Class 325

Classroom Talks and Topics

Hands-on, practical firsthand tips from Julie Nariman, one of New York City's most innovative educators, for students and parents navigating the high school years. Julie holds forth on everything from how air conditioners affect student learning to how pizza and math go together. For more information, please check out her blog.
  • Being the adult
    by Julie Nariman on July 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    As I’m hiring for the next school year, I’m starting to see a key teacher quality I hadn’t recognized before: the ability to be an adult around teenagers. This may sound obvious.  What I mean is that the teacher knows that they are the adult, and that the student is a kid who may not yet … Continue reading Being the adult […]

  • Just a fun class
    by Julie Nariman on June 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    The High School of Language and Innovation was founded in 2011, and this year was our school’s fifth graduating class, the Class of 2019. Each graduating class has been unique in its personality.  They have different quirks and different gifts.  As I planned my graduation speech, I thought, “What make this class special?” Many answers … Continue reading Just a fun class […]

  • The graduation finish line
    by Julie Nariman on June 10, 2019 at 10:55 am

    The path to graduation is different for every student, and so is our approach. For some kids, we race to keep up with them: they excel in every course, so we look for new opportunities and train teachers to lead advanced courses. For other kids, it’s a matter of holding their hand: we offer extra … Continue reading The graduation finish lin […]

  • A test and a passion for eggs
    by Julie Nariman on May 10, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Our high school is made up almost entirely of newcomer immigrant English Language Learners.  Every May we give students a required test that measures English proficiency.   The test includes a a 15 minute speaking portion, which is delivered 1:1 by a teacher.  The speaking test starts with a simple Warm Up: “A. What is your … Continue reading A test and a passion for eggs […]

  • We want a mascot
    by Julie Nariman on May 3, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I’m always fascinated by what gets kids excited about school. Take a 12th grade student in my school, Rebecca.*  Rebecca is known for a sweet smile and enthusiastic participation.  However, at some point this year, everything got cloudy for her: nothing in school was fun or exciting.  A few teachers told me that she might … Continue reading We want a mascot […]

  • Come for the pizza, stay for the math
    by Julie Nariman on April 14, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Our students are passionate about food.  This past week, I was reminded of how that passion can actually support learning. Our school is participating in NYC’s innovative Participatory Budgeting Program for students, in which the student body is given $2000 to spend on the school, using a democratic process to propose ideas and vote on … Continue reading Come for the pizza, stay for the mat […]

  • Walking out with respect
    by Julie Nariman on March 26, 2019 at 10:27 am

    The New Zealand mosque shooting had particular resonance for my students.  My school is for newcomer immigrant English Language Learners and many of our students are Muslim.  The day after the shooting, a girl who is not Muslim came in with a poster she had made on her own stating “We stand with our Muslim neighbors.” … Continue reading Walking out with respect […]

  • In my school we sat on benches
    by Julie Nariman on March 8, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    As a school for newcomer immigrant English Language Learners, our students come from all over the world: Dominican Republic, Yemen, Bangladesh, several countries in Africa, Albania, China, Vietnam, to name a few. However, we don’t know much about school in our students’ countries.  Recently, I decided to simply ask: what was learning like in your … Continue reading In my school we sat on benches […]

  • Narrowing gaps behind-the-scenes
    by Julie Nariman on February 22, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    What impacts student learning?  Teachers, school leaders, counselors, parent-school partnerships.  Access to quality books and materials, curriculum. And seemingly mundane things.  Like air conditioners. NYC Mayor DiBlasio introduced an initiative to put an air conditioner in every NYC classroom by 2022.  Next week, our school is getting eight new air conditioners funded by the city.  (Thank … Continue reading Narrowing gaps behind-the-scenes […]

  • No school, no dance?
    by Julie Nariman on February 8, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    A couple of weeks ago, Sami arrived at our school dance.  Sami is a dynamic 12th grader who is passionate about basketball and Star Wars.  He is a charmer and a social butterfly.  He looked excited at the entrance to the dance, surrounded by his friends, ready to pay his $5 entrance fee. The only problem was, … Continue reading No school, no dance? […]

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