First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others thinking and writing about public education.

I hear judgment in people’s voices, but I know I can be a force for good.
My high school’s McKinney-Vento liaison connected me with food, shelter, and support. She also reminded me that I had a bright future.
Florida has banned AP African American History. Here’s why that matters and what teachers can do about it.
The process kept me so busy that I had little opportunity — or incentive — to dwell on the inequities.
Sometimes, I need Google Translate just to have a conversation with my mom.
A veces necesito Google Translate solo para poder conversar con mi mamá.
On my drive to work, I used to mentally rehearse my lesson plans. Now I rehearse the ‘run, hide, fight’ protocol.
As a Black woman, a parent, and an educator, curbing early childhood suspensions and expulsions is personal.
There is greater potential for economic mobility in choosing a profession other than teaching.
If we let fear guide our thinking, we ignore the possibilities offered by AI.Ben Talsma writes.
This year, I’m reclaiming personal time, tuning out the noise, and not holding myself to unrealistic expectations.
Teaching about Jan. 6 can mean walking a tightrope.
Chalkbeat Newark reporter Jessie Gómez went to public schools in New Jersey and California, which helped her get a better understanding of different communities and education systems.
The experience made clear what Eric Gaestel needed from my next school — namely, a mentor.
COVID restrictions are mostly gone, but apathy and anxiety have taken their place.
I felt isolated and powerless until I sought out Black spaces at my NYC specialized high school.
A decade after Sandy Hook, active shooter threats are forcing schools to make impossible choices.
I was determined to rely on the only constant in my life: myself. Then came ‘The Miracles.’
I realize now that the roof over my head doesn’t define my mom or me.
If we don’t face and accept our current reality, it will be hard for us to change it.
I left teaching for big reasons. The small things beckon me back.
As an Arab-American teen who wears a hijab, the privileges that come with being white do not align with my experiences.
Emotional skill-building makes achievement possible.
We tackle topics like consent, gender, and self-advocacy. The goal: To destigmatize difficult conversations.
An empathy divide threatens the lives and well-being of Black children.
Many subject-area teachers aren’t trained to identify signs of dyslexia.
College admissions offices should relinquish outdated ideas about which students have what it takes to succeed.
As we confront Holocaust denialism, resurgent antisemitism, and renewed debates about how the Holocaust is taught in schools, we must prioritize these learning opportunities.
Solving for what was lost during the COVID years sometimes feels impossible.
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