Alarm Bells

I have never, ever, doubted my commitment to teaching where I do. (If you don’t know this by now, that’s a little bit surprising, but I teach in inner-city Philly.) I’ve always felt privileged to be an important figure in my kids’ lives and attempt, however futile my efforts might be, to make a difference. Though sometimes—honestly, quite often—my job is tireless and challenging, I wouldn’t trade my experiences thus far.

This summer, though, I got to thinking what it’d be like to teach somewhere else. I took a job as a technology specials counselor at a private school just outside the city, and while I wouldn’t dare call my actual responsibilities “teaching,” I got to know a bunch of kiddos who are very different from mine.

For starters, they’re white. (Most of them, anyways.)  Continue reading

A Long-Winded Musing on Vocabulary, Or, That Time When I Didn’t Know a Word

It’s not often—or ever, really—I struggle while reading. I always say that I grew up reading… ever since I could remember, I had a book at the breakfast table, or I read the cereal box if I didn’t have anything … Continue reading

Ain’t Nothing Like Trust Issues

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a snippet from a conversation I had with one of my students about a month ago.

At first, I didn’t make much of it—kids say a lot of odd things, as I have come to learn as a middle school teacher. But a few of her words have been haunting me since she uttered them, and since I’m a writer and my mind works this way, they started to form a blog post.

And now, here we are. Continue reading