Posted in March 2013

You can’t make this up…

I was always amused by the cast of quirky characters I encountered teaching. I must admit that in my two years since moving to teaching college, the characters are largely less colorful. So are the students. But that’s another post. One particularly colorful character was the Spanish teacher, Ms. Martinez. Originally from Puerto Rico, she … Continue reading

Film Review: “Gimme the Loot”

Film Review: “Gimme the Loot”

My own children are at their grandparent’s house this week for spring break so I can write. Every day I go to the gym, come home and write like a motherfucker, and then go out with my husband. Sunday night we saw a show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music after eating at Pork Slope … Continue reading

The Race Card Project

The Race Card Project

In my last class we discussed racial stereotypes and how stereotyping, racism, and discrimination affects various immigrant populations as well as the protagonist of our novel Girl in Translation. I have done this lesson in various forms many, many times and each time I learn something new about how my students see the world. I … Continue reading

How do you read? (A Marsden Giberter)

Teaching reading is hard because students don’t realize what they do when they read. There’ s an innate knowledge involved, and they (most likely) have never been asked to describe their reading process. In order for them to move forward in their reading skills, they need to understand what skills they already have. Enter the … Continue reading

A New Take on Peer Revision

Peer Revision in my class has been lukewarm at best. I have tried everything to get the exercise to move out of the pocket of mediocrity where it seems lodged but to no avail. I have created checklists for students to complete on each others’ drafts, scavenger hunts of things to search for, warm/cool feedback … Continue reading

Working in a Contradiction

Working in a Contradiction

Teaching in a school labeled as “failing” is an act of contradiction. Once the school gets that title, it is as if you are walking uphill in a blizzard both ways (like my dad used to say). Somehow, even though you have been designated by city, state, and federal government as totally sucking, you are … Continue reading

Copy Paper Drama

Copy Paper Drama

Any other high school out there suffer from copy paper drama? At my first school, IS 111 (now defunct), you needed to horde copy paper. Teachers ordered a box of copy paper to be delivered from Staples to the school, locked it in their classroom locker, and only brought what they needed to the copy … Continue reading