the children that WE FAIL by unjustly passing them. These videos show my sense of urgency at the start of the period vs. my celebration of their growth, perseverance, and critical thinking that took place after my rant about college retention rates. You’ll have to watch @kidswhoknoweverything to see the how well they led the class without me!!! I love letting them teach themselves. Even if they get it wrong, it’s a win because it will cause them to look to the teacher for help and finally, let the teacher teach! This was such a reminder of how we should spend less time building strong classroom management and more time building a class that feels like community—through shared leadership between the children and adults.
1798050312:38 AM Nov 30, 2018
Dear @jadapinkettsmith It wasn’t until dismissal when I got the news that you acknowledged and amplified the video of the girls in my homeroom combating colorism with love.
I tried to gather as many of my 8th grade girls as possible to tell them the news but I wasn’t even thinking about recording when I first told them. I screamed, “JADA PINKETT-SMITH acknowledged my work on instagram!!!” Their response? “Willow and Jaden Smith mom?!” Of all the titles you have, I am sure that is the one you are fondest of but I want to give you one more: my role model.
Your childhood story is very similar to my story and my roots are here in Baltimore. I remember when I watched the very first Red Table Talk back in 2012, where you told your mother, who was addicted to drugs (just like mine), “Resentment: I turn all of that into power.” A true alchemist, your transformed your trauma into your motivation. You taught me to stop being a victim—to be the visionary I was created to be.
And this may be unbelievable to those who don’t understand the power embedded in our voices but just this morning!!! it was literally 7AM, getting ready for work, I was having a random conversation, explaining why representation matters and referred to your image on screen, when I was growing up, as the representation of who I was and who I wanted to be. From the way you took the single rose from the bouquet in “Jason’s Lyric” to the graceful fierceness you conveyed on “A Different World.” Your roles were me, on TV. No other characters were like yours: raw, unfiltered, and highly-intelligent. It was rare to see diamonds in the rough like that in the 90s. You broke barriers for us. You gave us an image that we could aspire to be, without changing the essence of what makes us who we are. Thank you.
I consider it an honor to carry the torch you set in Baltimore. Many of my former students attend and have graduated from BSA, and I work at the Design School and MICA. My students and I will continue to carry your legacy as an artist and humanitarian. Thank you for your blessing.
154405181:03 AM Nov 28, 2018
I am STRUGGLING with teaching children who seem to have no motivation to learn. I used to yell and shame them for not paying attention until I read bell hooks’ “Salvation” and realized, shaming is an oppressive tool, often used to silence us, for just being us. That stopped a few years ago, and sometimes I probably come off too soft by asking them what they need, instead of asking them to get out of my classroom. But honestly, it’s not really their job to tell us what they need, it’s our job to figure it out with them, so that they can begin advocating for themselves. We cant always expect young people to know how to articulate their learning styles, that’s a level of self awareness we have to explicitly teach. But I feel exhausted with this because it’s like, “What am I not doing??” Tonight, I’ll spend time thinking of more ways to differentiate, accommodate, and recreate. I swear I want to walk away and just go study abroad on days like this but this is the work. How can I blame the children for being unmotivated when they see little to no value in education? This is a cultural epidemic and yes, I believe it is systemic. Some people march for justice, I teach. Teaching my kids to be docile is not my desire, teaching them to learn how to learn is my goal—because every one learns differently.
Maybe this is my karma. I was the kid who never did homework, sat in class daydreaming, stayed suspended for fighting, cursed my teachers out, and barely graduated. I could never blame my teachers for not understanding my culturally-influenced trauma but I also won’t be the type of teacher who sees my students on the exact same path, and does nothing.
18433102511:25 PM Nov 26, 2018
“How you spell homicide?”
96202032:16 AM Nov 14, 2018
Our Forever-First Lady @michelleobama sent me an advanced copy of her memoir (seriously, I am still screaming inside!!!). There are so many excerpts that I want to share, so many I want to question, and a couple that I want to challenge—which is why my @kidswhoknoweverything
will be engaging with it for our first Lit’ Talk! The topic: No One Else Can Define Who #IamBecoming