“Teachin’ Ain’t Easy”

“Teachin’ Ain’t Easy”

By, Ascellia M. Arenas


Alabama State Grad, Brown, Is Being Body Shamed

It wasn’t even two months ago when the world was salivating over, “Mr. Steal Your Grandma”, Irvine Randle, a veteran educator from Texas. He was plenty sexy. Did his suit and tie make you feel uncomfortable or judgemental? Now we want to criticize and sexualize “Teacher Bae”, Patrice Brown? You see, Patrice Brown, is a young woman with shapely hips and ample breasts, long legs, and a very pretty face (that isn’t pancaked with excessive makeup). According to recent news, Ms. Brown has been reprimanded by the state of Georgia, for the use of social media, and dress code. In an interview on the Daily Dot, Brown shared her frustration about the situation and how she deserves to be acknowledged for her work as an educator. Brown says, “I just wish they would respect me and focus on the positive and what truly matters—which is educating the children of the future generations and providing and caring for them”. 


Brown is wearing boots and a dress with a hemline below her knees
The reality is that teachers are grossly underpaid, are given mandates and responsibilities that go above and beyond the expectation of many careers and professions that pay much better. This young lady is a college graduate and made the conscious choice and decision to be an educator. All the empty teacher positions in schools all across the US shows us that fact. For that reason alone Brown should be given accolades. 


Brown is shown here in a dress with long sleeves
 I did see some comparison photos of her dress (pink one) on “less shapely” models and it considered modest on them. After looking at other photos she posted, I really feel that she is being body shamed here. We can not continue to shame women about what they choose to wear. 

Brown compared to other women wearing the same dress. Photo from Hot 97 Instagram Account

While I agree, some things are obvious in regard to appropriate attire. We do have to encourage our young women to be professional and well dressed. Modesty is an important skill to develop and refine at any age. I really despise seeing bright, beautiful, vibrant young ladies dressed up like little old ladies. 


A young lady in her twenties does not look inappropriate in a form fitting dress with a sweater, cardigan, blazer, or scarf. She may consider “professionalizing” her look with tights/pantyhose and shoes that are conducive for a busy work day with 8/9 year olds. 
A reprimand isn’t really appropriate in this case. Had she been warned about her choice of clothing? If so, how often? Was there an opportunity to provide due process or for her to correct any legal matter she may or may not have violated? Now, can we also get a reprimand for teachers coming to work in stained and soiled clothing, tee shirts, jeans, (dirty) flip flops, hats, dirty/unkept hair, and body odor ? I think that it would be fair and unbiased to discuss attire and appropriate fashion for them too,  don’t you?

I say Ms. Brown has a few years before she starts wearing comfortable shoes and ugly sweaters. Leave #teacherbae alone! All of this attention may prematurely scoop her out of the classroom and into a career where she is better appreciated and paid for her talents. 


Celli Arenas

Mother, writer, teacher, and bonvivant. Follow me everywhere @Cellibration 

Summer Time Study Will Help Your Children Achieve 

By, Ascellia Arenas

Homework should still be going on regardless of the summer vacation from learning at school. A study conducted at the University of Ovideo, Spain revealed that  spending 90 or more minutes doing homework is less effective when compared to students who spend less time. 

According to the study, “Those who spent about 90 to 100 minutes a day on homework scored highest on the assessment—however, they didn’t outperform their peers who spent less time on homework by much. The researchers therefore determined that going from 70 minutes of homework a day to 90 minutes a day is not an efficient use of time. ‘That small gain requires two hours more homework per week, which is a large time investment for such small gains,’ they wrote. ‘For that reason, assigning more than 70 minutes homework per day does not seem very efficient, as the expectation of improved results is very low.’ “

As an educator, I personally recommend that independent, regulated, self study should be an ongoing daily practice to maximize learning benefits and to achieve learning gains especially over the summer months. 

Students are accustomed to spending 8 hours per day at school. Elementary school subjects are broken down into 30 minute intervals (ie. 30 minutes per subject Reading, Math, Science, Lanuage Arts, and History). The rest of the day is spent in specials (art, music, and PE) and then of course, lunch. Secondary students spend approximately 50 minutes per subject, per day. During the school year,  to spend over 100 minutes per night doing assignments seems excessive and does glean negative results. I have come to accept that 90% of my students opt out of doing homework because they have extra-curricular activities scheduled, they work, or they assist their working parents with the caregiving of younger siblings. The homework gets ignored. We are discussing summer time study habits here, though. Ignoring the books over the summer may cause your student to regress, this is especially true for students from low-income families.  Alicia Eames, author of, “Summer Reading and The Rich Poor Achievement Gap“, confirms the following:

“What we know is that any child who fails to read during the summer break will lose some reading proficiency. We also know that children from low-income families routinely lose two to three months of reading proficiency every summer while middle-class children gain about a month. This creates a three to four month gap every summer.”

The evidence supports that students who  spend time studying over the summer will improve their academic achievement. 

Easy Fix: 

Parents, visit a teacher supply store with a variety of published workbooks (Reading, Math, & Science), and purchase a few, preferably on grade level and/or rising grade level. It may help to have a teacher’s edition for you to use as a reference and to grade their work. If a student answers an assessment with 75-80% accuracy, they have achieved mastery. 

Daily practice with a review session immediately after they complete activities won’t take away from summer time fun. 
The summer time is also a great time to introduce novel study. Reward your child for completing each novel with a one-on-one discussion session over lemonade, pizza, or ice cream. In other words, make it something they appreciate and look forward to! Let them create a blog and keep an online journal of their summer reading experience. Who knows, they may discover a new passion, gain new perspective, or even develop an interest in becoming a novelist. The opportunities are endless. 

Let’s celebrate life-long learning, make it normal, fun, and a mandatory part of life in your home. As the familiar end of the year salutation is written in yearbooks and on their hand crafted tie dyed tees says, “HAGS” everybody!