Bronx Classroom Tales
Phil Tabernacle

A 3rd year HS English teacher in the S. Bronx and NYC Teaching Fellows alum, Phil is all about honesty, esp. when it comes to the state of education. To protect his school's privacy and keep his job, all names have been changed.  



After teaching lessons around the theme of identity for two weeks in a row, I asked my students to make the connection between the lesson and assignment I had just given them. They struggled heavily...
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My school is currently transitioning into a more technologically savvy community. We’re not only updating our software, but also our mission statement. We’ve recognize that students in our classes...
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It seems educators are all too quick to jump on any sign of separating students who learn differently and call it “tracking.”   Rather than off-handedly dismissing ability-based grouping, we...
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Even in my school's shrunken model, we’ve found ways to offer our students exposure to the world outside of the school building.   For the past two years, the young, small, and high needs public...
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Congratulations teachers, we made it! First marking period grades are in and we are closing in on the first semester.  However, as it always happens, there were a few teachers who have more than...
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Difficult students -- every teacher has at least one. While these students are certainly the minority of the entire student population, they make the most noise in both classrooms and newspaper...
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After seeing how meditation, carpet and couches have transformed my friend's classroom, I wonder if this new thinking really works and what other kinds of experiments in education can make a...
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Should students have a choice in what they learn and what work they do? The question reminds me of getting shots when I was a little kid and the doctor would let me pick a hand for my bubble gum...
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Help! New teachers are taking over my school!   This year, we hired about seven teachers and for a small school that’s a lot. This is the first year we’ve had teacher turn over at my school, but...
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How do you tell your top students that they are still way behind peers outside their urban, “low skills” school without dousing any hope to succeed?   With this year’s new senior class, the...
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