November 22, 2012

Teaching it and selling it

Hurricane Sandy was a catastrophe for a lot of New Yorkers. It was also a reminder that, even in our age of technological wonders, when the lights went out, many of us had the practical skills to help neighbors through a natural disaster.

November 1, 2012

Taking care of our own
I guess my summer officially ended at a Bruce Springsteen concert at MetLife Stadium. The song, “We Take Care of Our Own,” was especially meaningful and put a lot of what’s going on in the proper perspective. Springsteen writes, “The road of good intentions has gone dry as bone … We take care of our own.”

October 18, 2012

Reflections on teaching — from all stages of a career

Whether you are a new teacher, a long-time veteran or midcareer, teaching is a field in which you can always improve by reflecting on your experience and gaining insights from others’ techniques and wisdom. As the new school year gets into full swing, I’d like to share some of the insights I gleaned from my years of teaching along with those of other teachers.

September 27, 2012

Special ed reform should raise red flags

As the Department of Education implements its special education reform citywide this year, educators who work with students with disabilities will be under tremendous pressure from principals to move children into less restrictive environments regardless of their readiness and regardless of whether the school has the programs and supports to help these kids succeed in their new settings.

September 6, 2012

A farewell to teaching

For the 27 years I have worked in New York City public schools, the best part of my day has been the time spent in the classroom, teaching my students.

June 28, 2012

Teach the books, touch the heart

For the last seven years, I have worked as a reading enrichment teacher, reading classic works of literature with small groups of students from grades 6 to 8. Along with “Of Mice and Men,” my groups read: “Sounder,” “The Red Pony,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Lord of the Flies,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Macbeth.”

June 14, 2012

Reflecting back to move forward

When we as educators approach the end of things, and right now we are approaching the end of another school year, a process of reflection is called for. It’s necessary to reflect on the past 10 months in order to change, improve and enhance our practice.

May 24, 2012

Counteracting the summer brain drain

When summer comes, the last thing many students focus on is math, reading and academics. That’s why it’s important for us as educators to steer our students — and their parents — to some worthy resources that can help to stanch the loss and continue the learning through the summer months.

May 10, 2012

Growing healthy jobs, food and the environment

Ensuring that high school students are both job- and college-ready is not just a mantra for Stephen Ritz, the former South Bronx science teacher who now heads the nonprofit Green Bronx Machine. He’s teaching the sort of career skills that can land students decent-paying jobs and inspire an interest in the environment and healthy foods.

April 19, 2012

Failure by design

To date, the Department of Education under Michael Bloomberg has closed more than 140 public schools and has now begun to close new schools created under its tutelage at the same rate that it closes older schools. It is no exaggeration to say that the Bloomberg DOE is bereft of ideas and solid educational strategies and has adopted school closure as its one and only policy.

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