Episode #85: Writing to Uplift, Inform, and Bridge Understanding with Nicole Biscotti

By Barbara Bray

Join Barbara Bray in conversations with awesome educators, leaders, and influencers as they talk about their passion and purpose for planting seeds for change. Each podcast has a link to a related blog post with more information and resources.

Nicole Biscotti is proud to be an educator and believes that everyone should have access to a quality education that connects them with their purpose. She seeks to bridge understanding, spark conversations, and inspire through her writing. Nicole is writing a book with her 9-year-old son from the unique perspectives of a child and a mother who is also a teacher. 
Your background – where you grew up
I grew up in between New York City and Phoenix, Arizona. My parents divorced when I was little and my childhood was filled with a lot of instability and chaos. I moved a lot, had a few different living situations, and the setting and the characters changed frequently. I see myself in a lot of the kids that I teach that are struggling with instability at home while they deal with the challenges of being a teenager.
What it was like for you as a student
I was a mostly introverted kid with pretty low self-esteem who didn’t think that what I thought or felt mattered much. I escaped the chaos around me by reading in my bedroom most of the time. I was very disconnected and didn’t do well in school until I went to live with my dad in high school. I remember that in the 7th grade I was failing Reading Class, partly because I had not filled out even one book report. My mother made me document all that I had read that year and I had, in fact, read 114 books. Looking back I marvel at how disconnected I was to not even think about filling out the form and getting credit for doing that in my class. When I went to live with my dad in high school, I saw this change as a new start.  My father had very high expectations of me and I really wanted to please him. I pretty much changed overnight into an Honors student.
Your family – your children
I have raised my children largely alone, without a lot of economic resources. I have 4 children: my oldest is Nicholas who is 19, he makes me proud every day with his diligence and accomplishments.  I have twin girls that are physically identical to each other and pretty much to me. They are 10. Their names are Rose and Julia. Rosie is a great writer and very artistic and Julia is bright and joyful and loves horses.  Jason is 9 and is a Math wiz who loves to play soccer.

I believe in education and am convinced that education provides us with opportunities. Nicholas graduated from a Title 1 high school and is currently on his way to becoming an Officer in the United States Marines through an ROTC scholarship. Nicholas has talent as we all do, and he has worked hard.  I believe that the difference between my son and many other kids (including my younger self) is that he (a) found his purpose and (b) had support. We live in a place and time that is full of opportunities yet kids are struggling. We need to address these gaps in education to ensure that each and every child has the support that they need to succeed. 
WHY you went into education
At 38 years old I had the opportunity to start over.  I chose education because I wanted to spend my time and energy on something that I perceived as important and could make a difference in people’s lives.
My Story WHY I am a Teacher on BookCampPD

I teach Spanish but my commitment to kids only begins at promoting bilingualism. The need that I see every day is so great that I cannot stop at being a Spanish Teacher. Kids are struggling with mental health issues, disabilities, family situations, and the confusion of being a kid. I organized a student-led leadership group on campus to address the lack of connection and to encourage kids to offer peer support. Our group was amazing and I’m proud to say that many of the kids that participated were not your typical student leaders but ra…