As I scroll through my social media news feed, I am so excited to see all the graduates. From Pre-K to eighth-grade, from high-school to college and beyond, each graduation is momentous and marks an educational milestone for not only the graduates and their loved ones, but for their teachers as well. Graduation season, for… Continue reading Graduation Season Is Upon Us
I was walking into work today and a colleague of mine began exchanging small talk. She knows that my husband John is incarcerated and was kind enough to ask me how he was doing. I told her that, all things considered, he’s doing really well and that I was excited to see and spend time… Continue reading Why Do Our Schools Look Like Prisons? What Is This Doing To Our Students?
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
Across schools throughout the City, bulletin boards proudly display colleges and universities that high school seniors will be attending in the fall. It is commonplace for teachers, students, and visitors to view these boards and comment on the fine schools into which students have been accepted. Recently, I was viewing one such board with a… Continue reading Why Do Community Colleges Have Such a Bad Rep?
Sean Davenport has a provocative piece in Chalkbeat about his journey from disaffected student to teacher at (now closed) Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. On his first day there in his 10th grade English and Speech class, he told the students to take turns reading aloud from a text. He recounts this exchange… Continue reading “He Couldn’t Read”: A Teacher Confronts Illiteracy
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!
There are certain cruel realities that are seen in schools everyday. Teachers see the multitude of barriers students face from bullying, to poverty, to learning difficulties. Schools offer various methods to help students cope with these issues, many of which are a part of policies like DASA (the Dignity for All Students Act) that offer… Continue reading NYC’s Plan “Isn’t Going to Cut it”: Striving toward Universal Literacy
My students and I just finished up our unit on project-based learning and I’m one happy teacher! Students who had previously “just gotten by” in terms of the quality of work they created were more invested in their projects. When I asked them why, they agreed that getting to choose the topic and the driving… Continue reading My Students Experience Project-Based Learning
A few days ago I was walking by a school and I heard what sounded like door alarms going off. Usually alarms indicate an alert to impending danger that creates a sense of urgency to protect oneself and others. In this case, however, everything (from the outside looking in) appeared to be business as usual.… Continue reading Remembering Avonte Oquendo
Last week I wrote that a major reason why there is a lack of Black and Brown male teachers in the classroom is because Black and Brown men have a higher rate of felony convictions. This precludes them from garnering the certifications required to become teachers in New York State and/or New York City. While… Continue reading The-School-To-Prison-Back-To-School-Pipeline