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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
March 5, 2018
I’m a Bronx teacher, and I see up close what we all lose when undocumented students live with uncertainty
Because of their undocumented status, two of our top students did not qualify for financial aid, and without it, they could not afford college.
February 22, 2018
I was an attorney representing school districts in contract talks. Here’s why I hope the Supreme Court doesn’t weaken teachers unions.
Based on my experience, I have this to say to those hoping the Court will strike down these "agency fees" and weaken unions: be careful what you wish for.
February 20, 2018
I’m a Florida teacher in the era of school shootings. This is the terrifying reality of my classroom during a lockdown drill.
A Broward County teacher on the struggle to keep wearing the mask of bravery for his students.
February 12, 2018
What we’ve learned from leading schools in Denver’s Luminary network — and how we’ve used our financial freedom
At Denver Green School, we hired a full-time psychologist. At Cole Arts & Science, we boosted trauma training. Both of us have executive coaches. We think it's working.
January 22, 2018
Let’s be careful with using ‘grading floors.’ They may lead to lifelong ceilings for our students
If we use grade floors without acknowledging why we feel compelled to do so, we perpetuate the very problem we seek to address.
January 16, 2018
A Chalkbeat roundtable: The promise and perils of charter networks like Success Academy
When we published an essay about the promise and perils of charter schools by our CEO and editor in chief Elizabeth Green last…
January 11, 2018
I’m a teacher in Memphis, and I know ‘grading floors’ aren’t a cheat — they’re a key motivator
If we can’t give hope to our kids, what are we here for?
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.
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