Wow, back at it! It’s been a really, really long time since I have done this. (Almost but not quite a year.)
I guess it’s worth discussing some of the things I’ve been doing:
First and foremost, I’ve been mom-ing. My son turned two last spring and we’re quickly approaching his third birthday. Every day is an adventure; his language, his interests, his abilities change so quickly that it’s hard to keep up sometimes! Being stuck in the nitty-gritty of the everyday, I rely on poetry, private journaling, and photos/videos on my iPhone to remind me how much has changed. Thanks goodness for technology!
Also, my husband and I bought a house! We’re about 10 miles north of Boston now. It’s weird being in the suburbs, and I miss the city (especially the diversity), but financially this was the move we needed to make.
I’m also more than half-way through another school year, and it feels as though I’ve finally gotten my groove back after returning from maternity leave. My teaching feels more robust and energized than ever, and that’s in large part due to the thing that’s taken up a large part of my time…
Since January 2016 I’ve been a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow. Teach Plus is a national non-profit that helps support teachers as leaders. It’s been a pretty amazing experience, not only because I’ve had the opportunity to do things like testify at the MA State House about an educational bill, meet state legislators and other community leaders, present at regional conferences, and provide input into the MA Frameworks, but also I’ve done a lot of writing and publishing in the last year.
Writing about educational issues – for publication, not just for myself or my school or my blog – has been a blessing. It’s reminded me why I teach, why I spend 180 days of my life surrounded by teenagers, why I am a public school teacher, why I feel so passionately about the promise and power of education. It has kept me buoyed throughout some politically turbulent waters, and has helped me to be more engaged and present in the process of writing with my students. I’ve known for a long time that teaching is not a neutral act, and in the act of writing about my teaching, I’ve infused my professional work with more of “me” than I ever had.
Last March I decided to stay anonymous, but I’m going to out myself here. We write because we have something to say, yes? So why not share myself with my teacher-writer peers! I hope you enjoy the writing I’ve been doing instead of blogging over the last year, and I look forward to writing and sharing and reading with y’all this month!
- ”The burden of love”, The Jewish Advocate (December 2016)
- “After the Election I Told My Students I Love Them. Then We Got To Work.”, Education Post (November 2016)
- “Keep”, JoLLE: The Journal of Language and Literacy Education (University of Georgia, Volume 12 Issue 2, Fall 2016)
- “In This Election Season, Vote to Build ‘A City on a Hill’”, Huffington Post (August 2016)
- “Words that Wound”, The Ekphrastic Review (Web, June 2016)
- “Why Cultural Competency Training Matters for White Urban Teachers”, CommonWealth Magazine (May 2016)
- “Why Repealing Common Core Would Be a Terrible Move for Massachusetts Students and Teachers”, Education Post (March 2016)