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New Teacher Diaries

Image shows a woman and two children wearing face masks

With instruction, quality outweighs quantity

I can honestly say that when I shifted my goal from “How much can I get done in a day?” to “What are the best ways I can teach my students today?” I began to feel more comfortable and confident in my classroom, says a third-year special education teacher in the Bronx. 

I am not a superhero

‘I am not a superhero’

The expectations that society puts on teachers are as old as time, but this year, it’s gone to a whole new level. I knew going into this year we would have our work cut out for us.

It pays to plan

It pays to plan for the unexpected

A young teacher discovers that, while students may forget what educators say, they will never forget how they made them feel.

Two teachers wearing masks bump elbows instead of shaking hands.

Staying close — six feet apart

How one teacher builds a classroom culture during a pandemic.

Teacher with a student

Let’s not lose sight of our ‘why’

In mid-March, all teachers were faced with the challenge of continuing to serve and support their students from a distance due to COVID-19. As a second-year speech teacher, I have struggled to figure out, with little training and guidance, how to translate a full schedule of face-to-face therapy into a full schedule of tele-therapy.

Girl sitting at a desk tossing a dictionary

Avoiding flying dictionaries

For students struggling with literacy in their home language, an English dictionary is more of an obstacle than an aid.

Giving voice to the smallest complaints

I am a high school English teacher that has it pretty good. What follows is my attempt to give voice to the smallest, most insignificant complaints imaginable from my first year.

It’s not your auntie’s classroom

I asked my aunt, a former teacher, for her sage advice before I started teaching. Her 40-plus years in education had taught her myriad lessons, many of which she passed on to me. But I still had a lot to learn.

Teaching - generic

Teaching is a calling— and I was called to teach

I couldn’t sleep the night before school. As a third-year teacher and a career changer, I sometimes still can’t believe I’m a special education teacher at the same public high school my daughter once attended.

Learning new language, keeping their culture

When we first met in September, BiBi was an entry-level English language learner and I was a new English as a New Language teacher. BiBi, a 5th-grader, was reluctant to learn, to speak a word of English or even to go over the English alphabet. She wanted to hold on to her home language. I totally understand this. Why should a child be stripped of her identity just because she is in another country?