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

The messy work of democracy means holding power to account.
I don’t want my students to suffer needlessly, but I also don’t want them to fear discomfort.
When Mrs. D first told me she wanted to meet with my daughter, I was filled with wrongheaded ideas about what a school social worker does.
After a cautious start, our approach to AI technology is evolving.
We’re preparing young people for the past, and students feel the disconnect.
We know science-based sex education works. We need to apply a similar strategy to drug abuse prevention.
What if we taught the class thematically rather than chronologically?
My NYC campus is famous for its academics. It’s also an incredibly creative, supportive, and idiosyncratic place.
Turnout for school events has been sparse, but a student concert packed our gym.
Students need a basic financial education well before they are bombarded with credit card offers.
Exposure to the humanities will make me a more open-minded and compassionate physician.
It takes a lot of maturity, Lauren Whidbee writes, but I see a genuine effort from all of my students.
Everyone tells me to be thankful that the shooting at my high school didn’t claim more lives. That’s cold comfort.
Our school-based occupational therapy labs teach job skills that take the whole student into account.
It’s not about making white children ‘feel bad.’ It’s about teaching them how to build a better future.
Here’s why it’s so hard to keep early learning centers afloat — and what we can do about it.
The assessment exhausts and excludes student teachers, Kate Sjostrom writes.
In high school, I’ve been ridiculed and misgendered by some, and celebrated and cared for by others.
Back-to-back shootings, one a block from my Illinois house and another at a Tennessee elementary school, have me wondering how to support future teachers.
“All Boys Aren’t Blue” might have brought my brother comfort, Jennifer Boulanger writes.
Standardized testing promotes rote memorization. Consortium schools raise the bar.
Students may confuse the attention of caring adults with punishment.
Who better to demystify this often-feared subject than someone who knows what math anxiety feels like?
They ask themselves, ‘Would I be able to step in front of a gun for my students?’
As a new middle school teacher, I was shocked by the number of students who entered my classroom unable to decode text.
We must use our power to uplift our community, not tear it down.
As a school leader and a PTA member, I see the disparities up close.
Yes, our jobs are hard. They are also incredibly joyful.
Changing my mannerisms and voice requires agility. It’s a skill and a burden.
In my history, economics, and speech and debate classes, the AI tool has been a force for good.
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