Author Archives: dfgately

About dfgately

Middle School Principal Jericho, NY

My COVID-19 Diary: Why write?

If I have to give myself a grade for my performance during the quarantine, and why not, everyone seems to be grading themselves during this time, I’d score myself a fairly generous “C+”.   But one thing I have managed to do is publish a blog post every day during the quarantine. I’m happy to have done so for a variety of reasons. Continue reading

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My COVID-19: Friday un-Focused #6

We all have shining moments in our day. I love the notifications I get from Waze telling me how long it will take me to get to my next meeting if I leave the house now. “Scheduling meeting with Chad – Light Traffic – Leave now to be there in 27 minutes.”  During quarantine, I arrive at this meeting sitting at my dining room table via Google Meet in 27 seconds. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Is it a snow day? “I don’t know”

Even before social media, a rumor like this would travel around my school in about eight minutes. You’d hear a collective cheer raised by the entire student body. But this doesn’t happen because I possess years of experience with “Snow Day Stone Face.” I really should play more poker, but I don’t allow gambling in the lunchroom. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: What you don’t know

When you are a school leader or any kind of leader, you must recognize that there are times when the only appropriate answer to a question is, “I don’t know.”  At times of crisis such as we are experiencing now, this is ever more critical.  Folks are willing to give you trust based on the accuracy of the information you relay, yet providing accurate information has never been more challenging. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: I don’t know?

Here the thing young readers, this question is a trap!  When you offer a theory or admit that you saw the “kitchen shears” (in my house,  ______,  is usually scissors) on the dining room table earlier in the day, it is now your fault that they’re missing. If you offer a theory about where they went or where they might be, it is now your job to find those kitchen shears. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Who are you “at home”

Some of us, working from home, with our families within arms reach, are now both our professional and personal selves under the same roof. Families are confronting the work lives of their spouses, dads, moms for the first time.  The reverse is also true, many overworked professionals, are presenting to their families some version of themselves 24/7, and hoping it works. What to do?  Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Friday un-Focused #5

Danielle: “I know you just said something but what I heard was, ‘The kids liked the pork chops too much last week, let me look for a way to make them in some fancy way to make sure that they hate them this time.” Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: I want to talk like that

Not the only, but one of the reasons we fixated on the nieces from Texas were their accents. They spoke with a deeply appealing southern drawl that was captivating to our ears. My friends and I were fascinated by their use of the “ah” sound in simple words like  “faav” (five), “pah” (pie), and “naht” (night).Their way of speaking rendered the native diction of our East Flatbush neighborhood both crude and pedestrian.  Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: That’s not how we talk

It’s been 30 years since I moved out of Brooklyn but traces of #BrooklynForLife can be detected in my speech to greater or lesser degrees depending upon the circumstances or my temperament at a given time.  I swear to God … Continue reading

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COVID-19 Diary: That’s how I talk

I recently asked my wife, born in Queens and raised on Long Island: “If we had moved out of state before the pandemic, would you watch the New York governor’s daily press conferences just to keep your NY accent in … Continue reading

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