Mr. Smith's Neighborhood

It's a beautiful day in the Neighborhood for teachers everywhere! Anything and everything is fair game!

Distorting History with The History Channel June 30, 2007

The History Channel is at it again. It’s Saturday night, June 30, and The History Channel is featuring “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy.” For those of you who have not seen this show, it is a distortion of the true facts in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Essentially, it is another program in a long series of disinformation pieces designed to focus blame for Kennedy’s murder on Fidel Castro, the Mafia or solely on the shoulders of Lee Harvey Oswald.

First, let’s understand who runs The History Channel to determine if some slant might exist. According to the website for A&E Television Networks: “A&E Television Networks, a joint venture of The Hearst Corporation, ABC, Inc. and NBC Universal, is an award-winning, international media company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television programming, to home videos/DVDs and music CDs, to web sites, as well as supporting nationwide educational initiatives. AETN is comprised of A&E Network®, The History Channel®, History International™, The Biography Channel®, Military History Channel™, The History Channel en español™, Crime & Investigation Network™, AETN International, and AETN Consumer Products.” (more…)


Teacher Reflection on the End of the Year June 27, 2007

Today, June 27, is probably a very ordinary day for many people. At least it is ordinary to the extent that it probably is not a day that you may remember one year from now. I only hope that, should you have cause to remember today one year from now, your reason is a happy one.

Today, for me, marked the completion of my second year as a full time teacher. It also completed my first year as a New York City Department of Education teacher. Maybe in a world of insanity this seems unremarkable … but I also celebrated my 51st birthday this year. I walked away from a six-figure income in the business world to follow my heart and soul … and even though I knew it was the right thing to do, today was the proof.

After a bad decision to teach at one school, I was fortunate to have a few angels guide me to the school where I belong. It was an incredible year in which I had amazing support from a great principal, a fabulous assistant principal, a great dean, a talented mentor, and lots of teachers and specialists who made my life easier. (more…)