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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
August 17, 2017
‘I didn’t feel like I had anyone to ask for support’: Why it matters to have teachers who look like me
Writes a high school senior: "Going into my senior year, I like how diverse my teachers are now, but I wish I’d had the same experience when I was younger."
August 16, 2017
A Queens teacher on Charlottesville: ‘It can’t just be teachers of color’ offering lessons on race
Talking about racism in the classroom is the best way to fight it, she argues.
August 15, 2017
I grew up near Charlottesville and got a misleading education about Civil War history. Students deserve better.
In a disturbing irony, these white supremacists understand an aspect of history that I wish my peers understood from their time spent in school.
August 9, 2017
I was a winner in an academically segregated school. Now, I’m driven to advocate for the other side
A college student wonders what happens to his peers in his middle school's "traditional" program — and what he can do to make future students' experiences more equitable.
August 8, 2017
Cut from the same cloth: Why it matters that black male teachers like me aren’t alone in our schools
Being the only person of color at the school meant that I received a great deal of attention while still feeling alone — and under a great deal of pressure.
August 4, 2017
Why I’m not anxious about where my kids go to school — but do worry about the segregation that surrounds us
Mary Jo Cramb, a Nashville teacher and mother: "My surprisingly chill perspective comes mostly from a recognition of my privilege."
Politics & Policy
July 27, 2017
Yes, an A at one school may be a C at another. It’s time we address the inequity that got us there
Grades are different from school to school, district to district, and I suspect, state to state. And it presents a problem that cannot easily be solved.
July 20, 2017
Two fewer testing days in New York? Thank goodness. Here’s what else our students need
My students are concerned that all of their hard work throughout the year will boil down to six intense days of testing.
July 18, 2017
My high school told me to apply to 100 colleges — and I almost lost myself in the process
"High schools have become obsessed with million-dollar scholars, and it’s hurting students," says Anisah Karim of Memphis.
July 18, 2017
When my students got aggressive, my school agreed to help. Here’s how we changed a class reputation
No one had taken the time to teach them concrete strategies for coping with the stressful situations they faced in and outside of school. So we did.
July 14, 2017
How one Harlem teacher gave his student — the ‘Chris Rock of third grade’ — a chance to shine
Ruben Brosbe shared his story at Teachable Moments, a live storytelling event for teachers.
July 11, 2017
Long lines, few supplies, fearing the boss: One teacher says his Bronx school was ‘just like Poland, 40 years ago’
Tomasz "Tomek" Krzyzostaniak, a Bronx teacher whose family emigrated from Poland in 1991, sees many similarities between the two -- from long lines to a shortage of supplies.
June 27, 2017
I’m on a Community Education Council in Manhattan. Mayor de Blasio, we need to move faster on school integration
The diversity plan the city released this month is a beginning. However, the black and Hispanic children of this city do not have decades to wait for us to make change.
June 20, 2017
I dropped out of school in Denver at 13. Here’s how I ended up back in the classroom helping kids learn.
My daughter's teacher told me I should come work there because I was a natural teacher. I think my answer to her was, “Yeah, seriously.”
June 19, 2017
I think traditional public schools are the backbone of democracy. My child attends a charter school. Let’s talk.
The dialogue around school choice in Nashville doesn’t often include much nuance — or many voices of parents like me.
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