Author Archives: dfgately

About dfgately

Middle School Principal Jericho, NY

My COVID-19 Diary: Things I never thought I’d do

Like skydiving, I might’ve said, “I’m not doing that.”

But, like skydiving, I’m doing that.

So, yeah, you’re doing that.

Continue reading

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My COVID 19 Diary: Are you all in?

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

Posted in adolescence, Best Practice, Inside the Middle School, Leadership, learning, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, relationships, Teaching/Learning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It happened after the Super Bowl. Why is this different?

It’s difficult to imagine any fans abandoning their teams because some people committed crimes in a way that was adjacent to the culmination of the season. In fact, as far as I can tell, the fact of this lawlessness did nothing at the time they occurred, or in the years since, to tarnish the achievements of the teams that prevailed.  Continue reading

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What we won’t admit about Racism

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

Posted in Equity, Justice, Personal Best, Reflections, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My COVID-19: Focused un-Focused #9

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

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My COVID-19 Diary: Virtual friends, they’re real!

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

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My COVID-19 Diary: The 4th “R”

The public, since the time of John Dewey, has lamented the disappearance of the three “R’s” in education. It’s an expression archaic enough that it deserves explication for our younger readers: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. Anytime a reform movement has emerged in the education field, there’s always a hue and cry for the “3R’s”. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: It’s not the same from home

I got to tagalong once when his company rented out Citi Field for batting practice. I worked in a school where the staff all bought tickets together to sit in the picnic area at Citi Field for a Mets game but we didn’t get to step foot on the field, and they certainly didn’t throw batting practice to us. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Friday un-Focused #8

For various reasons that deserve their own blog post, my wife is not a sports fan. She’ll watch sports if it includes brunch but other than that she just doesn’t see the point. In that respect she’s one of the big winners of the quarantine. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: You can bring that on the subway?

Only a small percentage of Sunday Routine people surf, but I love the ones who do. There’s nothing cooler in my mind than the image of somebody taking the “A-Train” to Rockaway with an 8-foot surfboard.  Continue reading

Posted in Brooklyn, Personal Best, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Uncategorized | Leave a comment