Is Special Ed Forever?

In November, I sent my first student to a general education class. It was for math only, fifty minutes a day, in a fourth-grade classroom—one grade level lower than the student’s actual age. I initiated and pursued this placement because the student was out-performing the other students in my self-contained class, and I had a

The Weave

We were waiting for the bus when Tanisha approached me in her puffy pink jacket with tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was wrong and her mouth opened and closed several times in silent sobs before she finally spoke. “Joshua said I have a weave,” she said. Joshua, who was right behind

Answering Tough Questions

Ms. Carroll’s first graders were coloring pictures of Harriet Tubman and Robert E. Lee. I was amazed at the details they included-Tubman’s red bandana and Lee on horseback carrying the confederate flag. Wandering around the clusters of desks, I noticed Daniel’s raised hand, summoning me to the other side of the room. He looked ready

A Student Died

A boy from my school died. His name was David. He was sixteen, and I’m told, a notorious gang member. He was Edgar’s cousin. He was Alberto’s friend. David was run over by a car of opposing gang members, crushed up against a gate and beat to death. To my knowledge, no one has been

Beyond the Flashcards

Today we wrote about Godzilla. Godzilla fought King Kong at the Sears Tower and army troops had to be called in to break it up. Yesterday, it was anacondas in the jungle eating jaguars, giraffes and lions. I’m a little worried about what the principal might think of our topics if she happened to walked

Grammar Nazi

Kevarri loved dinosaurs. The second grade, student of the month, knew the meat-eaters from the plant-eaters, and the two-legged from the four, but he rarely raised his hand. I subbed in Kevarri’s class last week with Ms. Beltramy, the student teacher. Ms. Beltramy has been teaching Kevarri’s class all school year, and Thursday morning, she