Accountability · Blog

This Long Island Parent Asks, Is My Daughter’s School Preparing Her For College?

As the mother of a daughter who will be entering the 11th grade this fall in a Long Island, New York public high school, my summer months  have been consumed with thoughts about these final two years and if they will truly prepare her for the transition to college. While the testing has become more… Continue reading This Long Island Parent Asks, Is My Daughter’s School Preparing Her For College?

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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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Here’s How To Make Summer Reading Fun!

This summer I’ve been experiencing the perfect synergy of work (I’m teaching a middle school, small-group reading enrichment class), professional development (I’m completing the final two classes required to receive my New York State advanced certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, aka TESOL), and play (I’m in Manhattan just about every weekday… Continue reading Here’s How To Make Summer Reading Fun!

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Informal Mentoring: The Art of Giving Back

Most new teachers leave the profession within five years. I’ve been hearing this stat and others like it for what seems like forever. The next logical question for me is, “Why?” The answers is multi-tiered. At the core of this mass exodus are inadequate, irrelevant, and ineffective pre-service experiences, as well as a lack of… Continue reading Informal Mentoring: The Art of Giving Back

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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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15 Ways To Build Meaningful Relationships With Your Students

I just got a text message telling me that Patrick Ovide (pictured on the left), my student from eighth and ninth grade English class at Eagle Academy for Young Men of Southeast Queens, acknowledged me during his salutatorian graduation speech today as the teacher who instilled a love of reading in him and provided a… Continue reading 15 Ways To Build Meaningful Relationships With Your Students

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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)

Accountability · Blog

Summer, Summer, Summer School – Summer School!

Many people believe that summer school is a waste of time but I think summer school definitely has its place. However, even given the advancements that Chancellor Carmen Fariña has put into place,  there is much room for improvement. One way in which we must improve our system is by abolishing social promotion, which is… Continue reading Summer, Summer, Summer School – Summer School!

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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

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Day At The Museum? This Teacher Turns Boredom To Excitement

“Museums are boring!”  And, “at least we get to go to the park for lunch.” These are the refrains I have heard over the years from students before going on a field trip to a museum. While the middle school where I teach is in Manhattan and most of the students reside there, many have… Continue reading Day At The Museum? This Teacher Turns Boredom To Excitement