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Abacus | wikipedia.org

I learned to love math from my mom, the math mathemagician. I remember a cherry-colored abacus near my mother’s bedside. I watched her slide bead after bead, performing mental magic. She continued to share tricks and strategies with me that always got the same answers as my math teachers, and yet, I only got partial credit when I used my newest math magic skills at school.

There was an underlying message from my schooling that “other” ways of doing things was wrong. Lucky me, I had the opportunity to watch my mother, diligently and rather delightedly, work with new strategies…


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Subway Sofa | Roz Chast

I settled into the hard bench, pressing against the metal rails of the subway seats. I preferred to sit at the end, sandwiching myself between an inanimate object and another traveler. It represented a false sense of privacy to me. At least one of my sides was not pressed up against a stranger.

I pulled my latest book from my leather Diesel bag, the one my older sister had gifted me. New Yorkers and tribal-fusion dancers approved. As I flipped to a random page to begin my morning musing, I watched a woman wince as the train rails screeched from…


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Peace in Schools | Bringing Mindfulness to Teens

Rolling my suitcase out of the office, I ambled down the bustling hallway. I wondered what my high school self might’ve thought at the sight of an adult, lost with a suitcase. I leaned into a group of young ladies and asked where room B56 was. They pointed down the hallway, glancing curiously at my luggage.

6 months ago, I had relocated to New York to join an extensive network of educational initiatives focused on social emotional learning, restorative practices and community building. I was delighted to return to the Pacific Northwest to join some of my dance family, Allegro…


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Simon Says | The Blind Men & The Truth of The Elephant

One of my favorite jobs growing up was working at the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska. My glamorous role included 1) scanning poster-sized charts of land yet to be digitally recorded 2) renaming and ordering individual files. If college didn’t go as planned, I assumed I’d always be able to find a FT position at a nice government job… I was good at it… it paid well… and I really liked it.

That job is, undoubtedly, extinct.

A US Department of Labor report suggests that 65% of students today will be filling positions yet to be created. What do…


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Student art from TeensTakeCharge 4/28/17 @nypl @teenstakechargeNYC

Last Friday evening, @TeensTakeChargeNYC offered an evening of testimony from NYC students. It was an opportunity to learn about educational inequity through the eyes of students.

As a staff developer who travels around New York City to support teachers in building community and social-emotional development, I often hear teacher’s interpretations about what students need. However, I’m increasingly curious about student perspective. Through my interactions with students during after-school and individual coaching sessions, I realize no amount of training has prepared me as an educator in the 21st century.

There are so many factors I can’t begin to understand (Snapchat instead…


Using trial and error to be more effective and efficient

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It happened again!

Despite all my planning and preparation the prior weekend, I sat stewing in my impending tardiness, frustrated with the car in front of me. If it’d just inch up, I could make my meeting on time. Frantic as I pulled into a parking spot, I quickly glanced at the 08:56am on the dashboard.

I shoved my notepads and cords into my bag and watched sticky notes tumble to the floor as I pushed the car door open and scurried past the payment kiosk.

Simultaneously, I felt guilty about not paying and slightly anxious about becoming a meter-maid…

Makeda Gershenson

Founder & CEO of Good Better Best | Facilitator & Trainer | Mindfulness & EQ Educator | https://linktr.ee/goodbetterbest | IG: goodbetterbest.today

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