A Day Without Students

255 students did not come to school today. There are 600 students at our school. This was born out of the Immigrant Strike, an event I think began in D.C. with restaurant workers planning to stay home from work today. Thew news spread on social media — no one officially organized the strike here and…

A School Is Not an Island

In light of the recent Executive Order on Immigration, we have been trying to decide what to do. How do we respond in general? As teachers in a school full of immigrant children, some of whom are from the countries banned explicitly? As humans? I found this excerpt from The Essential Conversation instructive. It serves as…

Article: White Fragility

[One of the suggested readings from my class White People Challenging Racism was a bit longer and more academic than the other readings, many of which are personal stories. This stood out to me in part for its familiarity — an academic text on race similar to those I read in college. But also because…

Race/Racism Awareness Journey

I’m currently enrolled in White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action. As an assignment for the course we were asked to write about our race/racism awareness journey. The facilitators encouraged us to write “a timeline or narrative about how your understanding your own racial identity, of racial inequities and of your white privilege, has changed…

Promises

Seven days ago it felt like the whole world was sunshine on a crisp fall day. I voted early in the morning, stood in line longer than I’ve ever waited to vote, tried to keep my “I voted” sticker stuck the rest of the day. Six days ago I woke up and cried. And then…

“VoteforDonaldTrump?”

On my way home from work yesterday I participated in a poll conducted by one of the youngest pollsters in America. I was on my bike, trying to push through the thick August heat. My route home passes several playgrounds and basketball courts and I usually look over to see kids and teens and even…

Grief

Barbara Kingsolver has been one of my favorite authors for many years now. I first read her work in high school, Animal Dreams and The Poisonwood Bible shaping my sense of her as an author. Then there was a recent summer where I read three of her books in a row. She comes from the…

“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…

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…

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….