A problem is simply an unrealized solution. - A. Bernadette

According to The School of Life, study human unhappiness to find your next business idea.
If you can't identify a problem you are trying to solve within your company, you are a part of the problem.
Sustainable thinking teaching us without considering the triple bottom line -- people, planet, profit, as your stakeholders and treating reduce, reuse, recycle as key parts to your policies and procedures your living in the past.
I invite you to check out the below ideas, make them better, and keep questioning your ethics as you go forth.

Since mid-March 2020 1.1 million public school students have been learning at home. Remote learning was a hastily organized response to a crisis. It does not meet the learning needs of students. Planning for the next school year will require reframing and reconceptualizing the classroom. Educators and local leaders must take bold actions and integrate all stakeholders: parents, teachers, nurses, social workers, custodial staff, administrators, and students. Bringing students back to school means creating new learning environments and redefining what a classroom looks, sounds, and feels like.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused upheaval that will result in permanent changes to both public and private education systems. The majority of NYC public school students come from low-income families who rely on schools for education as well as meals, physical and mental healthcare, and safe supportive spaces.

Problem: How can 1.1 million students return to school safely with inevitable state and federal budget cuts?

Solution: Match struggling restaurants with small groups of students who are currently learning from home. Pre-pandemic, Kettle Space created co-working spaces for modern professionals in restaurants that had downtime during the day. Adapting this model, small groups of students and teachers utilize empty restaurant space during the school day to meet face to face in a classroom environment. Restaurants can continue to provide take out and delivery services while small groups use dining space. Restaurants are an ideal environment to meet the CDCs guidelines in reopening schools. Family cohort groups of students will be consistent, the same students and teachers will use the same space, limiting the mixing of groups. Nearby urgent care centers can provide healthcare. The school day ends at 3pm, allowing time for cleaning and prep before the restaurant opens for dinner.

These small classrooms will host cohort groups of students of all ages. Teachers across grade bands will match with groups of families with students in all age groups. Teacher-student ratios are high, often 1 teacher for more than 20 students. Remote or distance learning will continue in a hybrid model. Parents will continue to play a key role in their children’s’ education and will partner with teachers to help students achieve their learning goals. Parents who volunteer will be trained, permission from their employer to miss work 1 day a week, and stipends for their service.

Teaching and learning are rooted in relationships. Families and educators are partners. In person, teachers and classroom staff provide emotional and social checkpoints for students and support for families as they navigate the new world of education.

Winners: Restaurants for increased business during the non-peak hours. Students will have smaller classroom sizes, personalized lessons, and a safe space to socialize with peers. Parents will feel safe knowing their children are close to home, in a safe space, and able to continue to participate in their children's education. Teachers will benefit from this hybrid system as they safely work from home with the option of onsite visits.

Thinkers: Amberle Reyes is a New York City special education teacher trained as a team leader and administrator. Andrea Reyes is an adjunct instructor in both private and public colleges. We are aware of the disruption to public education and want to offer solutions that meet the needs of families, educators, and small businesses.





I love working from home. I've had the pleasure of working remotely, teaching online, leading the NYC Fair Trade Coalition from afar, and organizing activities with teams in different time zones. While in Uganda I've lived in somewhat remote places where leaving after dark was not safe, stayed in places where I was the only resident, and spent days not leaving my home. Some of these activities were self-imposed while others were out of my control.

Currently working from home in Harlem, NYC during the Covid 19 outbreak brings back familiar feelings from my past experiences and offers new experiences as there seems to be no timeline for when this might end.

I can understand working from home is not for everyone but with a little practice and a little compassion for yourself, you too can enjoy working from home. Here are my tips and tricks:

1. Make a list. The more detailed the better. Make a list first in your head once you wake up and spend the first verticle 10 mins of your day writing it down.

2. Schedule in breakfast, coffee, and other breaks. If you can keep these breaks consistent from day to day your mind will thank you. Humans love consistency.

3. Cross items off your list once you've completed them. I have a running google doc that I've used for over 5 years.

4. Schedule calls during the times that you find hardest to keep working. My tough hours are 3-5pm.

5. Stop working and take a walk. NYC friends if you have a library card Libby is a great app where you can get audiobooks to listen while you walk.

All the best,

Prof. Reyes

A few years back I was spending time in Uganda and stumbled upon an audiobook hidden in my iTunes library. The voice that came from the speaker was startling and unexpected as my music shuffled from reggae, pop, rap, and edm. After a few minutes of listening to a middle chapter I was hooked and quickly searched for the entire mysterious audiobook.

I was staying at a friends restaurant which had three rooms in the back. I was the only guest and often one of a handful of diners. At night, half a gate was locked with a large gap missing about 50 feet down. Extra safe. With no one to speak with on a desolate street I began to listen to World War Z. For those of you who have read or watched the movie, staring Brad Pit, you’ll perhaps understand listening to this recount of a zombie apocalypse under my circumstances wasn’t ideal. The story takes place in 2006 after the zombies have taken over. The author moves from country to country, leader to leader, survivor after survivor interviewing and recording their recount of the horror.

This time has felt a bit like that book. The news clips, the numbers rising, the fast pace of our lives growing smaller and more unstable. Living in NYC it feels as if the slowest tsunami is headed our way. Some of us already up high looking out at the sea swelling, while others amazed by the receding ocean go up close to take a look. We’re shouting from the rooftops, no, run, find shelter, protect yourself, while others believe they have plenty of time or simply can’t see whats coming.

What else can you do but sit and stare. Stare out into the sky, take stock of your belongings, and try to feel blessed for the things you have. Health, home, friends, family, imagination, foresight, fresh air, information, and protection. I wish all of these things for every New Yorker, American, Global citizen, and sure why not every creature.

It’s been one week of significant reduced interactions, two weeks of panic, three weeks of uncertainty, and three months of awareness that something was coming. Stick with me as we untangle the mess, process what’s taken place, and imagine a new future.

© 2019 by A. BERNADETTE.






A: Travel, Educate, Explore


A: Artisans, Entreprenuers, Students



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