Saturday afternoon, I went into school to catch up on paperwork. Always quiet on a weekend, I thought. Then, around sunset, I heard a tremendous racket from up the hill. Multiple male voices shouting. What the heck? I padded down the main stairs toward the back of the building. As I got to the big […]
This morning, a frantic call came over the office PA system from Ms. Knickerbein, the yard duty teacher. “Tell the principal to come right away! A boy has crawled under the steps and won’t come out!” She went on about how she had told him to come out FIVE times but I had all I […]
Hours ago, I found Shannon O’Neil, a small-boned fifth grader, sitting in a rumple of hoodie and big blue jeans, outside the door of his classroom. Kicked out, it seemed. Ms. Glenda Jackson, twenty-seven year veteran teacher with a short fuse, often kicked out that which made no sense to her. Shannon today fit that […]
If a teacher gives even the slightest signal that it’s time to go outside, kids hop up and bolt for the door. That’s true most of the time. So, this morning, when I got a distress call from Ms. Weathersby telling me that Tarik “is being difficult again. He doesn’t want to go out to […]
If you want to know what ‘brave’ looks like in a child, you have to let go of what you think you know. Shrink yourself down to no more than a few feet tall. Take away the cool confidence that comes from experience – the times you stood up, got knocked down, and then stood […]
Kids from the neighborhood, when they first come to school, bring along their street-ruled games. First rule: Stay in until you get flattened. As long as you can stand, you can play. Last long enough and you become a neighborhood titan. Isaiah – or Isaiah the Thin – was one such titan who could have […]
Most mornings, I see eight-year old Jermayne as he arrives on the playground. He comes through the big gates, takes a single step onto the yard and then stops. Every day he stops on the same spot. He lifts his chin, looks straight ahead, and forms an X with his index fingers. Holding this X […]
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- Fifteen September 17, 2016
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