Author Archives: zortizfuentes

About zortizfuentes

I'm a writer, yoga instructor, and former NYC public school English teacher. Also, I am one of the 2016 NYC Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellows. My favorite books are Jane Eyre and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Written in Blood: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

“We read to know that we are not alone.” —William Nicholson The most recent kerfuffle surrounding Sherman Alexie’s award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian got me thinking about how I have approached teaching this young adult novel … Continue reading

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Comfort Reading

How do we cope when the world around us is seemingly going crazy? How do we grapple with the daily stream of horrific events we are confronted with, one more gruesome than the other: the Newtown school massacre, the gang-rape … Continue reading

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Searching for Hilarity in the Classroom

Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.—Japanese proverb During a recent bout of spring cleaning, I was pulling out a plethora of long forgotten objects from my night table drawer—extra buttons, lip balm, cough drops, a variety of … Continue reading

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Writing Like Sandra Cisneros

When English teachers choose a mentor author and a text for writing lessons they do not have to look further than Sandra Cisneros and her short story collection The House on Mango Street. Cisneros’s collection, first published in 1984, has … Continue reading

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Resistant Readers

When students tell me they hate reading, I no longer react in shock or dismay as I did at the beginning of my teaching career. During my years of teaching middle and high school English, I have heard this sentiment … Continue reading

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That Distant Afternoon

From the moment I learned to read, books have been my refuge. As the daughter of an Army soldier, I travelled in and out of Puerto Rico with my family to different places in the United States and overseas.  Because … Continue reading

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Simple but Powerful Teaching Tips

Half of all teachers leave the profession by the end of their fifth year. Half of all inner-city teachers leave by the end of year three. I recently read this in one of the education blogs I follow. Whereas I … Continue reading

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