Belmont Avenue

Belmont Avenue Evening. Chicago.Late 80s. Just endedSpring showerSteams the warmPavement.A Big appetiteNeighborhoodWith more walkers thanWheelsAnd moremale walkers than female. Et tu, César. After eating at a Greek diner, Cyrene and I stroll down a busy Belmont Avenue. Cyrene enjoys regaling me with stories of his many summers spent in Montreal. I, recently an undergrad, have little conception ofContinue reading “Belmont Avenue”

Tidal Arguments

Tidal Arguments “Write the book, will ya!” For a while now, many colleagues and friends have urged me to write a book. You know this type of book. Narratives about my experience as a teacher of so many young people in such vastly different urban contexts: secondary public (charter, magnet, and test-based selective enrollment), Catholic, andContinue reading “Tidal Arguments”

Deno’s Senior Project

Deno’s Senior Project Sometimes, human stories that are spoken and recorded, then edited and aired, can illuminate more than written stories, where black letters sit on the white of a page or screen. A colleague of mine, Heidi Curran Bojorges, has produced just such a spoken story, Deno’s Senior Project, for Vocalo, “the cool sisterContinue reading “Deno’s Senior Project”

Humans in Every Corner

Humans in Every Corner “Allah has punished the Jews. They deserved this…” A quiet boy, no more than fourteen. The walls peel inward as classmates eyeball the boy, in the corner, and me, in the front. Dry October leaves pile in the corners of the school’s courtyard. Our reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night is complete andContinue reading “Humans in Every Corner”

Learning is…

Learning is . . . Learning is a Humanist Endeavor. Primary and secondary learning is not a scientific experiment, measurable at every turn. That learning is not a business transaction, quid pro quo always expected. Through the acquisition of skills and content knowledge, the goal of primary and secondary public education is to guide youngContinue reading “Learning is…”

Instruction is . . .

Instruction is . . . Formal Education is Three Things: Curriculum. Instruction. Assessment. Always, those three components exist within ever-shifting political, social, and economic contexts. And — whew — those contexts have multiple layers which are often in conflict with one another: the classroom, the academic subject, the school, the community, the city/town, the state, American society… Every school day, eachContinue reading “Instruction is . . .”

Assessment is . . .

Assessment is . . . Formal Education is Three Things: Curriculum. Instruction. Assessment. Always, those three components exist within ever-shifting political, social, and economic contexts. And — whew — those contexts have multiple layers which are often in conflict with one another: the classroom, the academic subject, the school, the community, the city/town, the state, American society… Every school day, eachContinue reading “Assessment is . . .”