Classroom 325 Learning & Leading in a Bronx High School By Julie Nariman

  • 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? […]

  • I can tell you anything, right?
    by Julie Nariman on February 4, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Jeetu, a 12th-grade boy, sat in my office, eager to talk. “You’re the principal, so I can tell you anything, right?” I was tickled by Jeetu’s question.  A lot of kids might have the opposite thought: You’re the principal so let me choose my words carefully and make sure you don’t find out whatever I’m … Continue reading I can tell you anything, right? […]

  • Dance, dance, dance
    by Julie Nariman on January 28, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I find my students touching, and often cute.  However, in thinking of them as “cute,” I don’t always see their wisdom. Three 12th grade students approached me a few weeks ago.  I call them my “movers and shakers.”  They are active in student government and always looking to plan new activities. “We want to have … Continue reading Dance, dance, danc […]

  • Melting grudges
    by Julie Nariman on January 18, 2019 at 11:38 am

    As a principal, I hear complaints from teachers and students about each other.  “Ahmed refuses to participate.”  “Ms. X didn’t help me even though I was raising my hand.”  I typically try to “solve” or mollify the complaints quickly so everyone can move on. This week, coming fresh from a seminar on listening, I heard … Continue reading Melting grudges […]

  • The Smell of Oranges
    by Julie Nariman on January 11, 2019 at 11:51 am

    As the principal of a high school that serves newcomer English Language Learners, I track many pieces of students data: progress with English, attendance, participation in clubs and sports, grades, test scores, etc. Yet sometimes, a seemingly insignificant moment teaches me more about my school than any piece of official data. Last week, I was … Continue reading The Smell of Oranges […]

  • The Pressure to Punish Part II
    by Julie Nariman on January 4, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Last week, I wrote about a student who sent an angry email to a teacher during winter break. I talked about my own initial instinct to “jump to punishment” instead of finding out what had happened. Returning from break, I was reminded of another layer of complexity: the parents’ pressure to punish. The day we … Continue reading The Pressure to Punish Part II […]