Marilyn Rhames

Guest Blogger

Alumni Support Manager, Chicago Charter School

Chicago, Illinois

Marilyn Anderson Rhames has taught in district and charter schools in Chicago since 2004. She now serves as alumni support manager at a K-8 charter school, helping graduates persist through high school and on to college and careers.

Rhames authors a popular self-titled blog for Education Post. Previously, she spent four years writing the Education Week Teacher blog, Charting My Own Course, for which she won the Bammy Awards’ 2013 Commentator/Blogger of the Year. That year, online readers also voted Rhames for the Educators’ Voice Award and she went on to give a TEDx talk titled Finding the Courage to Voice the Taboo. Since then, Rhames has been a regular guest on 90.1 FM Moody Radio Chicago to provide both human and spiritual perspectives on matters concerning public education.

A 2016 Surge Institute fellow, Rhames is dedicated to promoting more diverse education leadership to improve the education of students of color. She was also a Teach Plus teaching policy fellow in Chicago from 2010 to 2012.  In 2011, Rhames founded the Christian nonprofit Teachers Who Pray, which to date has more than 70 school chapters nationwide. She believes that tapping into the spiritual nature of teaching is a key, but often missing, component to providing the highest quality of education possible. Earlier this year, Rhames edited the picture book “The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills,” a slave narrative for middle-school students.

Prior to becoming a teacher, Rhames worked as a reporter for People and Time magazines, as well as New York Newsday and The Journal-News newspapers. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s in education from National Louis University. Rhames is married to a music producer and is the mother to three children: an aspiring pianist, violinist, and singer-babbler.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Sep. 1, 2017

Why I Support DACA as a Teacher, a Black Woman, a Christian and a Human Being

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” —Dr. Martin…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted June 19, 2017

The Genius in Every Black Family: Our ‘Hidden Figure’

I’m visiting my aunt and uncle in Los Angeles, and we decide to watch the movie “Hidden Figures,” about three…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted June 15, 2017

The Tragic Tension Between College and Career Readiness

What’s the right approach: Counsel all graduating seniors to go to college, including the students who can’t afford it or…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted June 12, 2017

Restorative Justice Practices in Schools Are Good for the Body, Mind and Soul

If you ever wanted a crash course on school-based restorative justice practices, then I urge you to watch this panel.…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted June 5, 2017

I Bet Kids Can Debate Education Reform Better Than We Do

I just completed my first season as a middle school debate team coach. Here are the basics: kids argue either…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted May 30, 2017

It’s Hard to Get a Teaching Job When You’re Black

Is it possible for a school to change the trajectory of low-income Black students’ lives while denying people who look…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted May 23, 2017

Founders, Eggs and Fists: How the NewSchools Summit Proved That the Fight Over Education Is Spiritual

When the NewSchools Summit in San Francisco ended last week, Black attendees were asking me what I would write about…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted May 15, 2017

Race, Reform and the Firestorm: Reflections on Our Progress a Year Later

One year ago, I excused myself from dinner with friends and returned to my hotel room to blog about my…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted May 13, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day: A Tribute to Black Moms Who Use Education as Their North Star

Whenever you see a low-income, single Black mother, I challenge you not to judge. I challenge you to see greatness…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Posted May 8, 2017

The Invisible Teacher: How the Secret Lives of Educators Can Impact Students

When you enter a school, it’s easy to notice the brightly colored bulletin boards and the roar of chatter spilling…

By Marilyn Rhames

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Featured Posts

Posted Sep. 21, 2017

Ninth-Grade GPAs Predict Kids’ Futures and Chicago is Raising Them

Today, the Consortium on Chicago School Research has issued a new report that reveals all the ways ninth-grade GPA can predict students’ futures. Key takeaways…

By Maureen Kelleher

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Posted Sep. 20, 2017

Coffee Break: Andrea Castañeda on How Tulsa Is Earning a Place on the Map

Andrea Castañeda recently joined Tulsa Public Schools as the district’s chief innovation officer, working alongside Chiefs for Change member Superintendent Deborah Gist. Castañeda brings with…

By Michael Vaughn

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Posted Sep. 19, 2017

7 Days Before Graduation My Student Disappeared, But That’s Not What Made Me Cry

I remember the first time I saw her walking down the school corridor like she owned the place. She did. She was known as the…

By Melissa Revuelta

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