Taking Away Voice

Let me just get this out of the way now… don’t shame me for not posting in 3 months (to the day). I already feel enough shame myself!

Just for context—not an excuse, mind you—I’ve been away from the blog primarily because teachers around the world are still solidly in the disillusionment phase of our school year… the two months before holiday break that make you question your very existence on this earth. (I am not kidding; see the figure at left.) If you are so inclined, send help by way of chocolate covered pretzels and/or tension tamer tea.

Nevertheless, I’m here now! And the good thing is, I’m back with lots to say.

Lately, I’ve been mulling over writing. One, because when I’ve had a particularly chaotic day and haven’t seen the sun like, the entire day, I wish I was at home in my pajamas writing a novel. But two, because we’re going through a writing curriculum shakeup across our network of schools that has got me thinking.

Continue reading

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