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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
December 4, 2018
Being the only black girl in her class took a toll on my daughter. Then she got a teacher who looks like her.
In first grade, my daughter was the only one: the only African-American girl in her entire classroom. To be clear, the year was 2016.
November 29, 2018
I’m a Denver high school principal. Here’s what we need in our next superintendent.
It's time for a new perspective at the head of Denver Public Schools.
November 13, 2018
Like most superintendents, I cared a lot about test scores. Too much, it turns out.
If life outcomes are what we are about, and test prep keeps us from helping students, we should welcome state test scores going down, argues Paymon Rouhanifard.
November 7, 2018
I voted for the first time on Tuesday. My journey to the ballot box began at my NYC high school.
My mother, three sisters, and I didn’t talk about politics much when I was growing up in Washington Heights. My parents, Mexican immigrants,…
November 6, 2018
It’s hard to leave the school you love. But sometimes, it’s necessary.
I’m a parent and a person who watches schools for a living. This guarantees I’m a fussy school-shopper. In kindergarten, we tried three…
October 23, 2018
Staying ‘neutral’ after the Jason Van Dyke verdict was a tough ask of Chicago teachers like me
Asking me to “stay neutral” is asking me to send a message to my African-American and Latinx students that I am indifferent to their experiences.
October 17, 2018
We’re a middle-class black family. Here’s why we’ve skipped our local schools for now.
While some newcomers in our neighborhood seem willing to take a chance on works-in-progress schools, we feel we have little room for error.
October 16, 2018
How football prepared me for my first year of teaching (but maybe not the second)
A former football player writes about how his gridiron experience helped him be a classroom teacher in Memphis.
October 8, 2018
I didn’t get into any of my top high school choices. Then I learned to love my safety school.
New York City’s intense high school choice process ends with students being matched to one of more than 400 high schools — at least…
September 14, 2018
I spoke with our governor during his TNReady listening tour. Here’s what I hope he heard.
Tara Baker, an assistant principal at Nashville's McGavock High School, was among about 150 educators invited to participate.
August 30, 2018
We’ve come a long way in addressing student stress and trauma. I could use help, too.
There’s an old adage, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” But as a paraprofessional in Chicago, my cup is almost drained.
August 28, 2018
As an advocate, I want District 15’s school integration plan to move forward. As a dad, I want it no less.
It's justified as a means of rewarding elementary-schoolers’ “work.” But the system just favors the privileged, and I don’t want my white son to think that's normal.
August 24, 2018
What happened when my daughter came home singing a deportation song — and how I’d handle it in my classroom
As the beginning of the school year inches closer, teachers are preparing to meet their students with the usual questions: “How was your summer?”…
June 22, 2018
I’ve spent years studying the link between SHSAT scores and student success. The test doesn’t tell you as much as you might think.
A standardized test does not predict as well as past school performance, indicating that Mayor Bill de Blasio seems headed in the right direction.
June 20, 2018
With roots in Cuba and Spain, Newark student came to America to ‘shine bright’
Layla Gonzalez is a fourth-grader at Hawkins Street School.
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