“Our challenge is to see the seed or opportunity buried in the soil of conflict.” Dedicated to my heart, my nephew E. Henry Phoenix, Arizona is hot! Muy caliente! It’s so hot that afternoon school sports teams often practice in the evening, after the sun has set. Like many schools, the day begins by 8:00… Continue reading Conflict Resolution, Or, The Story of My Nephew Henry.
What could be more important than welcoming 1,300 high school students during the morning into your building as a principal? I mean, seriously. I do it. These students walk past my 5’2” petite frame (hence, I often wear heels making me a resounding 5’3” tall powerhouse) on their way to the cafeteria and subsequent classes.… Continue reading NYC Teacher: Principals, Get Out There and Lead!
An under-utilized resource exists in schools and, shamefully, it’s not valued. That’s a mistake and detrimental to effective teaching and learning. Trendsetters are hailed with blazoned empowerment in our schools. I’m changing that narrative and shifting the perspective.The high level of competency required to organize information and give others a chance to have access to… Continue reading Cease the Chatter and Recognize that School Librarians Matter!
It is completely disgusting to witness adults working with adolescents but have yet to learn their names. To not make an attempt to pronounce, remember, and then consistently use a teenager’s name invites a high level of disdain. I get really defensive. Adults serve as role models and beacons of social cues yet consistently waste… Continue reading Know Me By My Name, Or Else!
A lifter is one who elevates circumstances. A floater is one who easily navigates circumstances. You must decide to be a lifter or floater in education. One should not step into the “ring” of education, especially the New York City public school district as it is the largest in the nation, and not know your… Continue reading Six Lessons for Educators From the Mayweather vs. McGregor Fight
I applaud my fellow educational allies who have begun to assemble curriculum resources. I encourage you to follow #CharlotttesvilleCurriculum on social media as it can lead you to an array of resources and subsequently increase awareness of what schools are encouraging. The voices of classroom teachers are also amplified. At the same time, it’s essential… Continue reading “Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”: In the Wake of Charlottesville, a Teacher Contemplates Bias
I find tremendous meaning in traveling. When teachers are able to explore the world during the summer they create shared experiences with students, a “first-person” account of the curriculum, and a strengthening of school professional learning communities. I appreciate opportunities that take me out of my comfort zone. College studies abroad to Spain, science research… Continue reading Three Reasons Why Teachers Must Travel Over the Summer!
I’m a regular at George’s Restaurant in Pelham Bay, Bronx. My waiter knows I’m a teacher. “It’s almost time for your vacation. Do you have any plans?,” he asks. “Yes, study, travel, conference attendance, and time for reflection,” I replied. “You’re lucky, you have the summers off,” he confidently states. Responding more reactively than proactively,… Continue reading “Let’s Be Clear: Teachers DO NOT Have Summers Off!”
(Dedicated to Fosemi, Lassana, and Adam.) Suddenly I was the inconsiderate one. As teachers, we need to be the agents of change who recognize and act accordingly to our students’diverse perspectives and customs. Here I thought I was responding appropriately when I noticed that some of my highest-performing students were not eating, even when I pointed… Continue reading Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)
How a teacher who arrived a week before school began started making genuine connections with her kids. The office supply store Staples was my virtual shopping buddy during my first year of teaching. I had arrived in New York City in 2004, a week before the school year began, to teach 8th grade English Language… Continue reading My Students Told Me That My Classroom “Lacked Soul.” Here’s What I Did