Donald Gately Ed.D.
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Author Archives: dfgately
Several articles discuss the limits of empathy. Just because we can put ourselves in the shoes of another person doesn’t necessarily mean we will be motivated to do anything about the challenges they face. If, while driving my car, I feel for a person alongside the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel who looks down on his luck, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to pull over and offer to help. Although there is research about the impact of empathy on our actions, it’s difficult to argue that it is one of those essential ingredients that motivates us to take positive actions towards one another. We may not always act on our feelings of empathy, but when we do act with kindness or generosity towards others, the impulse to do so likely began with a sense of empathy. Continue reading
As I looked at that water, I thought to myself, “Oh my goodness, poor Mark. What’s he going to do.” There was a moment when I thought to myself, “I guess they can all move in with us for a while until they get this fixed. We can get cots for the kids. Do we have eggs?” Continue reading
I’ve had a lifelong fascination with twisted idioms. Idioms get twisted as people repeat a common expression based upon what they heard, rather than seeing it written down. Continue reading
I got that feeling of optimism that you get every year on this day when it seems that winter might actually one day come to an end. But, this year it was different, I also began to feel that maybe the pandemic, along with its many restrictions on our lives, might one day come to an end. Continue reading
Donald Gately Sr. had an intimate understanding of human frailty and vulnerability. When you had an armload of problems and challenges of your own making, my dad was the person to whom you brought them. He recognized the essential truth that even the best among us often forget, we are not our mistakes. We are better than our worst days. Weakness isn’t something to be ashamed of, we should only be ashamed when we don’t try to overcome our mistakes. Continue reading
Like skydiving, I might’ve said, “I’m not doing that.”
But, like skydiving, I’m doing that.
So, yeah, you’re doing that.
Regardless of the approach to reopening at your school, you need to commit yourself to your purpose. In my school I am privileged to work with the most amazing staff who are possessed of an unflinching clarity of purpose. They know that our role as educators is to nurture the learning and well-being of our kids, to love them so that they know they belong and that we are their champions. Continue reading
When my mother was suffering from her disease, everyone who surrounded me was supportive, compassionate and generous. They asked me what they could do to help. They sent over meals for her and my Dad, they sent cards, they called often to check on her and on our family. Because she was sick, with cancer, that’s what you do. Continue reading
while I love the fact that this thing cleans my whole house while I sit on the couch eating chips, I feel a vague sense of resentment towards it. How does this thing remember which parts of the floor it already vacuumed? There’s no way I could do that. Continue reading
I’m reflecting on virtual relationships in the educational environment during the quarantine. What are the obstacles teachers face in developing new connections and maintaining the bonds they had built in the first 24 weeks of school? Will it be possible to create the kind of close, supportive relationships that are the bedrock of our school culture next year with a new group of students if we continue virtual school in September? Continue reading