First Person

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

High school seniors need more help navigating college admissions and enrollment.
A storm flooded my family’s Washington Heights home, again.
Como directora, dependo de las familias para ayudarme a tomar decisiones críticas al momento de contratar personal. Aquí les cuento por qué lo hago.
Here’s what I learned about healthy laughter, student engagement, and the power of shutting up.
Those who see the need for more educators of color often don’t understand what prevents teachers like me from entering and staying in the profession.
When I flip through a book, it’s like I’m cradling the essence of the characters. I want my peers to experience that.
As principal, I rely on our families to help me make critical hiring decisions. Here’s why.
I’m here to engage students, parents, and teachers — and to amplify their voices.
Now, I know why my lessons weren’t getting through to them.
I never learned about Stonewall. It’s past time schools take queer history and culture seriously.
Sometimes, I wonder what my students see when they look at me and when they reach out for help.
Even after the mandate was lifted, I kept my face covered at school. Here’s why.
I was an ‘invisible’ student my whole life, but in prison, I became a teacher’s aide.
Last year, I was lost. A different kind of curriculum helped me get back on track.
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.
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