Category Archives: Reflections
The world lost a true hero recently, Detective Steven McDonald of the New York City Police Department. Detective McDonald was an amazing man who, in his words and in his life, embodied character and a belief in the inherent goodness … Continue reading
Any middle school teacher knows that one of the most exciting but challenging aspects of the job is the frenetic pace of life with the kids here. The executive function portion of the adolescent brain, the part that slows things down so we don’t make poor decisions, hasn’t fully developed. As a consequence, middle school kids seem to be operating at 78 rpm while the rest of us are at 45rpm. The engines in their brains have more acceleration than brake.
You’ve all been to conferences. You sign in. Get a name badge that was printed for you in advance. Everyone has a neatly prepared badge — with their name — title — school district — all proudly displayed on their badge, neatly protected in a plastic case — hanging — from a lanyard.
And there’s Sharpy-Boy over there with his sloppy sticky label Continue reading
We guide students to use “mentor texts” in their development as writers. Ralph Fletcher explains that mentor texts are, “…any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.” Continue reading
I’m a life-long fan of the New York football Giants. We’ve had season tickets in my family since 1963 when my dad and my uncle bought a pair of tickets to see them play at Yankee Stadium. My brothers and … Continue reading
Here’s a confession, I’ve been responsible for some pretty horrible professional development (PD). When I think about the faculty meetings I ran when I was a new principal, I am embarrassed. Often, my faculty meetings were the Don Gately Show. … Continue reading
Good teachers never take for granted that learning can be difficult! Continue reading
Our most enduring memories are forged during our middle school years. I was very saddened by the passing this year of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. I feel like I grew up with Ali. I was ten when The Fight … Continue reading
This was only a brief snapshot of a terrific learning moment but I promised myself I would share what I observed because, at our school, we are all LEARNERS! Thanks Bess! Continue reading
Somebody recommended this idea as a cure for writers block. Amy Krause Rosenthal wrote a neat little book titled Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. The book flap states that she “ingeniously adapted the centuries-old format of the encyclopedia to convey … Continue reading