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.  



At a staff meeting last week, the school secretary went around getting signatures for pay-stubs - fairly standard practice. However when she got to me she had a little something extra…...
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Close your eyes. Wait. Open them. I hope you’ve opened them. Maybe just squint a little and imagine a work place where everyday, every individual comes to learn something. ...
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As hard as it may be for us to admit sometimes, teachers make mistakes. We make less as we get better, but we’ll always make them.     Sometimes, I forget to enter a grade where there...
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I don't know about you, but I'll be bringing my red pen beachside this spring break.     It’s spring break for NYC schools and as I was leaving work on Friday I overheard...
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Gone are the good ole days of teacher ultimatums that could hold their own against student apathy.   “If you miss ten days of school a semester, you can’t pass the class.”...
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I recently watched a feature on PBS which followed two principals over the course of a year. I was struck by a question that one of principals asked her teachers, something along the lines of, “...
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Is the school you work in like the school you went to? Do you teach the way you were taught?    I wonder what percentage of teachers currently work in a school similar to the school...
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Are essays really the only way?   It hits me about once a year that writing literary analysis essays about whether or not Piggy in The Lord of the Flies is a round or flat character, may not be...
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As the State Regents Exams draw close, it’s time to start teaching to the test if you haven’t already.   Those who don’t fall into the trap of test prep turn their noses up...
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Fights are a reality at my school.   As much as we say, and I believe, that it is a safe place for students to learn and teachers to work, it’s never that surprising about once a month to...
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