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Three Reasons Why Teachers Must Travel Over the Summer!

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!

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“Let’s Be Clear: Teachers DO NOT Have Summers Off!”

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!”

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Eid al-Fitr: A Case for Acknowledging Diversity (Or, Teacher, Teach Thyself)

(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)

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My Students Told Me That My Classroom “Lacked Soul.” Here’s What I Did

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