Wednesday July 23rd 2014

Updated Mango Street

Newly updated for the Common Core!

Trifecta Unit Coming Soon!

What To Do With Former Students’ Friend Requests

What To Do With Former Students’ Friend Requests

With my first batch of seniors safely across the stage, I am now faced with the toughest call of my teaching career thus far:Do I friend former students?????In the last couple weeks, friend requests have been flooding into my facebook [...]

Accepting the Fact That Nothing Will Ever Change

Accepting the Fact That Nothing Will Ever Change

On the last day of school I was talking to a colleague of mine. I was telling her how even now, at the end of the year, I’m really looking forward to next year. She was delighted. She thought we should all be looking at every year in that light. [...]

Balancing the Life and What To Do Over Summer

Balancing the Life and What To Do Over Summer

A lot of teachers talk to me about their personal lives, or should I say, lack thereof. They complain about the rigors of the job, and wonder how one can possibly go about being a regular, sane person during the year. In fact, some even wonder how [...]

Remembering Why We Do It

Remembering Why We Do It

Photography by Jeremy SchulzI’ve said it before. In public education, there are more sad stories than happy endings. Even so, after graduation this year I have to admit that the happy endings might outweigh all that bad stuff. Well, not [...]

Ending the Year on a Real Note

Ending the Year on a Real Note

With all the pink slips going out this year, I can’t help but being reminded of a story my mentor told me about when she first began her teaching career. She received her first pink slip in the mail from our district “Postage Due.” That’s [...]

The Ambitions of Ghetto Youth: Too Small

The Ambitions of Ghetto Youth: Too Small

You want to know the hardest thing about motivating students? It’s this: Every student out there wants to have one of three jobs. They want to be an actor, a musician, or an athlete. That’s it. Three jobs.I remember talking to a 9th grader [...]

Black Boys and Shakespeare

Black Boys and Shakespeare

I once asked my students to write about the cultural differences between them and the other cultures they see around them. I don’t remember the exact book I was teaching at the time, but I do remember one student’s response. We’ll call him [...]

Michael Shaughnessy interviews Matt Amaral of Teach4Real.com

Michael Shaughnessy interviews Matt Amaral of Teach4Real.com

Matthew, you have a web site called Teach4Real.com. What led you to set up this site?Well, first and foremost I wanted it to be a place for new teachers in our toughest schools. I have noticed an alarming trend in first year teachers at my [...]

Blame the Parents — I Do

Blame the Parents — I Do

Last year at Back-To-School-Night, I was pleasantly surprised to see both parents of a struggling student show up. The student was in my accelerated 9th grade class. She had an F, she didn’t do any homework, and always came into my classroom [...]

Let’s Make a Deal: How to Help Fading (and Failing) Students at the End of the Year

Let’s Make a Deal: How to Help Fading (and Failing) Students at the End of the Year

Everyone loves the end of the school year, especially the teachers and students. The parents, maybe not so much.The reason I like the end of the year so much is because it is such a clean break. At no point during the regular school year do I [...]

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