Georgia’s only Milken winner this year: “I am my students.”

Milken Educator Shekema Silveri believes her classroom has to be healing place for her students. (AJC photo)

Milken Educator Shekema Silveri believes her classroom has to be healing place for her students. (AJC photo)

When Clayton County teacher Shekema Silveri won the Milken award last month, the most prestigious prize in education, another teacher commented to me, “That’s her ticket to a better job anywhere she wants.”

Silveri won’t be cashing in that ticket, saying she is where she was called to be — with students who thrive on her love and support.

“I want students who actually appreciate a teacher who loves them,” she says. “I would not be in my element in a school where students said, ‘I don’t need a teacher to love me because I have two parents and a nanny.’”

Silveri’s deep affection for her students at Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro takes many forms, from cautioning them at the start of the weekend, “Come back to me safely. I love you,” to daily texts to a teen whose mother died three years ago, “Good morning princess, God loves you, and so do I,” to shopping for groceries on Saturday for a needy student.

She gives her students her cell phone number for homework help at night and regularly engages in online writer’s conferences with them via Skype.

As winner of a $25,000 Milken Educator Award, Silveri, chair of her school’s language arts department, has now been recognized as one of the top teachers in the United States. She is married to fellow Clayton educator, William Silveri, who shares her belief that the job is a calling.

“I am my students,” she says. “I grew up in public housing after my grandmother died and I had to go back to live with my mother. I have been homeless with a 5-week-old baby. I knew that I wanted more than what I had seen in my life.”

The 35-year-old mother of four understands the appeal of more affluent schools in upscale suburbs. Silveri attended one of them under the minority to majority program, M-to-M, which allowed students from less-successful schools in south Fulton to attend higher performing ones in the north side of the county.

“I graduated Riverwood high school in Fulton County through the M-to-M program. I was getting on a bus at 6 a.m. just to get a good teacher. I promised then that if I ever had an opportunity to fix that, I would.”

Her first opportunity came through a free after-school tutorial program she began in Atlanta to work with girls ages 12 to 18, but she decided that she could accomplish more in a classroom fulltime.

In Silveri’s own life, two Riverwood teachers inspired her, Melissa Anderson and Connie Dyleski. “They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,’’ she says. The pair insisted she was college material and encouraged her to apply.

“My mother was on public assistance,” says Silveri. “I never even thought poor people could go to college.”

A top student in college and grad school, Silveri is a doctoral candidate at Georgia State University. At her high school, she has become a teacher leader, with colleagues from Clayton and the state observing her classes. She travels this week to St. Louis to help rewrite the National Assessment of Educational Progress 12th-grade writing standards.

In giving her the award, the Milken Foundation cited her accomplishments in the classroom, noting that  100 percent of her students passed the state End of Course Test for American Literature. This year Silveri is teaching only advanced placement classes where she uses technology on a regular basis. During a recent visit to her classes, students engaged in a discussion via Skype with Megan Felt of the Lowell Milken Center about its Unsung Heroes project, which Silveri’s students are doing, and watched a documentary about an environmental activist in Africa.

In one class, after listening to a director of an area nonprofit describe his agency’s mission, Silveri marched her 25 AP students outside where they huddled in groups to figure out ways they could help. (She may use some of her prize money, she says, for a gazebo on the green so students could sit and work.)

Her students leap up to volunteer information about why they love Silveri, lining up to laud her ability to take discussions to a higher level and to connect passages in books with real-life events and personal experiences. During class discussions, students openly relate literature to their own experiences being homeless or never seeing their father.

“I tell students there will be tears. But this class is a healing place, a therapeutic place. It has to be,” she says. “The hardest part about my job is that I never get a moment alone. Even at lunch, kids come to sit and talk with me.”

So where is her therapeutic retreat?

“My place is in my van in my driveway,” she says. “I go sit in my driveway and crank up the music. But it has to be gospel.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

65 comments Add your comment

Erica Long

November 12th, 2011
7:42 am

This article brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations to Mrs. Silveri on the much-deserved honor. As a student in APS, I was blessed with many teachers with this same sense of calling. We should all do whatever we can to ensure that each of our children gets a teacher like Mrs. Silveri at least once in their academic careers. She doesn’t have to be the exception.

Kira Willis

November 12th, 2011
8:11 am

Congratulations to a woman who is living the American Dream. It is alive and well; it’s just a little downtrodden and beat up. Silver’s accomplishments helped it stand up a little more straight.

Kira Willis

November 12th, 2011
8:11 am

Silveri…I apologize.


November 12th, 2011
8:24 am

I love Shekema Silveri. She exemplifies everything humanity should be. What she brings to the world, her home and her classroom is what children need to see and feel from others in order to grow into compassionate, caring human beings. The world needs more selfless people like Shekema Silveri to show the youth of America what is important in life.

So if nothing else, perhaps we can all take something away for her skillset to incorporate into ours and help children thrive in this world. It’s a message worth repeating day after day.

I love the fact that she finds time in her classes to express the message of love and healing. I don’t think it is part of the STANDARDS but it certinaly should be reinforced in every classroom every day.

I would also like to thank Shekema Silveris parents, grandparents, family members, teachers or anyone else who contributed to the proper raising of such a wonderful, caring person!

What a nice way to start the weekend!


November 12th, 2011
8:38 am

Not having been one, I would have to just guess that almost all first-year teachers would want to end up being like Ms Silveri – on top of the challenge, trhiving from that, and their students thriving too. So, not meaning to make hay from this story – because I really do think Ms. Silveri is a very special person – we should ponder what is it in our school systems that is *preventing* first-year teachers from becoming more successful than even they know they can be?


November 12th, 2011
8:45 am

It has been many years since I was in school but I still remember most of my teachers. From the first grade thru the twelfth, I never had a teacher like Ms. Silveri. More often than not, I was in a hostile classroom with toxic teachers. I’m guessing that today, as then, teachers like her are as rare as henteeth.

You know who

November 12th, 2011
9:05 am

What a wonderful teacher. There are plenty of us out here just like her. So sad that only those with friends in administration get recognized, though.


November 12th, 2011
9:41 am

My system would go nuts if teachers text students, see students outside of class, etc. We have to go through training every year that forbids that kind of contact.

40 yr educator

November 12th, 2011
10:11 am

Congratulations! Your comments regarding living in public housing validates what I and other educators believe, “you live in public housing, but publice housing does not live in you.”


November 12th, 2011
10:17 am

@catlady. I was thinking the same thing. There is no way I would give a student my phone number.

However, I would like to congratulate her on her award. It seems well deserved.


November 12th, 2011
10:20 am

@40 yr educator. Yes, yes, yes! But in my system we are currently going through Ruby Payne poverty training in which we are being told exactly the opposite.


November 12th, 2011
10:25 am

A wonderful tribute. She is different from most first year teachers in a couple of ways — one — she was top of her class, most teacher candidates come from the bottom third of their class. Two – she is truly dedicated to her calling. Teaching is not just a job to her and she is willing to endure mandates from school boards and legislators that may have little to do with quality in the classroom.

Education Insider

November 12th, 2011
10:25 am

Thank you for confirming our belief that teaching is a calling, not just a career. All of the professional development in the world is not going to make a great or even good teacher out of someone who is there primarily because she gets summers off.

It good to know about how school districts really feel about informing and encouraging both parents and students.

Congrats on being inspired and being inspiring!

Raquel Morris

November 12th, 2011
10:52 am

I wondered how long we could go before the posts turned negative. Instead of highlighting why you can’t adopt some of Mrs. Silveri’s methods, why not focus on what you CAN do? If you’re so burnt out that you can’t see the good in this master teacher, do yourselves, our children and the greater society and big favor and just leave. You whiny overgrown children give the committed, professional educators a bad name.


November 12th, 2011
10:53 am

What a wonderful story! Congratulations to a very deserving educator!

Sadly, this is the type of teacher many of us USED to be until politics, media, and a lack of funding funding tranformed us into the frustrated teachers we are… looking for a way out. (It’s hard to get beaten down and bashed constantly for years before you no longer “strive to teach” but yet “teach to survive”.)

William Casey

November 12th, 2011
11:21 am

I always distributed to students my home phone # on my syllabus. Not sure I would now. Yays for Ms. Silveri.


November 12th, 2011
12:14 pm

I’m excited to read about Mrs. Silveri. While I believe teaching is a calling, some of the best teachers I had were effective during the regular school day and were not trying to be “super human” by working 24/7. It is fine and appropriate to be “called” to a vocation and still look forward to some well-deserved time off in the summer, after teaching/supervising/counseling so many kids the other 10 months.

Excellent Educator

November 12th, 2011
12:54 pm

Mrs. Silveri is an excellent educator,but I don’t think she needed
to make the comment about the two parents in the suburbs with
the nanny. Any student,regardless of class,or financial standing,
is subject to experiencing problems-the societal problems of
abuse,neglect,addiction, etc. affect every demographic in our
country. I congratulate Mrs. Silveri for making a difference in
the lives of her students.


November 12th, 2011
1:02 pm

Raquel, how do you know that folks don’t do that? My post was to highlight the discrepency between what teachers want to do–forage a relationship with our students, act as mentors and cheerleaders–with what we are told we are allowed to do. I am surprised that Ms. S is allowed to text kids, tell them she loves them, etc., as it sets up her and her system for liability in harassment charges.

It is a sad and sorry day that teachers cannot do such, as we may be the most positive, encouraging folks some of our kids encounter. Many, many teachers are hogtied now.

Ms. Silveri’s story seems to validate the findings of the book, “How the Poor Get to College,” which highlights how some of the most unlikely students go to college as the result of some adult in their world saying to them, “You can do this. You belong in college.”


November 12th, 2011
1:29 pm

There is another version of this story that points out more pointedly that Ms.Silveri is not a classically trained teacher. She came into teaching JUST SIX YEARS AGO from running a nonprofit. And notice that while she herself was a student, she had to ride a bus ON A SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAM ‘just to get a good teacher.”

Anybody still want to dispute the value of charter schools, which will provide that parental choice better and more geographically than a limited M-M program? Or the value of teachers who don’t have a traditional education background?

Beverly Fraud

November 12th, 2011
1:47 pm

“Teaching is not just a job to her and she is willing to endure mandates from school boards and legislators that may have little to do with quality in the classroom.”

But should she have to? How many QUALITY teachers are the public schools losing because they simply are sick and tired of “enduring mandates” that not only fail to help, but actually HAMPER good teachers?

As much as we celebrate her success, we need to address what our SYSTEMS can do to help re-create it. If it’s recruit brighter candidates from outside the colleges of education, let’s have that discussion even if it offends some in teaching to do so.

But let’s also have the discussion of how to RETAIN those bright people, other than demand they put up with complete, total nonsense because they should feel a “calling”.

Ed Johnson

November 12th, 2011
2:59 pm

“I am my students.”

Wow. What a wonderful credo! (Excuse me a moment while I grab a tissue. … Ok, eyes dry, now.)

Silveri’s credo is also a great example of intrinsic, self-imposed “accountability” (to use that awful word) that can only emerge from ones innate humanness, which requires freedom, cooperation, and ethical and moral leadership.

Silveri’s credo is 180 degrees to extrinsic, outside-imposed “accountability” – to wit, “teachers must be held accountable” vis-à-vis APS’ selling of teachers and children to Obama’s Race to the Top Competition, for $10M per year for four years, along with Gates’ “Effective Teacher in Every Classroom” (ETEC) and “Teacher Effectiveness Dashboard” (TED), for $3.3M per year for three years, for committing to manage teachers as “human capital.”

From APS’ web site: “Education Resource Strategies (ERS) along with APS is developing a human capital management tool, called Teacher Effectiveness Dashboard (TED). … Human capital management is defined as the strategic and coherent approach to the management of an organization’s most valued assets – the people.”

Just think of it, the mostly “African American” APS school board members and top administrators value teachers and, by extension, mostly “African American” children in the economic property ownership term “human capital.” One would think a people who once were managed as human capital would be among the first to reject such economics rather than be among the very first to embrace it. Now, what is that they are saying about Brown v. BOE?

Maureen Downey

November 12th, 2011
3:17 pm

@charter, Space did not allow it as this piece is also running in the print AJC and it was already too long, but Ms. Silveri said she would be interested in the future starting her own charter school with a focus on service.


November 12th, 2011
3:42 pm

“I am my students.”

Hopefully just not the one recently beaten to a pulp then mocked in facebook by Atlanta’s finest students.

Beverly Fraud

November 12th, 2011
3:50 pm

Ed one might think you were implying that Beverly Hall didn’t have the best interests of the students of APS in mind.

But she won awards Ed. MAJOR awards.


November 12th, 2011
3:55 pm

I have worked with many teachers over the years that remind me of this teacher. My own children tell me they still hear teachers telling them something that sticks in their brain. There are many ..or were many outstanding teachers just like Mrs. Silvera in school systems all over the country. Some get recognized, but many do not, except by the student who invites them to a college or medical school graduation, or by a man who tells them they were the first male in their family to graduate from high school. And there are many ways to tell kids you love them…without saying it. Sometimes it is just by being consistant and maintaining high expectations or by being avaliable at luch for the extra help. Contratulations to this outstanding teacher and all the unsung ones in GA.

Good Mother

November 12th, 2011
4:08 pm

I really enjoyed this story about a child from poverty making a good life for herself and making a good life for others in need as she was. Against the odds she made it and she makes a difference where others say it is impossible to do.

She is living proof that students born into poverty and dire circumstances WANTED to learn. So often we hear that impoverished students are all terribly behaved and don’t want to learn.

She is also proof that moving students from bad schools to good ones “on the north side” worked for her. So often we hear that it doesn’t matter where students go to school or that students from bad chools donn’t do any better when moved to a better school.

There is so much to admire abuot this teacher and about this story ..but it did bother me more than a little that she said ““I would not be in my element in a school where students said, ‘I don’t need a teacher to love me because I have two parents and a nanny.’”

I don’t know any kids who are affluent who think it is unimportant whether or not their teachers love them. My kids have two parents and we have a nanny — we’re certainly not rich — we have to sacrifice greatly to afford someone to pick the kids up from school and give them a nap before homework — and my kids are greatly affected by their teachers. I vividly remember all my elementary school teachers, including my kindergarten teacher. I remember most of my middle school and high school teachers and my college professors just vaguely.

Teachers make a huge impact on our lives. A cross word or a kind word stays with us sometimes forever. It is unfortunate this teacher chose to put affluent kids in a bad light as if they don’t need love and kindess from their teachers.

We all need love and kindness, particularly when we are at such a vulnerable age. This teacher would be better served if she chose to remember the kindness and caring and yes, love, from those teachers on the North side…we all need love, and we can all give love, regardless of our race or affluence.


November 12th, 2011
5:36 pm

I don’t think the nanny comment was meant to offend, so please attempt to look beyond it. I think her point was that in those nanny situations, the child had 3 adults “in their corner with their best interests at heart.” Conversely, the students she teaches would be lucky to have one invested adult, if any That was her reality, and I think she wants to give her students a more leveled playing field where they have at least one more adult with a positive influence encouraging them.

Mrs. Silveri, kudos to you for giving back to the kids who are often overlooked and written off. May God bless you, your family and your students!

@good mother

November 12th, 2011
5:39 pm

I agree with your post totally. Movies and the media in general always play up a teacher being the savior of the less affluent kids. ALL kids need a teacher who will bring out their best and nurture their love of learning.

I Gotta Say It

November 12th, 2011
5:46 pm

@ Good Mother. Funny. I vividly remember a post you wrote a few months ago about how you had an hour long commute home from work after picking up your 2 little children, where you would teach them their numbers and colors as you drove. Now you have a nanny who does that? Better keep your stories straight. They’re all immortalized on Maureen’s “Old Posts.”

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 12th, 2011
6:24 pm

Well done Mrs.Silveri!!! Pay no attention to the nay- sayers AND spinsters who are in this job just for a check and time off. The dustbin of teaching history awaits them.

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 12th, 2011
6:28 pm

@ I Gotta Say It


Cougar lady has also contradicted herself. These bootyclowns must not realize how easy it is to pull up old posts.


November 12th, 2011
7:04 pm

“I would not be in my element in a school where students said, ‘I don’t need a teacher to love me because I have two parents and a nanny.’”

So Ms. Silveri is a loving, giving person who thrives in an environment where students are dependent on her…

I mean, God bless her, but is this really our ideal model for public education? Ideally, how could you NOT want to see strong, independent, healthy, lovingly raised children walk through your door? I get it, but I don’t.

She is surely an accomplished teacher, and a very honest person.

To Gotta Say it and "Dr." Proud

November 12th, 2011
7:06 pm

There is no conflict in my earlier posts. I have a two day a week nanny, sometimes three. The challenges are still the same.

What is unfortunate is that this teacher chose to criticize the very community that made it possible for her to succeed. She should have instead expressed her thanks to the community for their encouragement and for making it possible for her to become the wonderful teacher she is today.

What is also unfortunate is “dr” Proud’s language — cougar? Bootyclown?

“Dr.” Proud, it is very telling that you have sexualized your post, particularly is such a vulgar manner.

Your language, if you can call it that, is disgusting.

Surely, if you had really earned the right to call yourself a doctor, you would have a better vocabulary at your disposal to express your ideas instead of projecting yourself with such gutter language.

I think the real “gotcha” is that you are not a doctor, just touting yourself as one when you haven’t earned the education or diploma and the right to call yourself doctor.


I Gotta Say It

November 12th, 2011
7:19 pm

@ Good Mother, 7:06 pm. You are the ultimate hypocrite, stating, “Dr. Proud, it is very telling that you have sexualized your post, particularly is such a vulgar manner. Your language, if you can call it that, is disgusting.”

I hope that Dr. Proud Black Man, and other readers here, read what Good Mother wrote on the earlier blog, “Yale QB from Atlanta,” in “her” 4:34 pm and 4:37 pm posts today, graphically describing in detail the anal rape of the young boy by the Penn State Coach. The language is certainly more disgusting, and goes on at greater length, than anything Dr. Proud Black Man wrote.

And I am quite sure now that “Good Mother” is a man, for women, especially mothers, do not dwell on the anal rape of young boys.

To Gotta Say it from Good Mother

November 12th, 2011
7:25 pm

Is is also very telling that you cannot differentiate between the description of the effects of rape and words like “cougar” and “bootyclown.”

You lack discretion, class and most importantly, an education.

Post what you want, you are only showing your ignorance and I won’t bother to argue with an idiot any longer. Yawn..

I Gotta Say It

November 12th, 2011
7:53 pm

@ Good Mother. Words like “cougar” and “bootytown” are not remotely on the same level as what you wrote on the blog topic about a young football player having to choose between playing a key game and being interviewed for a Rhodes scholarship:

“Now we all see where football worship gets us — it gets us a society that cares more about a football game than the life of a little innocent boy being brutally raped in the anus. So painful. Those tiny anuses rip and tear and intestines are ripped and torn out when they are raped. It is extremely painful.”

That is weird, and obsessed by this crime to the boy.

“Yawn,” indeed.

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 12th, 2011
8:02 pm

@ good mofo

A disclaimer:

Why do you thing I give two fecal(s) what you think? Pay your nanny’s tax before you get yourself into trouble. You and your ilk are about the most hypocritical, self righteous, holier then thou booty clowns that I have ever had the displeasure of talking to. Oh and in case you are too dense substitute the three letter word for booty…Verstehen?

Say What, Good Mother?!

November 12th, 2011
8:10 pm

Good Mother has a nanny, say it isn’t so! Wow, considering all the stories she/he tells validating herself/himself as a good mother! Good mother is not so good after all! What happened to all the stories of her /his time, juggling a job and kids? Oh! Let’s not forget about her/his sacrifices for the kids and teacher. Good mother gives the responsibility of parenting to someone else. Gasp!

Thank you

November 12th, 2011
9:28 pm

Thank you, Ms. Silveri for loving and caring for children. I am very sorry the blog following your inspirational story has ended up in the gutter. I wish we had more teachers like you. God bless you.

Truth in Moderation

November 13th, 2011
12:07 am

Horrors! She sounds like a Christian.

“Silveri’s deep affection for her students at Mount Zion High School in Jonesboro takes many forms, from cautioning them at the start of the weekend, “Come back to me safely. I love you,” to daily texts to a teen whose mother died three years ago, “Good morning princess, GOD loves you, and so do I,” to shopping for groceries on Saturday for a needy student.”

“I go sit in my driveway and crank up the music. But it has to be GOSPEL.”

Maybe that is the difference. God power.

In Duluth, there is an eighteen year old young man who turned from a life of dissipation to JESUS. He started a Bible study in his basement with five other teens. He now leads a Bible study and Praise and Worship every Friday night in space donated by a church. HUNDREDS of teens attend to hear the GOOD NEWS. Their lives are CHANGED. Adults are coming too. REVIVAL IS IN THE AIR! Will you be a part of it?


November 13th, 2011
7:17 am

Here is some TRUTH

I know many people who claim the title CHRISTIAN, but I know of only a handful who do what this woman does. Very refreshing to see someone who’s acts mirror their beliefs.

I can take you to bible studies and revivals that are made up of some of the most cruel, greedy, selfish, self righteous people that walk the earth. So to answer your question, aahhh,,, NO. Talk is no more than that. Just talk! It’s the actions that truely speak to me!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Grass is Greener

November 13th, 2011
8:49 am

It is a myth that Silveri, as a student, had to leave Minority (black) school to Majority (white) school to find the “proverbial” good teacher! It is this type of non-sense that feeds stupidity.

Silveri had to leave Minority (black) school to Majority (white) school to find “already” motivated students with goals same as hers. Had her newly found “good teachers” sent to her formerly bad schools, they would have been involved in disciline and not education!

Grass is Greener

November 13th, 2011
9:14 am

“Silveri won’t be cashing in that ticket, saying she is where she was called to be — with students who thrive on her love and support.”

You want to bet? Here is the first step:

” She travels this week to St. Louis to help rewrite the National Assessment of Educational Progress 12th-grade writing standards.”


November 13th, 2011
9:27 am

Even the good Riverwood High School teachers could not help that problem: “I have been homeless with a 5-week-old baby.’

We love myths, don’t we? Check out the Herman Cain myth….

Maureen Downey

November 13th, 2011
9:33 am

@hcain, But Ms. Silveri was not a high school student with a baby; she was a young adult. (She and her first husband had four children, but she is now remarried to a fellow educator.

Maureen Downey

November 13th, 2011
9:35 am

@Grass, She is working on a doctorate and wants to eventually train teachers. I think it would be great for her to stay in the classroom, but also believe that talented teachers, like talented doctors, should be sharing their strategies and experiences with the next generation of practitioners.


November 13th, 2011
9:42 am

To whatever color the grass is,


I wonder how Mrs. Silveri manages to teach anything with a school population that consists of Majority {black} students. Out of the 1540 students that attended Mt. Zion High last year only 4% of the student population were Minority {white}.

So the question is, does she do nothing more than administer discipline? Is she simply a myth? Is it all simply a lie? Or does it have more to do with teachers wanting to do no more than their contracts state? I think she makes the majority of teachers simply look bad as she provides her students support that a contract could never begin to describe. And the argument starts right there. You see, thinking the grass is greener dosen’t always mean when you arrive on the other side of the fence it becomes fact. Many times it’s all in your head!

Maureen Downey

November 13th, 2011
10:01 am

@slob, Ms. Silveri and I talked about the issue of whether we can expect teachers to put in the amount of time that she does. (I attended her classes on a Friday. By the way, her students come to her class ready to work; they are also at ease with a constant dream of observers, including other teachers. Ms. Silveri teaches AP students, so they are bright and driven, but I was impressed with their immediate level of focus. There are no lost moments in her classes.)
In the first class that I observed, a guest speaker had just finished telling her class about his nonprofit. The students had assembled into small groups and created game plans on how they could help the nonprofit. Ms. Silveri told the nonprofit director that she would take all the plans and send him a plan of action for what her class would do for him by Saturday morning. “Yes, I work on Saturdays,” she explained. And she made other references to weekend activities she would do for her classes.

Her response to my question on whether we can or should expect that level of dedication, which includes giving students her cell phone number for evening homework help and conferencing with kids after hours via Skype on writing projects:

“I don’t mean say to say that I am more dedicated than other teachers. For me, it is a little more than a career. It is a calling. So, just like other professionals work at their jobs on weekends, so do I. I don’t think people who make it to the top worry that ‘I put in too many hours already so I will stop.”’



November 13th, 2011
11:01 am


I find the contract for teachers minimal at best. Educators continue to argue that they do not have a union here in Georgia. They are correct. What they do have is state representatives that have gone to the well for them time & time again to increase any financial benefit they possibly can. When it is all said and done with sick days and personal days along with the 190 day “CONTRACT”, teachers work @ 35 weeks a year. They receive an average salary that is above the average household yearly income for the state of Georgia. So perhaps the public should expect more from teachers.

Our sons school principal asked the teachers to show up 1/2 hour early for the first week of school this year. You could hear the teachers moans & groans all the way down the street. If you request a conference with a teacher it is always during the school day. The contract reads 7:30 to 3:30. This includes a duty free lunch and free reccess duty every other day along with one period of specials every day. The parking lot is empty at 3:30 every day with exception to the principal and teachers who sign up for the extra money after school care brings is.

I think Ms. Silveri is more dedicated than most. It would be refreshing to see other educators take this view of their job.

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 13th, 2011
11:26 am

@ slob

No one likes to be patronized. You have used your spawn’s school and held it up to equal ALL schools. And about the contract; feel free to contact your representative and let me know how that goes…


November 13th, 2011
12:44 pm

Hey doc

I’m not holding up anything. I call it like I see it here in mighty whitey world. And I have discussed the contract with Brooks Coleman among others. Mr. Coleman claims teachers are overworked and under compensated. But that is coming from a retired teached/administrator who also has a daughter in the business. Things that make you go HHMMM?

I think this mornings article titled “If parents set real limits, students will succeed” has a very good point. If teachers will also contribute to the solution making certain students don’t leave school each day unless they have a command of the days lesson, we together may have stumbled on the solution to this problem. I think this will correct bad behavior as teachers will no longer tollerate such behavior in schools. Not when it affects what time they are allowed to walk out the door each school day. And if your students don’t pass the CRCT, teachers will be mandated to teach during the summer until students have a command of the material taught during the year. And none of this every student has an A for a grade. They all already have that. They just seem to be having a hard time scoring at or above a MEETS SCORE on the CRCT. Kind of takes something away from all those wonderful A’s.

All in favor say “AYE.”

Everyone else continue to say Iphone. Perhaps they now have an app for that!

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 13th, 2011
2:35 pm

Truth in Moderation

November 13th, 2011
4:16 pm

“I know many people who claim the title CHRISTIAN, but I know of only a handful who do what this woman does. Very refreshing to see someone who’s acts mirror their beliefs.”

How right you are! You should read the Book of James. Now, do you consider yourself one of these people? Do your actions reflect your words?


November 13th, 2011
4:42 pm

Not taking anything away from her achievements, but there ARE many teachers in Clayton and all around GA with the same level of dedication. Just curious, was her Friday class was aligned with the almighty standards? Was her essential question posted and addressed? My big question is how does she get to go to St. Louis give Ed Heatley’s punitive teacher attendance policy?


November 13th, 2011
4:43 pm

“give” should be “given”


November 13th, 2011
6:53 pm

Truth in whatever moderation is,

I have no imaginary friends in the sky. That said, I also do not object to my children hearing the word GOD daily in class. Our forefathers were very aware that the word GOD was a term that covered many beliefs and religions. The term God wasn’t what caused them to leave Europe. The Jesus Christ seems to have been the culprit. That is the imaginary fellow that seems to have caused them all their pain and suffering. Please note. Our money dosen’t say in Jesus Christ We Trust.There is a reason for that.

As for what I/we give and contribute to the local needs, I contribute as much as I/we can afford. Time included. The we is our family if you are confused by the term. It may be less than others contribute and in some cases it may be more. Our giving has nothing to do with standards. Simply needs. You see, there is no REVIVAL TENT in our yard. So much for Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.

To doc proud BM, perhaps you should have said NAY in your earlier post. Even the goat next door found it to be inappropriate! TTTHHHHAAATTT WWWAAASSS BBBAAAADDD

Student Advocate

November 13th, 2011
8:52 pm

Congratulations, Ms. Silveri – what an inspiration!

Truth in Moderation

November 13th, 2011
9:33 pm

@Slob. You seem to have misunderstood my question. First, what are your beliefs? Second, do your actions mirror them?

A simple, yes, no, or sometimes, would suffice.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

November 14th, 2011
6:42 am

“Milken Educator Shekema Silveri believes her classroom has to be healing place for her students.”

Oh brother. A “healing place?” Really? So 90’s, might as well have Jesse or Useless Lowery standing in regurgitating some additional nothingness.

All flash no substance.


November 14th, 2011
8:27 am

Truth in Moderation-Says you?

Are you really that important that you think you can tell people how to respond and what to say? Now that is a typical modern day teacher mentality. And your first response was priceless. Read this and then tell me if you are one of these people? Please get some help. They have medication today to help with these overwhelming feelings of self importance. Keep working on trying to get your dog to sit on command. One step at a time. Good luck!

If the english language isn’t your strong suit please advise and I will see if I can find someone to translate my last post to your native tounge. Perhaps that will help you to find the answers you so desperately seek. Now go child! And may God be with you!

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2011
8:50 am

@Dr. No,
In a perfect world, you would be correct. But it isn’t, and it is rapidly getting worse. Severely dysfunctional homes are becoming the norm. It is undeniable that children who are victims of violence or sexual perversions, will bring their cares with them to school. They don’t have a normal healthy emotional support system at home. Their parents aren’t parents, but in some cases, are criminals to be feared. This teacher recognizes this status of many of her students and tries, in the power of her faith, to overcome this evil. It would seem that she is having success, AND THIS IS A GOOD THING! There is a lady at my church who is a Foster Parent. She is very kind and loving to them and brings them to church, so they can have the hope of Christ in their heart and emotional healing. Her current foster child is a beautiful 10 year old girl. My friend told me that all six children in the family had been abused by the father. This young girl, now separated from her family, will be put up for adoption. Even with this heart breaking background, surrounded by a loving church family and the redemptive love of Christ, she is starting to smile again and trust again.

Truth in Moderation

November 14th, 2011
11:04 am

When adults quit “aiding and abetting” criminal activity, perhaps things will get better for children.

Dr. Proud Black Man

November 14th, 2011
3:38 pm

@ Truth in Moderation


Between the Penn State NAMBLA Lions and Herman ” where de white women at!” Cain, there are very few adult role models…smh.


November 15th, 2011
8:48 am

Hey I’m a local college student doing a research project on perceptions of Atlanta transportation. Please take a few moments to fill out my short survey.