Category Archives: learning

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: 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: 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: 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: 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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My COVID-19 Diary: The “soft launch”

Harry Houdini once escaped from a straitjacket and chains while suspended by a wire 60 feet over Times Square.   Do you think this was the first time he ever wriggled out of a straitjacket while hanging upside down?  Continue reading

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About intentions: Positivity

I haven’t declared my New Year’s resolution this year because,  for me, this practice has become redolent with the stink of failure.  I look back on the resolutions I’ve made these past five years and I haven’t successfully achieved any of them.   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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Middle leaders collaborative: One characteristic of great middle school leaders

Name one characteristic of all great middle school leaders This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the country.  Periodically, these passionate and dedicated middle school principals share their thoughts on issues of relevance … Continue reading

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Middle School Principals’ Collaborative: Beginning of the Year Essentials

This post is a collaboration between a group of middle school leaders from across the country.  Periodically, these passionate and dedicated middle school principals share their thoughts on issues of relevance for those “in the middle”. Topic: The 2019-20 school … Continue reading

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