This chapter explores white normativity in school policies that include calendars and schedules, and grade-level isolation in instruction. Narratives of values manifested in cultural practices include legacies of collegial discourse in urban school settings, and mainstream media’s role in the language and cultural acquisition of immigrant students and families. The teacher navigates gradations of racism and dehumanization in school, community, and family contexts, and opens conversations for locations of joy in school calendrical events. Responsive practices and curricula are engaged as decolonial approaches to sustaining pedagogies, and implicit bias is explored and described as a function of generational teacher demographics and local school policy. Expansive dimensions of cultural practices at significant holidays and points in the calendar are contrasted with invisibility and pathology in traditional urban school and classroom management policies. Development of cultural consciousness is illustrated at varying locations in the lifespan of urban teachers. Academic disciplines as motivation for teaching and learning are detailed in contrast with developmental approaches to student learning that hinge on classic tensions of extrinsic vs intrinsic student motivations, and positivist vs constructivist instructional philosophies.