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First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our
submission guidelines here
20 hours ago
What NYC can learn from my experience ending tracking — and running into the politics of ‘keeping white people happy’
The hullabaloo over the recommendation to eliminate some gifted programs in the New York City schools elicits an uncomfortable side of school system leadership.
2 days ago
Competitive high school admissions policies send students strong messages about their worth. Students are listening.
Parents, educators, and mentors need to talk thoughtfully with young people about competitive admissions.
Updated September 12, 2019
We are gifted education scholars. Here’s why we don’t think NYC should follow the school diversity group’s recommendations
Ultimately, removing gifted programs would end up hurting students of color who are ready to be challenged and deserve that opportunity, two scholars argue
September 9, 2019
‘If only we were bulletproof’: 8th graders in Chicago confront the trauma of gun violence
Gun violence was important for us to explore in this course because it literally hit close to home.
Updated September 9, 2019
As a New York City teacher, I screened 4-year-olds for gifted programs. Here is what I learned.
The citywide debate about gifted programs caused Melanie Kletter to reflect on the complicated feelings she has about the testing process and the role she played in it.
September 6, 2019
I’m a science teacher whose job is to inspire children about an earth that’s in trouble. Here’s what that means for me.
Teaching science requires me to confront my grief for my students who will soon realize that things we learn about in class could disappear during their lifetimes.
September 5, 2019
I’ve seen my students win a Star Scholarship — and lose their way. Chicago should rethink the program.
Better outcomes for free — it’s a deal that any college counselor should want for his or her students, right? Wrong.
August 29, 2019
I was hesitant to change my approach to teaching physics. Here’s why I’m making a switch.
I had to let my students experience physics. They would gain a deeper understanding because of it.
August 26, 2019
I’m a teacher in a District 79 school. I see every day how lengthy suspensions hurt students.
“I was suspended for a whole year, so I stopped going to school,” one of my students told me.
August 22, 2019
Kids hear adults describe them as lazy and selfish. I see my students being kind every day.
I tell my students, “You are not here so you can make money in a decade. You are here so you can make a difference now.”
August 19, 2019
Complicated language excludes parents from the IEP process. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Special education documents should be more readable so families can truly advocate for their children
August 19, 2019
How student-led conferences changed how I see my students
The honesty of my students during their conferences never ceases to amaze me.
August 12, 2019
I started talking about disability in my classroom. It changed both me and my students.
I realized that my students, like myself, had a choice. They could share who they were with others and accept disability as part of their identities.
August 8, 2019
I was the nurse for five Chicago schools last year. The district desperately needs more of us.
As a CPS nurse, I know firsthand that Chicago needs a nurse in every school, every day.
August 7, 2019
I convinced my teachers to walk our students’ neighborhoods. It changed our school.
I encouraged my school to lead a walking tour of Camden for staff members. It changed our teachers' perspectives and helped them better understand our students.
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