What Responsibility Do We Owe Puerto Rican Students?

Girl students Yabucoa

At this point, it might be useful for us to ask ourselves…what is this act, what is this scene in which action is taking place, what is this agency and what is its purpose?” Ralph Ellison, Lecture to Teachers, 1963 Several years ago I had the opportunity to work in Puerto Rico as an education […]

20 Years Ago


I still can’t believe that I graduated Union High School 20 years ago this year. 1997 was a fun year–a senior in high school, not a care in the world. Then again, it was a different world. My superintendent, Dr. Jakubowski (with whom I still speak), made two prominent points at our graduation. 1. Don’t […]

Your Excuses Are Invalid

no excuses

This Might Get Ugly… I’m going to start by fully understanding thevulgar gestures you may want to make towards your computer screen or the nasty emails you mightwrite to meafter reading this, but I think it needs to be said. But I believe that, by the end of this, you will at least partially agree. […]

She Ran Away


We didn’t do anything. She transferred here from a different school. I don’t know why. She was mostly quiet, but it was not difficult to get a smile out of her. She said she wasn’t good in science, but was killing it in chemistry, perhaps the hardest science of all. I’d like to think that […]

Have You Ever Wanted To Do Something Big?


Eight thousand eight hundred and forty eight and it’s go time. No time like the present. Rock, ice, wind in your face. Eyes squinting, hands frozen, toes freezing. Can’t breathe, oxygen is low. It’s called the death zone you know. Will you stay the course, carry on, go for broke? Behold Chomolungma, the Goddess Mother […]

Breaking the Silence: Why All Educators Need To Be Advocates


An advocate? Who? Me? I’m not THAT person. I’m not an eloquent public speaker. I’m uncomfortable sharing my thoughts and opinions with others I don’t know. The fear of saying something “wrong” keeps me quiet. The last thing in the world that I’d want to do is be in the media spotlight. I’m not an […]

No Time For Change


Do this. Do that. Constant Haste. No time to waste. This is serious! No time for play. No time to fail and try again. Is there enough time to learn? Little time to talk To all those we should. We’d all learn together. We could do more good. What’s the hurry? Why the rush? What […]

Summer: Our Beautiful Do Over


This time of year I am always reminded what a beautiful gift summer is to educators. Not just because of the beach time, time torestand rejuvenate our passion for students. Not just the extra time to spend with our children and our friends. Not just because we get to see what the rest of the […]

How To Praise A Child, So It’s Banked!


I make no bones about it! Children do not bank your praise and save it for a rainy day. It slips right by them. Why is that? Receiving positive feedback for most people is difficult and that is because we were not given the training during our childhoods to stop, listen and take in those […]