Monthly Archives: May 2014

The neighborhoods in our schools

Yesterday, I walked from one end of Manhattan to the other, starting at 225th street just north of the Broadway Bridge

225th Street

and going all the way down to Battery Park.


It was fascinating to watch how the city changed as I walked south. I walked about 100 blocks before hitting anything that looked like the image that comes to mind when you say “Manhattan.” And the Manhattan of Harlem has a very different feel from the Manhattan of Museum Mile, and both have a different feel from the Manhattan of SoHo.

I wonder how different the “neighborhoods” of our schools are. How is the neighborhood of a science classroom different from the neighborhood of an English classroom? How is the library different? The cafeteria? The art room? A math classroom? What purpose do the different neighborhoods in our school serve? What do students learn in the different neighborhoods of our schools?

Are there places with a sense of history?

Alexander Hamilton

Are there places to create?


Are there places where we can make the best of what might not be perfect?


Are there places where we look beyond the lines of where we are?


I believe all the different neighborhoods in our schools serve a purpose. The challenge is to make it so students feel at home in every neighborhood in the school.