Connect With Your Teen! #StreamTeam @Netflix #Ad

    Recently my son approached me and asked me if I was familiar with the Netflix original show, 13 Reasons Why.  Honestly, I had heard a little about it from some of my high school students but I had not watched the show myself.  He proceeded to tell me that the theme of the show was suicide and how he and all his friends were talking about it at school.     As parents, we sometimes are at a loss on how to broach some of the heavy topics that affect our adolescent children.  It has a lot to do with being conflicted over wanting to protect our children from some of the scary realities of life and wanting to educate them so they can make the best decisions as they grow into adulthood.  It goes without saying that discussing mental health issues and suicide is not really something that any parent is fully prepared for.  Being able to discuss his thoughts on the Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why opened the door for us to have an open dialogue about a very sensitive topic.     … [Read more...]

Help Your Teenager Deal With Peer Pressure

    Teenagers seem to be faced with so much more today, then I ever faced as a kid. It’s a tough world out there. Unfortunately, there are teenagers out there who won’t do the right thing. Since they refuse to do the right thing, they will drag other teens down with them. Here is how to help your teenager deal with peer pressure. Communicate with your teenager Your life will always go a lot more smoothly whenever you communicate with your teenager. Not only do you want to communicate with them, you want to have an open-door policy for them. It’s much better to have your teen come talk to you than give into peer pressure. Trust your teen to make the right choice Every adult on this planet has made a bad choice and a lot of those choices were made as teenagers. AS a parent, you have vowed to never let your teenager make the same mistakes you did. GREAT! Now that you have talked to your teen, trust them to make the right choice. If they will be in a situation where you … [Read more...]

No Refunds or Exchanges

         This afternoon, I was waiting for my husband to move his car so I could park in the driveway when I saw the neighbor's teenage son, "D". He walked up to my car and I asked him how he was doing and I told him that I was worried about him. Hubby had seen him the day before with all his bags packed and walking in the cold in a flimsy jacket. He arrived this way on his father's doorstep. You see, his father lives next door to me with his girlfriend and "D" lives with his mother and usually has visitation with his father on the weekends. Unfortunately, this commonly occurs that "D" is kicked out by Mom and has to come to his father's house seeking refuge. Luckily, his father always welcomes him with open arms and he has a wonderful Stepmother who treats him like her own son.     As he was explaining to me what had happened between he and his mother, I could see the sadness in his eyes. He told me that he argues with his mother all the time and that, when she gets upset, … [Read more...]

When I Was 17…

         When I was 17 I felt like the world was my oyster.  I had so many plans for how my life was going to turn out and I set so many goals that I wanted to accomplish.  As I am sitting here watching a show on television about what entertainers were doing when they were 17, I started to reflect on what I was doing at that age.  Suddenly, I was flooded with so many memories of what my life was like then and how the person that I am now is so far away from that young girl.     It was my senior year in High School and I was preoccupied with all of the preparations for the events that come along with graduating from the twelfth grade.  I had a very light class schedule, since it was my last year, and I took advantage of this to get a part-time job on afternoons and weekends to help me save money to pay for Prom and graduation expenses.  Unfortunately, my father was the only one who worked and supported a family of five so he could not afford to pay for everything alone.  As a … [Read more...]


         As most of you already know, I have been an English Language Arts Middle School teacher for the past ten years.  All of that time has been spent teaching inner city public school students.  I can tell you that everyday of teaching this age group is an adventure for a variety of reasons...First, they are at that age where they think that they are grown-ups and that they know everything.  Second, they are full of hormones that sometimes make them lose their minds and say and do things that are shocking to us adults.      Today, as I was teaching and interacting with my students, I thought that you guys would enjoy reading some of the things that my Darlings tell me on a daily basis.  So, without further ado, I present you with "Middle Schooler Quotes" courtesy of my students: "Mrs. C, I can't help eating candy and chewing gum in class.  The gum calls out to me and tells me, "Please chew me!" "Miss, could you please talk to "R."  He just licked my notebook and my … [Read more...]

Let Down

         Last night, my father sent me an email with a link to read an article that was recently published in our local paper about my old High School.  It seems that the graduation rate at this school has dropped significantly and the New York City Department of Education gave the school an "F" on their yearly performance report card.  Schools deemed as failing run the risk of being closed down or reorganized.  In essence, what this means is that they relocate all of the current faculty to new schools and bring in a whole new staff and a new Principal.  This was a big surprise to me because I have nothing but wonderful memories about the experiences that I had there as well as the interactions that I had with the staff.     The school was destined to go downhill when its old Principal, "Mr. L", was dismissed under allegations that he was misappropriating school funds and paying teachers and other staff members for overtime that they were not doing.  Mr. L was Principal when … [Read more...]