Filed under write

How to Teach the N-word

How to Teach the N-word

The longer I live, the more questions I have and the more I want to understand race in this country of ours. I have always thought about race relations a great deal, but once I started teaching in Brooklyn issues of race became my daily lived experience. I spent 11 years as the only White … Continue reading

Gift from Trayvon

Gift from Trayvon

Trayvon Martin (Feb. 5, 1995 – Feb. 26, 2012) should have celebrated his 19th birthday today. Two years after his death, I find myself still thinking of him. I think about who he might be now (who was I at 19?), I think about his parents’ battle for justice, I think about the stupid insanity … Continue reading

The Importance of Pause & Self-Reflection

The Importance of Pause & Self-Reflection

Part of our first year experience curriculum includes self-reflection essays. During these essays, students are meant to pause–think–and write about what has happened to them as learners in the past 6 weeks, 12 weeks, etc. These are my FAVORITE essays to read because I learn a lot about how they see themselves, my class, our … Continue reading

What Our Students Tell Us

In trolling around Facebook tonight as I procrastinated the always agonizing act of making my kids’ lunches (Why is it so mind-numbingly annoying? It’s just lunch!), a friend of mine posted a great poem that kinda rocked my world. I must give background about this friend/acquaintance/neighbor: She teaches at Stuyvesant High School (Stuy), one of … Continue reading

Peer Review Lessons from 1st Grade

Peer Review Lessons from 1st Grade

My daughter Alexandra is rocking it in 1st grade. Seriously. Unlike last year when she cried every morning of kindergarten for six weeks, she hit the ground running this year and has been happy since day one. It has been an enormous relief. Although school started only six weeks ago, we have already had two … Continue reading

Banana Bread! (brings us together)

Banana Bread! (brings us together)

This week has been HEAVY, yes? I have felt weighed down. Last night, regardless of the 90+ degree heat, I decided to make some banana bread. We had three, big rotting bananas and I am trying not to waste food, so I borrowed a cup of sugar from my lovely neighbor Jess and turned the … Continue reading

Undoing the Five Paragraph Essay Zombies

Undoing the Five Paragraph Essay Zombies

I feel that by the title of this post alone, you all will understand what I’m talking about. Students today have the five paragraph essay format drilled into their brains to the point of writing paralysis. They are five paragraph essay zombies. The five paragraph essay structure is essential for survival in the public school … Continue reading

Writing Anxiety

Writing Anxiety

After I attended two conferences back-to-back in late April/early May, my semester swirled around me like a fierce tornado until about a week ago when I was deposited back down on the ground, classes done, curricula written and re-written, loose ends tied up, and an overwhelming sense of relief and exhaustion from having survived my … Continue reading

Put Your Peer Review Practice to the Test

Put Your Peer Review Practice to the Test

I have so much to say from the conferences I attended that it will most likely take multiple posts. AERA is a big conference for those of us who do anything that has to do with education research. The American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting is huge. In fact, this year I decided that … Continue reading