In New York, kids are fighting to stay alive; in Seattle kids are contemplating suicide.
This is one way to describe the vast differences in the student populations I have spent my career working with. As a high school teacher for the past eight years, and facilitator of restorative justice (RJ) for the past three, it has been my honor to help guide and coach students through the extremely tough years of high school and adolescence.
I had first taught in New York, then the Seattle area. And now I was returning to New York with an expanded mindset and a new set of tools and philosophies.
Though the life of a teen in the Pacific northwest might seem the opposite of a teen’s life in the South Bronx, they’re quite similar in many ways. They struggle with acceptance, poverty, racial issues, bullying, sexual identity and a host of other concerns that seem ubiquitous and universal these days...