Test Prep Blues

What good is a test if it doesn’t measure a child’s fluency in empathy, doesn’t create opportunity for a child to imagine solutions outside the box, doesn’t make a child want to read because what’s on the page isn’t riveting, essential to their understanding of themselves, other people, places in the world they’ll never see and only know from awkward phrases in textbooks written by … Continue reading Test Prep Blues

Love Note to New York

To love something more than I love this city would mean to break into more pieces than there are train stops, spices, and bodegas from Brooklyn to the Bronx, languages and faiths in Queens, lovers and dreamers in Manhattan. The only thing that can break you into so many pieces and still keep you whole is home, and because home is where we learn to … Continue reading Love Note to New York

A Lesson on Hair

A smiling white woman with straight golden hair and bright blue eyes leaned across the aisle on the L train to Brooklyn and asked if I had ever thought about conditioning my daughter’s hair. My girl looked magical that day, as she has every day of her life. We were happy in that moment, reveling in our daily ritual of riding the train home from … Continue reading A Lesson on Hair


Give thanks— To the Lenape Indians who loaned the island of Manhattan to the Dutch for twenty-four dollars worth of trinkets, and never got back their land or earned a penny of its wealth, which only keeps growing, higher than the island’s skyscrapers, and still belonging to the white man. Give thanks— To the thousands of women, men, and children who gave their lives so … Continue reading Thanksgiving

Survival Guide for Teachers, Part One

You already know you’re not going to eat lunch or pee more than once, so do yourself a favor, and start your day with a hearty breakfast, and a big glass of water you can shed before your first class. Save the other seven glasses you’re supposed to drink for when you’re home, and stock your fridge and cabinets with foods that contain protein because … Continue reading Survival Guide for Teachers, Part One