Author Archives: dfgately

About dfgately

Middle School Principal Jericho, NY

My COVID-19 Diary: What she says – A teen’s view of “remote school”

All educators miss the face-to-face contact we have with students every day in the school building.  It’s about the learning but it’s also the constant feedback loop between kids and adults that tells us how we’re doing and also, how … Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Friday un-Focused #4

My first job in the morning is to locate a Jericho sweatshirt or a T-shirt to wear during the morning announcements with Chad.  For Danielle, it’s hair and all the other things. I try to tell her she’s just as beautiful in an East Williston T-shirt, no blow-drying unnecessary. But she punches me in the arm really hard. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Things NOT done

Ten months ago I would’ve told you that by now I would have a physique like a guy doing life in a maximum-security prison.
Consider any movie in which Dwayne Johnson escapes from prison (most of them), he comes out ripped! Yet, something about the monotony of quarantine exacts a physical ennui that diffuses any drive I thought I would have under these conditions. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Advice for parents of adolescents and teens

f you’re like me, you are probably wondering, “Am I doing this right?” This question applies to my professional life as well as my personal life.  Without the normal face to face daily interaction, I typically enjoy with multitudes of people, I need to check in on myself as an educator and as a parent.  So I thought I would share some essentials with parents who may feel the same or are seeking advice at this crazy time. Continue reading

Posted in adolescence, Best Practice, Parenting, Personal Best, Reflections, relationships, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My COVID-19 Diary: Culture outlasts quarantine

Somehow, given the magnitude of our current crisis, getting around to following up on a kid who took fries off another kids’ tray without asking, leading to some minor pushing, seems inconsequential. Continue reading

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My COVID 19 Diary: Lose the “principal voice”

In leadership roles, we seek to employ the appropriate tone and vocabulary to suit the audience and the occasion. There are situations that call for a great deal of formality, that demand a straightforward harnessing of facts and a recitation of procedures.  Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Friday un-Focused #3

Do you know that Amazon Alexa has a “skill” (it’s like an app) for farts? Amazon claims it is the #1 App in the world.  You would know this if you had high school age kids who’d finished their remote schoolwork and had already asked you 17 times, “When’s dinner?”. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Running out of gas

I cannot imagine what it was like living in the suburbs during this time, well, actually, I can easily imagine what it must’ve been like. It must have been pretty much like it is now, except you could go outside and hug people, you just couldn’t drive to hug somebody who lived far away, because you didn’t have gas. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Is that even true?

I suspect that many families are experiencing a phenomenon that occurs occasionally in my house.  We have a multi-generational household in which a political debate could break out anytime all the adults under this roof find themselves in the same room together, which, as you might expect, occurs more frequently now than it did 6 months ago.   Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Where does the time go?

I’ve been doing the math.  Factoring in extra help, clubs and sports, our school day runs from 7:30 AM until 3:30 PM.  That’s eight solid hours. So, if the typical student at our middle school is doing 3 1/2 hours of virtual school work, what the heck are they doing during the other 4 1/2 hours when they are inside our school building? Continue reading

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