New teacher profiles

February 5, 2015

Speech teacher a ‘lifelong learner’

Abigail Wray, a speech teacher at PS 230 in Kensington, Brooklyn, relishes the unique challenge of working with 30 students across grades 2–5.

October 2, 2014

Varied experiences made teaching a natural choice

What happens when a baseball coach, a sailor and an electrician walk into a classroom? Just ask Brad Alter, a 6th-grade special education teacher at Spring Creek Community School in East New York.

June 5, 2014

Figuring out what works

Karen Lew, a second-year social studies teacher at IS 125 in Woodside, has created a hands-on curriculum that meets the needs of her self-contained classes.

March 6, 2014

‘Researcher and teacher’ helps students learn, grow

What’s a new teacher to do when an existing curriculum doesn’t tell the whole story? Fayette Colon, an ambitious social studies teacher at Harvest Collegiate HS in Manhattan, had a solution: She created her own.

November 14, 2013

A leader at his school and in Sandy relief efforts

Michael Cestaro's advocacy as a chapter leader at Rockway Park HS for Environmental Sustainability took on greater meaning after Hurricane Sandy devastated his school building and the homes of his students and colleagues.

May 30, 2013

New teacher in Harlem sings her way to success

Making up a "noun song" was a highlight for this new special education teacher in Harlem because it opened up the world of creating mnemonic devices. She finds they are boons for children who don’t always respond to the written word.

March 21, 2013

Washington transplant takes the (cheese)cake

A big challenge for this English language arts enrichment cluster teacher of grades 6-8 at PS 36 in East New York is “to understand what’s in my control and what’s out of my control,” he said. “You have a rough day and can’t take it personally, but at the same time it’s my nature to reflect on why something didn’t go as anticipated and on how to make it better next time.”

January 17, 2013

Arduous journey to the front of the classroom

His childhood was split between Puerto Rico and Brooklyn. At times he felt lost, hungry, angry. He harbored a wish to be a teacher but felt it wasn’t in the cards. Now, years later, Jeffrey Negron has landed on his feet and found his true home: a bilingual special education classroom in Manhattan.

November 1, 2012

Quantum leap

From academia and law to teaching physics to city students Ben Mikesh, a fourth-year teacher is happily firing off cannonballs — as part of a physics demonstration — in his Manhattan classroom at Bard HS Early College and is really, really excited about the Higgs boson fundamental particle.

May 24, 2012

Para-turned-teacher speaks languages of learning
When Ruiying Liu, who was born in southern China, needs to speak to a student or parent in Cantonese or Mandarin, no one bats an eye. But when she talks away to an Hispanic student or parent in perfect Spanish, jaws drop. “They are always so surprised and ask where I learned to speak Spanish so fluently,” said Liu, in her second year at IS 220 in Brooklyn.
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