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First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our
submission guidelines here
October 10, 2019
Filling up the dream box: strengthening teaching and learning for every New York City student
What does a unified teaching and learning strategy look like for more than 1,800 schools that collectively serve 1.1 million students?
October 2, 2019
I never talked about race in my seven years in the classroom. Now I work to make sure future teachers do.
As someone who trains future teachers, I do what I do because I never want another educator to come to recognize race and racism in the way that I did.
October 1, 2019
A message from a black male teacher: Don’t make educators like me the default disciplinarians
I was a first-year teacher, but it didn’t matter, Rann Miller recalls. I was the Black teacher, and that meant I could take on the school's toughest challenges.
September 30, 2019
My son didn’t get into any of the schools he wanted. My disappointment made me realize I’d been hoarding opportunity.
Lisa Raymond-Tolan: It took a wrenching disappointment for me to truly become aware of my family’s privilege.
September 27, 2019
That viral story about the Tennessee T-shirt was heartwarming. It also reminded me of ways I’ve seen schools exclude children.
"As a teacher of English language learners new to the country, I saw how seemingly innocuous customs could actually divide students."
September 17, 2019
What NYC can learn from my experience ending tracking — and running into the politics of ‘keeping white people happy’
The hullabaloo over the recommendation to eliminate some gifted programs in the New York City schools elicits an uncomfortable side of school system leadership.
September 16, 2019
Competitive high school admissions policies send students strong messages about their worth. Students are listening.
Parents, educators, and mentors need to talk thoughtfully with young people about competitive admissions.
Updated September 12, 2019
We are gifted education scholars. Here’s why we don’t think NYC should follow the school diversity group’s recommendations
Ultimately, removing gifted programs would end up hurting students of color who are ready to be challenged and deserve that opportunity, two scholars argue
September 9, 2019
‘If only we were bulletproof’: 8th graders in Chicago confront the trauma of gun violence
Gun violence was important for us to explore in this course because it literally hit close to home.
Updated September 9, 2019
As a New York City teacher, I screened 4-year-olds for gifted programs. Here is what I learned.
The citywide debate about gifted programs caused Melanie Kletter to reflect on the complicated feelings she has about the testing process and the role she played in it.
September 6, 2019
I’m teaching science in the era of climate change. Here’s how I’m coping — in the classroom and at the climate strike.
Teaching science requires me to confront my grief for my students who will soon realize that things we learn about in class could disappear during their lifetimes.
September 5, 2019
I’ve seen my students win a Star Scholarship — and lose their way. Chicago should rethink the program.
Better outcomes for free — it’s a deal that any college counselor should want for his or her students, right? Wrong.
August 29, 2019
I was hesitant to change my approach to teaching physics. Here’s why I’m making a switch.
I had to let my students experience physics. They would gain a deeper understanding because of it.
August 26, 2019
I’m a teacher in a District 79 school. I see every day how lengthy suspensions hurt students.
“I was suspended for a whole year, so I stopped going to school,” one of my students told me.
August 22, 2019
Kids hear adults describe them as lazy and selfish. I see my students being kind every day.
I tell my students, “You are not here so you can make money in a decade. You are here so you can make a difference now.”
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