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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
January 10, 2018
Our readers had a lot to say in 2017. Make your voice heard in 2018.
Chalkbeat invites readers to tell your stories in a series we call First Person. Here are a few examples that stood out in 2017.
January 9, 2018
I’ve spent years fighting for buses for at-risk high schoolers in Denver. Here’s what’s at stake
The school does a lot for its students, but it doesn’t do buses. And I worry that the lack of access to transportation is putting more students in a precarious position.
December 19, 2017
A former superintendent wonders: What’s missing from the discussion about the portfolio model?
I know from experience that we need to focus on the substance of what goes on in schools, not just the formal structures in which those schools operate.
December 15, 2017
I’m a black male teen in Aurora, and I see how the ‘achievement gap’ forms
A senior at Aurora's Rangeview High School describes how many teachers have stereotyped him about drugs, hip-hop and more — influencing how he thinks about school.
November 21, 2017
Why the phrase ‘with fidelity’ is an affront to good teaching
What the phrase really means, a Minnesota teacher of the year writes, is that teachers better not change anything to serve their students’ specific needs.
November 9, 2017
What I learned about the limits of school choice in New York City from a mother whose child uses a wheelchair
A researcher interviewed a mother who found that "school choice" can ring hollow for parents whose children are differently abled.
September 11, 2017
I covered Tennessee’s ed beat for Chalkbeat. Here’s what I learned.
Reporter Grace Tatter shares six things about public education that she learned on the job at the Statehouse — and now takes with her to graduate school.
September 1, 2017
I’m a Houston geography teacher. This is my plan for our first day back — as soon as it arrives
By teaching about the flood, I hope I can play a small role in helping our city avoid repeating some of the tragic scenes I witnessed this week.
August 29, 2017
The idea of the American Dream works against my students. Here’s how ethnic studies could help.
For too many young people — white students as well as students of color — school rarely connects to critical concerns, a P-TECH teacher writes.
August 28, 2017
I went viral for walking my students home from school in Memphis. Here’s what got lost in the shuffle.
I was photographed walking students home in 2015, and the picture went viral. Two years later, I've changed tactics for trying to help young people.
August 17, 2017
‘I didn’t feel like I had anyone to ask for support’: Why it matters to have teachers who look like me
Writes a high school senior: "Going into my senior year, I like how diverse my teachers are now, but I wish I’d had the same experience when I was younger."
August 16, 2017
A Queens teacher on Charlottesville: ‘It can’t just be teachers of color’ offering lessons on race
Talking about racism in the classroom is the best way to fight it, she argues.
August 15, 2017
I grew up near Charlottesville and got a misleading education about Civil War history. Students deserve better.
In a disturbing irony, these white supremacists understand an aspect of history that I wish my peers understood from their time spent in school.
August 9, 2017
I was a winner in an academically segregated school. Now, I’m driven to advocate for the other side
A college student wonders what happens to his peers in his middle school's "traditional" program — and what he can do to make future students' experiences more equitable.
August 8, 2017
Cut from the same cloth: Why it matters that black male teachers like me aren’t alone in our schools
Being the only person of color at the school meant that I received a great deal of attention while still feeling alone — and under a great deal of pressure.
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