From designing puzzles to get kids fired up about French to being christened “school mama” by students, teachers go above and beyond to make a difference. Chalkbeat is honored to celebrate Teacher Appreciation week with stories of the innovation, determination, and patience it takes to teach.
Check out a few of the educator perspectives below and submit your own here.
- When talking about race in classrooms, disagreement is OK — hatred is not by David McGuire, principal at Tindley Accelerated Schools and previously a teacher in Pike Township.
- What my Bronx students think about passing through scanners at school by Christine Montera, a teacher at East Bronx Academy for the Future in the Bronx. She is also a member of Educators 4 Excellence-New York.
- First Person: What 100 ninth graders told me about why they don’t read by Jarred Amato, High School English teacher and founder of ProjectLITCommunity.
- This fourth-grade teacher doesn’t take away recess or use points to manage the class. Instead she’s built a culture of respect by Liz Fitzgerald, a fourth-grade teacher at Sagebrush Elementary and Colorado Teaching Policy fellow.
- First Person: Why I decided to come out to my second-grade students by Michael Patrick, a second grade teacher at AF North Brooklyn Prep Elementary.
- Meet the teacher who helped organize the Women’s March on Denver, a profile of Cheetah McClellan, Lead Math Fellow at Denver Public Schools.
- At my school, we let students group themselves by race to talk about race — and it works by Dave Mortimer, an educator at Bank Street School for Children.
- What Trump’s inauguration means for one undocumented Nashville student-turned-teacher a profile of Carlos Ruiz, a Spanish teacher at STRIVE Prep Excel and Teach for America fellow.
- I was the kid who didn’t speak English by Mariangely Solis Cervera, the founding Spanish teacher at Achievement First East Brooklyn High School.
- Why recruiting more men of color isn’t enough to solve our teacher diversity problem by Beau Lancaster, a student advocate at the Harlem Children’s Zone and Global Kids trainer teaching.
- Sign of the times: Teacher whose classroom-door sign went viral explains his message, a profile of Eric Eisenstad, physics and biology teacher at Manhattan Hunter Science High School.
- How teachers should navigate the classroom debate during a polarizing election year by Kent Willmann, an instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. He taught high school social studies in Longmont for 32 years.
- I teach students of color, and I see fear every day. Our job now is to model bravery by Rousseau Mieze, a history teacher at Achievement First Bushwick charter middle school.
- Pumpkin pie with a side of exhaustion: Why late fall is such a tough time to be a teacher by Amanda Gonzales, a high school special education teacher in Commerce City, Colorado.
- This teacher was a ‘class terrorist’ as a child. Now he uses that to understand his students by Andrew Pillow, a technology and social issues teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep Middle.
- What this teacher learned when her discipline system went awry — for all the right reasons by Trilce Marquez, a fourth-grade teacher at P.S. 11 in Chelsea.
- Here’s what one Tennessee teacher will be listening for in Haslam’s State of the State address by Erin Glenn, a U.S. history teacher at East Lake Academy of Fine Arts and Tennessee Educator Fellow with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education.
- An earth science teacher talks about the lesson that’s a point of pride — and pain, a profile of Cheryl Mosier, a science teacher at Columbine High School.
- A national teacher of the year on her most radical teaching practice: trusting kids to handle their bathroom business by Shanna Peeples, secondary English language arts curriculum specialist for Amarillo ISD.
- How this teacher went from so nervous her ‘voice was cracking’ to a policy advocate by Jean Russell, a literacy coach at Haverhill Elementary School, 2016 Indiana Teacher of the Year and TeachPlus statewide policy fellow.
About our First Person series:
First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.