New teacher diaries

November 2, 2017

Birds of a feather helped rookie take flight

Sparrows nesting above my school's front entrance listened exceptionally well and requested nothing in return. In their own small way, they kept me going long enough until I found what I needed within myself to do the job well.


July 6, 2017

Helping an ELL student at square one

Antonio was a genuine, square-one beginner when I met him in my English as a New Language class in September. He was on time, seated up straight in the front row, smiling. He had been in this country for just weeks and he was clearly ready to learn. But was I ready to teach him?


March 2, 2017

Don’t tell me my ELL students can’t achieve

Do not tell me my students cannot do math — and don’t let me tell myself that, either.

November 3, 2016

Mad followers, DMs and how Jay Gatsby slid into his crush

As a first-year teacher, any concerns I had about teaching students so close to my age faded during a recent discussion about "The Great Gatsby" in my 11th-grade English class.

June 2, 2016

Why art and music are essential

Art and music are the things we make when we want to tell the world that we are people. And expressing our humanity through music and art is what makes everything else worth it.

February 4, 2016

In the big picture, learning comes in many shades

He always came late. He sat in the back of the classroom. Alone, alert, quiet and reflective, he pulled out his pens and books. But his pens did not write our class notes. His books were not our books. Instead, he began to draw.

October 1, 2015

Taking the fear out of something new

At the beginning of the summer, I was in high spirits. I had just finished my first year of teaching and was told that I would be teaching all 7th-grade science classes for the upcoming year. Aside from the fact that I adore 7th-graders (awkwardness and all), I was also looking forward to having just one curriculum to prepare and teach.

April 2, 2015

How a short story inspired my teaching

Teaching Ethan Canin's "The Palace Thief" has renewed my faith in English literature being an avenue to develop emotional maturity in my students.

December 4, 2014

Wait for the joy

Every new teacher will go through myriad emotions as they set out on their journeys. But it is joy that new teachers should wait for with bated breath.

April 17, 2014

The ABCs of a first-year teacher

Interesting word definitions, based on the perspective of a teacher in her first year on the job.

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