New teacher diaries

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.

February 20, 2014

How to read a poem (or how to teach)

The education reform movement has an obsessive adherence to rigidly structured lesson plans, bewildering algorithms to quantify teacher effectiveness and the relentless collection and analysis of student data. But in my second year of teaching, I’ve come to realize that a true education is messy — gloriously messy, like a Kandinsky painting.

January 16, 2014

How I came out to my students

By the end of September, the students in my all-girls 9th-grade advisory class at my high school in Brooklyn knew many things about me. What they didn’t know was that I am married to a woman.

September 26, 2013

The beauty of teamwork

I had planned every minute of my first day back at school in September, but I hadn't factored in collaboration.

June 27, 2013

Miles to go before we sleep

Every June — for the fourth year now and counting — I can’t help but feel like I’ve run some sort of marathon.

May 2, 2013

Fear, frustration, failure and state tests

This will be the fourth year that my students and I have suffered through the New York State high-stakes elementary school tests. Although the mayor and the chancellor tell us this year’s tests are all new, my stories from the classroom are similar to years past.

February 14, 2013

Evaluate this!

Everyone’s talking about the breakdown in the teacher evaluation talks between the mayor and the union as if it were the only chance to fix public education in New York City. Do we need an evaluation system? Absolutely. Is it a cure-all for our educational ills? Absolutely not.

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