The funniest point of the day was when Lisa Donlan and her husband JC, very big soccer fans (their son is a top level player) handed Jack his present. The minute he unwrapped it and saw a soccer ball, he forgot all about the other presents and went running off with the ball. I think we have a star for the 2034 World Cup.
I was in Prospect Park attending the 2nd birthday party of Jack Cavanagh, son of Julie and Glenn, along with other teachers from PS 15.
Julie had invited parents of children in her class and I spoke to one. Julie teaches special needs kids of the highest order. I spoke to one of the parents who just raved about this tenured teacher who has been able to stand up for children, parents and teachers and her school time and again -- because she is tenured. His child has been in Julie's class for the past 3 years, with one more to go. "What happens with middle school," I asked, knowing that leaving Julie must be causing some anxiety. "Whatever she says," he said pointing to Julie. "All the parents trust whatever she says. She has already started looking for the best options for us." There are principals out there who would resent Julie's bonds with parents as somehow threatening - luckily not her principal - and her general advocacy and community building and without the tenure protections she would be at risk.
Julie doesn't just talk about these ideas but practices them every day in her classroom and her school.