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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
October 23, 2018
Staying ‘neutral’ after the Jason Van Dyke verdict was a tough ask of Chicago teachers like me
Asking me to “stay neutral” is asking me to send a message to my African-American and Latinx students that I am indifferent to their experiences.
October 17, 2018
We’re a middle-class black family. Here’s why we’ve skipped our local schools for now.
While some newcomers in our neighborhood seem willing to take a chance on works-in-progress schools, we feel we have little room for error.
October 16, 2018
How football prepared me for my first year of teaching (but maybe not the second)
A former football player writes about how his gridiron experience helped him be a classroom teacher in Memphis.
October 8, 2018
I didn’t get into any of my top high school choices. Then I learned to love my safety school.
New York City’s intense high school choice process ends with students being matched to one of more than 400 high schools — at least…
September 14, 2018
I spoke with our governor during his TNReady listening tour. Here’s what I hope he heard.
Tara Baker, an assistant principal at Nashville's McGavock High School, was among about 150 educators invited to participate.
August 30, 2018
We’ve come a long way in addressing student stress and trauma. I could use help, too.
There’s an old adage, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” But as a paraprofessional in Chicago, my cup is almost drained.
August 28, 2018
As an advocate, I want District 15’s school integration plan to move forward. As a dad, I want it no less.
It's justified as a means of rewarding elementary-schoolers’ “work.” But the system just favors the privileged, and I don’t want my white son to think that's normal.
August 24, 2018
What happened when my daughter came home singing a deportation song — and how I’d handle it in my classroom
As the beginning of the school year inches closer, teachers are preparing to meet their students with the usual questions: “How was your summer?”…
June 22, 2018
I’ve spent years studying the link between SHSAT scores and student success. The test doesn’t tell you as much as you might think.
A standardized test does not predict as well as past school performance, indicating that Mayor Bill de Blasio seems headed in the right direction.
June 20, 2018
With roots in Cuba and Spain, Newark student came to America to ‘shine bright’
Layla Gonzalez is a fourth-grader at Hawkins Street School.
June 20, 2018
From ‘abandoned’ to ‘blessed,’ Newark teacher sees herself in her students
Jennifer Palumbo is a second-grade bilingual teacher at Hawkins Street School.
June 20, 2018
Principal and son of immigrants: ‘My grit was born in that struggle to survive’
Alejandro Lopez is the principal of Hawkins Street School.
June 19, 2018
I fight for integrated schools in New York City. I’m also Asian-American. Mayor de Blasio, let’s talk.
Shino Tanikawa explains why she's concerned about the rollout of the mayor's plan to integrate New York City's specialized schools — and how the process can be salvaged.
June 8, 2018
If teachers aren’t equipped to help trauma victims, students suffer. Learn from my story.
I thought that if I could find a different way to ask him to get back on task, maybe he would not become so aggressive.
May 17, 2018
As historians and New York City educators, here’s what we hope teachers hear in the city’s new anti-bias training
New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and Mayor Bill de Blasio just committed $23 million over the next four years to support…
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