It wasn't long after the Parkland shooting that my own school was placed on lockdown. While SWAT and administrators worked quickly to neutralize an active shooter threat, we huddled in the dark for hours on a cold floor that was caked with a thin layer of Takis crumbs. Being my 5th year teaching at a … Continue reading Schools are not a battleground
Yesterday was tough. The traumatic effects of living in fear sprang to life and we could no longer pretend that everything is business as usual. A student saw an ICE agent in the hallways of our school. A man dressed in khakis and a dark green shirt. Everyone tried to remain calm, but everyone was … Continue reading Knocked down by a feather
Stapled to the wall of my classroom is a world map, around which dozens of cards are posted. On these cards are the introductions my students wrote on the first day of this school year. So much has changed for them since September. Lately, I find myself going back to read these cards over. They are … Continue reading Just pink cards on a wall
In my class of mostly undocumented students, we've been talking about hope. We've been talking about triumph over adversity. We've been talking about staying focused when fear, hate and uncertainty swirl around you. We have plunged head first into the pools of Maya Angelou's fierce words of perseverance. As one of my senior girls said, … Continue reading Undefeated hearts fill my classroom
It's the 1980's and I'm reading Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl for the first time. My child's heart is shattered. I can't grasp the hate that methodically pursued the death of 6 million people. I can't imagine what it feels like to have your freedom and security utterly stripped away, leaving you no choice but to hide, and eventually … Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I challenged my students to write down what they were thankful for and I did the same. Remembering what we valued most during this season was healing and affirming. Comment with what you're thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!
Walking into a room full of teenagers is never easy. It's fun, it's exhilarating, it's exhausting, and it's maddening. It's a heartbreaking, uplifting labyrinth of hormone fueled emotions. Teaching high school is a crazy job, but I love it. How to handle each individual without bias or presumption, to expand minds and open hearts, to build foundations … Continue reading Within these four walls