Black History Month: “X” and Sam Cooke

Black History Month: “X” and Sam Cooke

I always feel torn about relegated “months” of appreciation. Historically marginalized groups should be recognized within curriculum–I have no argument with that–but I also believe that a well-constructed curriculum should explore many races/groups throughout the entire year in conversation with one another. The, “It’s February so everything we read needs to be by a Black … Continue reading

Rest in Peace, Avonte.

Rest in Peace, Avonte.

This past October the entire city of New York was shaken up by a young boy who went missing. Avonte Oquendo, an autistic and non-verbal young man walked out of his high school and was never seen again. A rigorous search commenced to the likes of which I have never experienced during my 14+ years … Continue reading

The Rare Experience of Punctum

The Rare Experience of Punctum

When I wrote the curriculum for the Arts in NYC course that I am currently teaching at my community college, I wanted a concept to guide it. I have written before about two amazing professors from my undergraduate experience who largely formed  how I study and experience all forms of art: Carol Mavor and elin … Continue reading

Learning to Study & Paying it Back

Learning to Study & Paying it Back

How does a student learn to study? I have thought about this a lot as I watch my community college freshmen struggle with time management, study skills, active reading, writing essays and papers. I think back to my own experience of how I learned to study. I was one of those students who did minimal … Continue reading

Drawing the Line

You know how it works: the semester is coming to a close and suddenly every student has an excuse as to why that last paper just isn’t going to be on time. You get frantic emails sent off at 3:47am about the sudden onset of the stomach flu, an aunt that has died and a … 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

Coming Out in the Classroom

I know this title might be read in terms of sexual orientation, but it’s more than that. I have gone through many phases in my career when I *wish* I was different in the classroom. Just this week, I observed a sweet young adjunct who teaches at our community college. While I can craft and … Continue reading

My Little Test Taker

My Little Test Taker

(This was written/posted about a week ago…then WordPress opened  on my iPhone in my bag to my posts page, and I deleted this post on accident. Ugh. Therefore–repost!) Sunday afternoon/evening brings the inevitable “Have you done all your homework?” question to Alexandra, our first grader. Each weekend she has to read two level-appropriate books, do … Continue reading