The Possum

2011 Winner of the Bechtel Prize By Janet L. Bland   It started with a possum running right in front of the van. There are many things that I don’t want to happen when I am driving a van full of my students (including, but not limited to, vomiting, flat tires, love triangles, and snowstorms),…

Writing Our Way Through the Door

By Vanessa Mártir This essay was first published on Vanessa Mártir’s  blog, Digging Into Memory. It was a hard teaching week. High school students can be so callous, and I’m a hard teacher who demands a lot from my kids and sometimes that causes problems. But know this: I am here, working with this demographic, because…

The Tree Project

2004 Winner of the Bechtel Prize By Sam Swope A Tree Is As I walked through Central Park to the subway that September, already leaves were beginning to turn. I was excited by the project I had planned for my immigrant fifth graders. There were 36 of them, from more than 20 countries, and I’d…

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