Back to School Interview: Sara Goas

For the past six and a half years, I've taught English to public school ninth graders. This year, I actually have a brand new job: teaching seventh grade English in a very religious, Jewish private school.

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Back to School Interview: Lisa Miller Kawalek

For back-to-school week on Magnificent Nose, we’ll be featuring interviews with teachers and other education professionals. Lisa Miller Kawalek teaches at Bayonne High School in Bayonne, NJ. In addition, she's a teacher with Judith Kawalek presents Kindermusik, where she leads music and movement classes for babies and their caretakers. Magnificent Nose: Could you start out … Continue reading Back to School Interview: Lisa Miller Kawalek

Back to School Interview: Dianna T.

For back-to-school week on Magnificent Nose, we’ll be featuring interviews with teachers and other education professionals. Dianna T. teaches at a bilingual school in New York City. She is fluent in both French and English, but because she is a native speaker of English she's expected not to speak French with the children. She quickly … Continue reading Back to School Interview: Dianna T.

Back to School Interview: Julie Goldberg

I'm a high school librarian. I'm also involved in technology, curriculum, and staff development for teachers. I used to be a high school English teacher. I love talking to kids about books, writing, and information, but after I had my children, I knew I couldn't be the mother I wanted to be while still grading hundreds of papers per month.

A Tale of Many Magnets

Growing up in a first world country, I had the usual collection of Polly Pockets and Barbie dolls that most little girls are given at one point or another in their childhood. The Polly Pockets came with little clamshell worlds, while the Barbies had a large wardrobe for the (non-)discerning fashionista-to-be. But despite these toys, … Continue reading A Tale of Many Magnets

Swearing in the Classroom

Ji-eon approached me while I stood at the lectern. She sheepishly grabbed a  black dry erase marker and wrote “sheet” followed by the word “shit.” Her cheeks flushed in embarrassment. “How to say?” she asked. I showed her the vowel sounds and had her mimic them back to me. The i in kid or lift … Continue reading Swearing in the Classroom

“Walking the Tightrope” on the Last Day of School

Today was the last official schoolday in my district. I woke up this morning wanting to let my kids out early and start summer vacation a few hours early, but I instead spent the time sharing with them the results of their final exam essays. I certainly did not feel like explaining to one particularly … Continue reading “Walking the Tightrope” on the Last Day of School

Poems Flowing Like…Toothpaste?

Last week, I gave my students about twenty minutes to write a poem. Taking my own advice on finding a new place to write, I arranged for us to have class on the school's front lawn. The students were permitted to sit anywhere, as long as I could see them (although I had to tighten … Continue reading Poems Flowing Like…Toothpaste?

And The One Thing Harder Than Writing is…

...teaching writing. You can take my word on this--I've been teaching writing, in some form or another, for the past five years. Back when I first had my own real classroom, I focused primarily on writing, rather than on literature. My students typically completed two or three major writing assignments per month. Over the years, the major … Continue reading And The One Thing Harder Than Writing is…

Practicing What I’ve Preached

Inspiration has been severely lacking this week. And yet, here I am, pushing through the pain, forcing myself to type words even though I have no idea yet where this particular post should go. In short, today I'm truly practicing what I've preached for the past few months. In a previous post, I talked about … Continue reading Practicing What I’ve Preached