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Showing posts from February, 2012

A Parent's Guide to Engaging in a Productive Parent/Teacher Meeting

-from a teacher's point of view, of course. Tip 1- Avoid opening the "discussion" with a tirade condemning the school's inefficiencies as a whole. This turns everyone off from the start, and any serious concerns you may have truly had regarding your child's progress is lost in what appears to be just another detail about the school you're currently unhappy with. Plus, while it varies school to school, teachers have very little control on school wide policies. Concerns regarding pick-up/drop off time, student schedules, school uniform, etc...are simply not in my control. If they were, trust that this meeting would not be occurring as it is. Tip 2- Avoid stating --and then restating-- how incredibly busy you are as if I couldn't imagine what that must be like. I am too, most adults are, but I still managed to make time less than 24 hours from your request to meet with you on a Friday afternoon, heading into a 3-day weekend, when the rest of the building has …

Word Lust

I read this speech with my classes today and I am pretty positive I gained more from it than any one of my students. Maybe it is just because I've previously read the piece a number of times, or maybe it is because my students haven't reached a maturity that permits an ability to relate, but maybe it is because I have whole days where my role in life weighs on me. Perhaps this is why I feel an attraction for Anna Quindlen's words and the ease with which she seemingly lives her life.

If you have a few minutes, give her a read.


"I look at all of you today and I cannot help but see myself twenty-five years ago, at my own Barnard commencement. I sometimes seem, in my mind, to have as much in common with that girl as I do with any stranger I might pass in the doorway of a Starbucks or in the aisle of an airplane. I cannot remember what she wore or how she felt that day. But I can tell you this about her without question: she was perfect.
Let me be very clear what I mean by t…