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?
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!
Last week, New York City schools received two pieces of contradictory news, which made for an interesting contrast in how teachers are viewed. In the first, the Department of Education will now require principals to staff vacancies with teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve, also known as “the rubber room,” where pedagogues who have been… Continue reading Do Kids Care If Their Teachers Are Certified? Should Parents?
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!”
I’ve been blogging now for about 10 months and during that time, I’ve had the opportunity to converse with several people via their written comments about whatever it is I wrote that week. Often the comments are supportive and aligned with my position. There are times, however, when readers of my posts are adamantly opposed… Continue reading Being The Change I Wish To See In Education
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
How do I begin my quest to express just how amazing Lakisha Odlum truly is? Without a doubt, she is the most dedicated, knowledgeable, highly motivated and highly effective English teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. For four consecutive years I had the privilege of working alongside Lakisha Odlum as a member… Continue reading Shout Out to Pedagogical Powerhouse Lakisha Odlum!
I recently read an article by a young woman currently enrolled in The Beacon School, an elite public high school in New York City. This young woman, part of a coalition of teenagers and adults under the hashtag #teenstakecharge, is using her voice to demand a more equitable school experience in an otherwise highly-segregated public… Continue reading What Does an “A” Mean? A NYC Teacher Tackles Accountability
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
Today is the first day I intentionally took my students outside since the beginning of the year. (The last time we went outside we had just come back from a field trip so it was an afterthought.) Not only is it a nice day outside but it is one of my student’s birthday, and I… Continue reading My Students Took Me To School Today!