Category Archives: Best Practice

My COVID-19 Diary: Writing. What works for me.

Avoid letting other tasks infringe upon them. If you’ve got kids, and writing takes place best when they are napping, do that. It’s unfortunate that the same machine that I use to write is also capable of delivering Twitter, Facebook, and Voxer. 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: 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: 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: Wednesday un-Focused

My son is a senior. The other day he told my wife, “I think my high school graduation is going to be on Roblox. I’m building my avatar.”

There is a science experiment going on in middle school lockers all over our country right now. What happens when ______  ( insert name of food item here ) is left to decay at room temperature in a narrow metal box for three months. 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: Principal in the Coal Mine

As a middle school principal in the New York Metro area, I guess that makes me a  “Principal in the Coal Mine”.  So I’m going to offer just a few ideas for my colleagues who may be a week or two behind us here in New York (leaving open the possibility and the most ardent HOPE,  that we can ALL avoid the dire consequences of this pandemic). Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Adversity reveals character?

Much as we hate to admit it, this quarantine is highlighting some of our most annoying character traits.  What are you doing to drive your quarantine friends and family a little bit kooky during this challenging time? Here’s some of mine*:  Continue reading

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My COVID-19 Diary: Were you ready for this?

I appreciate the opportunity to applaud my amazing teachers for all that they’ve done to give us a huge head start and I encourage all of us to see our present reality as part of a dynamic approach to learning that can continue even when we go back to a face-to-face environment (please tell me this will be soon!)  Continue reading

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