This post was written by all the teacher-leaders in Sandboxes for Learning who attended the meeting described below December 9-11, 2016: Paul Allison, Christina Cantrill, Joe Dillion, Jenny Lockie, Jo Paraiso, Dawn Reed, Shantanu Saha, Chris Sloan, and Trixie Smith.
Currently, I teach English to 10th - 12th Graders at Bronx Academy Senior High. I'm also a member of the Youth Voices Steering Committee, which is a group of teachers who, like me, have their students post on this school-based social network, where we encourage students to engage in peer-to-peer digital exchange.
I have been teaching Humanities, English and technology classes ever since I graduated from Hunter College, CUNY in 1983. After two years of teaching in Salt Lake City, and a couple of years at the High School of Art and Design, NYC, I taught for a dozen years at University Heights Secondary School, Bronx, NY, where I learned that doing school better doesn't have to be the "same old thing" with more effort. I also worked with English Language Learners at the International High School in Queens from 1999-2002.
After 9/11, there was a lot of talk about doing meaningful work. At the same time, I was finding myself being seduced by new forms of literacy on the Internet. An opportunity to become a “studio teacher” of technology at East Side Community High School, NYC presented itself in the Summer of 2002, and I taught "New Journalism" at ESCHS for five years. In addition, I taught technology classes and East Bronx Academy for the Future for in the 2007-08 school year.
Another community that I'm is a part of is the New York City Writing Project. I was a participant in the NYCWP’s Summer Invitational in 1985, and I have worked for the NYCWP in various ways ever since. Currently, with Grace Rafaelle, I'm the NYC Technology Liaison for the National Writing Project. In addition, I am a member of the EdTechTalk and WorldBridges community. Along with Susan Ettenheim, I produce and host a live webcast every Wednesday night called "Teachers Teaching Teachers"
I love to bike and to run. Several years ago, just after I started teaching technology at East Side Community High School, I began commuting by foot. Some days I would bike both ways to and from East Side, for a total of 22 miles. Other days I would take the train to work, and I would run 11 miles up the West Side, along the Hudson River to my home. It wasn't always easy, but I was hooked.
Currently, my school is 13.35 miles away from where I live. Commuting by train takes me at least 90 minutes; by bike it takes me about 75 minutes. I love my commute, which takes me down through East Harlem onto the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and into Astoria. Zipping down Astoria Boulevard, I have the new Citi Field in my view, then I pass through Flushing Meadow Park past the Queens Botanical Gardens to The East-West School of International Studies. I throw my bike into a window frame in a science room, change my clothes, and I'm ready for work! Best of all, I get to do it all over again in the opposite direction after I finish teaching. Take a Google Earth Tour of my route.
I love biking to and from my school, and this coming year I hope to add more running to the mix. Sometimes I record my thoughts to a video that films in front of my bike as I cross the RFK Bridge. This becomes my video blog, or vlog, if you prefer.
Writing Project Site
How are we bringing the #BlackLivesMatter movement into our classrooms?
Teachers Teaching Teachers invites you to join us at the end of what we hope is an exciting and making-filled day on February 5th to celebrate Digital Learning Day with the Educator Innovator Initiative’s #make4dlday.
Some of us look forward to tending our gardens. Others to reading that novel we've had in mind for months. Or, maybe summer is the time to travel, start a new exercise routine, or take a class. We all look forward to changing our routines during the summer months. Teachers and students alike often dream about their plans.
My students and I love this photo by Joseph Morales (a retired teacher who has been working with us) of Tree Swallows on a box that students built with Rocking The Boat and installed in Soundview Park in the Bronx.
Notice how the conversations are growing: