A science teacher at Victory Collegiate High School in Canarsie, Brooklyn says educators shouldn’t assume that students will respond to the same teaching styles that worked for them when they were younger.
During times of tragedy, a school can become a neighborhood’s community hub, one of the few structures open to all. A teacher recounts how his school stayed in touch with students in the aftermath of Sandy, helped its staff rebound and now seeks to comfort the community with the quiet ritual of routine.
An elementary school teacher sings the praises of his school community as it absorbed the repercussions from Sandy and prepared to return to its building in Rockaway Park, Queens.
Science teacher Bill Lamonte chronicles the Millenium High School community coming together to plan its re-location to two different schools. More than the difficulties ahead, he said the resilience of his colleagues is worth noting, and applauding.
A new math teacher plots her strategy in anticipation of year one in the New York City school system.
In her latest blog about teaching in a Bronx middle school, Laura Klein writes: “There’s a lot to criticize about the way special education works in this enormous system. It is cloudy and incongruous, difficult to define, and difficult to find any universal truths when you talk about it.” The failures command more notice than the successes, she said. “What I have struggled with in the last few years is to define what aspects of it specifically fail the students — what is the problem that we aren’t solving.”
A math teacher at a Queens junior high school writes: “Being afraid of math is not something I can appreciate; however, I do have a fairly unhealthy fear of spiders. I imagined sitting in a room dedicated to the study of spiders, complete with pictures and models. My jaw clenched and a chill crept up my spine. We both had an irrational fear, but Frankie was the only one being forced to face his every day with no help.”
A Bronx middle-school teacher writes: “Because of their impermanence, people often think of paraprofessionals as replaceable — one may be substituted for another from day to day. But at graduation this year, Ms. Javier sat on the stage and cried while she watched the students that she had helped get there. “Do you think next year I will have a student like Allie?” she asked me, mourning the loss of one. To the students, she was not replaceable — and certainly not to me.”
A middle school teacher in the Bronx writes: What about the awards we don’t hand out to students? “How about an award for my student who isn’t the best or the fastest, but who always helps her peers, and is kind when they don’t understand something? Or for the student who brightens everyone’s days with his sense of humor, and his perfect comedic timing in a tense moment? Where do I find the award for the child who has overcome the most this year — who has been heroic in his or her personal survival?”
A Bronx middle-school teacher who blogs about her experiences writes: “My students don’t have it easy. But every year I go to prom, and I see them at graduation. They are happy, looking their best, feeling successful, cheering for themselves and for one another. I see their parents snapping pictures of them, and hugging them, and smiling proudly. And I realize that for many kids, that is a rare occasion.” When some of the children can’t afford prom and graduation, some people are happy to help, because “feeling for one day that they have done something worth celebrating is a cause worth investing in.
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