Category Archives: adolescence

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: 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: 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

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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: 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: 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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My COVID-19 Diary: Goldilocks Tasks

In layman’s terms, this is often referred to as the Goldilocks Principle, not too hard, not too soft.  Your nine-year-old is clearly not excited about cleaning that nasty area behind the toilet in your basement, a burden you’ve been putting off for months, and with good reason. The task should have a finite goal and be sufficiently challenging to take at minimum one hour and ideally an entire day, yes 24 hours! Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Friday un-Focused #2

My daughter’s idea: people can leave the house and go wherever they want but they have to always be riding a bicycle. If you get closer than 6 feet you’ll probably crash, so it’s mostly safe. I told her I would inform the governor. Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Grandpa, why don’t you shake hands

My grandmother saved the string that you get on a cake box from the bakery. You know, the really thin red and white striped string. I never once in my life saw that string get used but she had it.  She also re-used tissues.  They were hidden in her sleeve (you never sneezed in from of Nanny). Continue reading

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Middle-leaders Collaborative: How do you handle “lame-duck” days?

The holidays are approaching.  Working with middle school kids on the days preceding a vacation can be particularly challenging.  How do you make it work? This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the … Continue reading

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