First Person

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

At the end of a third pandemic school year, teachers are beyond exhausted.
Children and teens are increasingly online. Librarians and media specialists can help them sort fact from fiction.
The school touted the importance of ‘self-advocacy.’ But our child needed help.
Mr. Diaz made it a point to have philosophical, meaningful class discussions.
Reading lists should reflect many different people and experiences.
My anxiety accompanied me back to school, making this whole school year one big transition.
Teens around the country share how gun violence impacts their lives, schools, and neighborhoods.
Leaders must embrace more than our presence; they must value our intellect.
After the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, I dread going to school. When will our leaders act?
Since coming to America, my parents have relied on me to navigate school conferences, doctors’ appointments, and even tax forms. Now I’m headed to college.
Desde que llegamos a Estados Unidos, mis padres han dependido de mi para entender conferencias en la escuela, citas médicas, y hasta formularios de impuestos. Ahora me voy a la universidad.
As I prepared to discuss the racist violence, I couldn’t help but reflect on what conversations might be banned if I did not teach in New York City.
As connections withered, our school became every school — the faceless bureaucracy people complain about on social media and in the news.
I chose Science Park’s International Baccalaureate program for its rigorous academics. My classmates and teachers made it an experience I’ll cherish forever.
Coming to terms with the past shows us how the future can be better.
Observation only goes so far. Pre-service teachers need more opportunities to work directly with students.
She invited me to live with her in Chicago, seizing the opportunity to change our family’s story.
I’m an education major. Here’s what draws me to a profession many are leaving.
Climate change can be intimidating for elementary teachers to address. Here are some ideas.
Lessons about the largest and most documented genocide in human history need not rely on fiction.
Schools rely on teachers to care, even at our own expense.
Asian students like me make up the majority of those enrolled in NYC specialized high schools. Why was nobody asking for our input?
Mis papás hablan español; mi hermano de 8 años habla inglés. ¿Por qué no hay libros que ellos puedan disfrutar juntos?
Getting this glimpse into my kids’ education felt like a gift after two years of pandemic restrictions.
Affordable childcare, financial stipends, transportation, and accessible mental health services can allow students to achieve their academic goals.
My parents speak Spanish; my 8-year-old brother speaks English. Why aren’t there children’s books they can enjoy together?
My robotics team is about half girls and half boys. Gender equity has meant leading with intention.
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