Article: Why It’s Never Too Late To Rescue Failing Students

[Still obsessed with this organization, though “rescue” can be a tricky verb. The savior complex is alive and well and the mentors get a lot out of this too, which this article doesn’t recognize as much as the other one I posted. Still, gets me back to wondering what it would look like to do…

Article: Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

[This article got a lot of attention when it was published (at least among the folks I’m friends with on facebook and in real life). The subtitle says it best, “Sixth graders in the richest school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest districts.” The charts are beautiful, as my friend…

“I brought a book!”

“I brought a book!” he said proudly, small smile beaming. “That’s great! Do you want to read it now or when we get on the bus?” “Now…” he responded a little sheepishly. So my new favorite kid plopped down on the bench next to me, pulled a book out of his backpack and I began…

Article: Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem

[Check out where you live. Where I grew up is an island of grey in a sea of orange. Where I teach is a little too small on the map to really discern the details. But the phenomenon certainly applies, with school districts in close proximity that have vastly different per pupil expenditure. This article…

Article: Summer Jobs for All City High School Students

[I couldn’t agree more. One of my priorities is matching students with summer opportunities, which in 8th grade often doesn’t mean paid work (much to my students frustration). My summer experiences in high school (mostly babysitting, but also other opportunities) gave me confidence, experience, responsibility, independence, and, of course, money. These positions mostly appeared through…

Article: For Vulnerable Teenagers, a Web of Support

[One of the things circling in my head lately is the organization profiled here. What would it look like to commit to a kid like this? I’ve heard an adult at my school commit to a student for the long-haul, unconditional support, but it kind of was conditional. The student is headed to private school and,…

Honorary Dominican?

Walking to the bus stop with three kids last Thursday, the topic turned to who is more American and who is more Dominican. The three students were all born in the D.R. and have lived in the U.S. for about four years combined. “He’s not cold at all,” one girl pointed out about the boy,…

Paper Comes from Trees, Or How to Say Goodbye

The girl who is afraid of boats left my school. Around lunchtime on a Friday a few weeks ago her math teacher rushed into my office, pizza in hand. “J’s last day is today! I wanted to let you know so you could say goodbye.” I thanked him profously and rearranged my afternoon. After lunch,…

Gaggle of Girls

“You know someone might think you’re our mom!” one of the sixth graders I was walking with exclaimed. “No creo,” I answered. I don’t think anyone can have this many kids all the same age. In my walks to the bus this year, a little gaggle of girls have decided to adopt me. Three of…

Article: Black America and the Class Divide

[Du Bois and his “Talented Tenth” circulate in my head with surprising frequency. When I consider my students and their futures, the idea of a class of leaders among African Americans rings in my ears. One of the goals at my school is to send select students beyond the top public schools to the region’s top parochial and independent…

First Snow Day

The one-woman-snow-day-notification-machine has been put back into gear. Our first snow day of the 2015-2016 school year has arrived and with it, the family contact. “Hey Ms. I have a question for you. Is there school tomorrow because on the Boston public schools it says there is no school tomorrow?” texted a girl in my class….