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


She says he left her for another girl, won’t answer her calls and texts, told her not to bother him, that there is nothing to talk about; he just doesn’t love her anymore. She hasn’t eaten or slept since Friday night, she says, hasn’t stopped crying, can barely speak through all the sobbing now, five days after he left her for another girl. I want … Continue reading Perspective

An Accidental Poem

Taught five classes, although it was a day of games to celebrate the end of the trimester, spoke to two parents, prevented a hell of a fight, at least for today, stayed back for an hour to talk a kid through a hardship I couldn’t see myself endure, picked up the kid from school, rode the train home, thirty-five minutes of a six-year-old spinning sentences … Continue reading An Accidental Poem

Dear Me

Dear me, yesterday: A student will say something that will burn more than a slap across the face when what you’re expecting is a hug. Don’t let her words cut you; she intends nothing but relief from her own wounds. Dear me, fifteen years ago: You will be loved, although you’ll continue to struggle with loving yourself. Believe it. Claim it. Hold onto it, even … Continue reading Dear Me

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