Badass Teachers teach, love and nurture children everyone has given up
on, in good times and bad, children with disabilities, children who have
been kicked out of their families, children who can't sit still,
children who have seen unimaginable horrors, children who are homeless,
children who are under constant stress, along with children who have
happy lives, and happy families. They teach and love them all, and
protect and defend them from physical threats and the threat of tests
and assessments which humiliate them and destroy their love of learning
Badass Teachers stayed in the nation's toughest neighborhoods when
everyone else left, amidst drug epidemics and drive by shootings,
factory closing and fires, turning schools and their classrooms into
refuges and place of hope, only to see themselves attacked for failing
to reduce the "achievevement gap" by people who were in fancy colleges
while they went to work every day , and then watching the same people
close the schools they had devoted their lives to making work.
Badass Teachers protect their students every day, even at the risk of
their own lives, and in Columbine and Newtown made the ultimate
sacrifice, drawing upon their deep sense of mission and a love supreme.
These heroic teacher stand as symbols of tens of thousands of teachers
throughout the nation who have disarmed students, broken up fights,
stopped gang wars from breaking our, put themselves in harms way in
riots and brawls. This is the Badass ethos. This is what is REALLY
means to put students first,
Mark Naison is a Professor of African-American Studies and History at Fordham University and Director of Fordham's Urban Studies Program. He is the author of three books and over 100 articles on African-American History, urban history, and the history of sports.
The Bronx African-American History Project, Dr Naison's most recent venture, was launched collaboratively with the Bronx Historical Society in the Fall of 2002 . Since that time, Dr Naison has conducted over one hundred and fifty interviews with African-American professionals, community activists, business leaders and musicians who grew up in Bronx between the 1930's and the 1980's. . Naison is currently working on two books related to the BAAHP, a collection of oral histories and a memoir written by Allen Jones entitled "The Rat That Got Away."
When not doing historical research, Naison likes to play tennis, golf and basketball, and make periodic forays into the media. He has appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, the Discovery Channel's Greatest American Competition (as Dr King's advocate), and on the Dave Chappell Show, where his "performance" has been preserved on that show's Second Year DVD.