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I just finished my 12 year of teaching, and moments like those are as precious as they are rare. But they do keep you coming back.

Dammit. :P

Congrats on making through your first year. Well done. I'm going to make this blog a permanent stopping place from now on. Thanks.



It is wonderful to know that there are young teachers starting out who are still like you. Way to go! Next year will be even more fun and rewarding. Don't ever quit, never loose hope. If you don't... they will never forget you! And it will all be worth it.

Teachers Speak

Hi, I was looking at your site and thought you might be interested in a project I am working on. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.

Currently, I am a First Grade Teacher in Bronx, NY. I am compiling the personal, candid stories of NYC Public School Teachers for use in an upcoming book that explores the accomplishments, struggles, and everyday disappointments that are synonymous with being a NYC Public School Teacher. Specifically, I am searching for the stories that only teachers would ever know how to tell. Your contributions may focus on different aspects of life as a NYC Public School Teacher. Possible topics may include:

• Relationships with students
• Interaction with your principal, vice-principal or other administration
• Relationships with fellow teachers
• Constraints of curriculum demands
• Interaction with students’ parents and/or guardians
• School community
• Affects of teaching on your personal life
• School hierarchy

Of course, if you feel compelled to write about a topic that does not fit into one of the categories please do so.

Bottom line: Your voices are important. Your voices deserve to be acknowledged. Your voices need to be heard.

Thank you ahead of time for your honesty and courage. Please send your stories and include: Name, address, school’s borough, grade level taught, years of teaching experience, and whether you would like your name published or remain anonymous.

Entries can be mailed to the following address or email:

“Teachers Speak” teachersspeak@hotmail.com
346 West 84th Street
New York, NY 10024

Please visit my website and post a comment.
Thank you for choosing to be part of this journey!


Interesting. Do you know where in London your ex-pat student is from?


Congratulations on your first year. Your blog is awesome, very enjoyable. Looking forward to read more...

Dancing With Tears In My Eyes



FIrst, let me say that you have a great mbunch of cds listed to the right of your blog!!! Second, congrats on the one year! Good job! I think you are right on the money with your philosophy. I have this article that you should read. Its about a teacher who used music to teach kids poetry. She took something that they were into and used it to teach them about something they thought was 'boring' and 'no fun'. Take a look:

Peter Temes


What a great year -- and what a pleasure to have looked over your shoulder as you've found your way through.

I just got back from a three-week intensive Great Books program for middle school students at Amherst College (http://www.greatbooksprogram.com). I want to share a story, though it's half ego and I apologize for the imposition. . .

One of the final pieces we discuss is Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and I like to think I do a good job of it. About half the deal is conversation (with a group of 50, but in a great tiered-seating room that makes it work), largely about what government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" can mean. But the other half is my sermon, about Lincoln listening to the dead, us listening to Lincoln, listening to Jefferson, and recognizing that the meaning of the sacrifices in the Civil War and the American Revolution is incomplete - - that we, as citizens, make that meaning real, or make the lives lost in those struggles diminish in meaning, based on what we believe and what we do in our lives today.

After then end of that lecture, a fine young kid came down and shook my hand, and literally shed a tear. Best moment yet in a lot of years trying to play this game. . . . Peter


Great post. I hope your future years are as great as your first. A former teacher myself, I know how rewarding even the smallest positive sign can be and how lucky you are that you were able to see some of those signs so quickly. (They sometimes take years.) Back in 1994, I was a math teacher outside Washington, DC and had this really obnoxious but quite likable kid in my algebra I class. He was quite the handful. Several years later I was surprised to receive an email from him telling me that he had gone on to major in actuarial science (math!) and that he was preparing to do an internship in the field. He opened his email with "you may remember me - I was that obnoxious kid in your second period algebra class." Yeah, I remembered him and how flattered I was that he not only took the time and effort to find me on the internet but that he felt compelled to tell me about his math major. Makes it all worthwhile.

Great post - great blog. Thanks...


Heh. Once upon a long ago, a friend and I were taken to task in a high school class for talking, and given the assignment of teaching the lesson ourselves the next day. I think that was the most prepared I ever was for a class - we presented our lesson, and the oddity of *students* teaching the class made for a very interested group of students. It was a great lesson in "shaking things up" when all else is not working.

Sounds like your students are very lucky kids!


I'm sure you will get thousands of comments on this one, but I wanted to let you know how much this moved me. I have not started teaching yet, I have two more years of school, but when I do I can only hope and pray that I make as much of an impact as you have just described. I agreed with everything you said in this one blog and I hope to add you to my blog community. Thank You.




where have you been?


I know I missed graduation, but I still check your blog from time to time, and I hope everything worked out with the last project crap. I'm in New York finally. Love it, and you and Amy should take a road trip. I've got open rooms... Amanda (ASC)


Congratulations! keep the gift close at hand, so when you have one of those inevitable bad days, you can remind yourself just why you are doing the job!


Chris Best

I have to agree that that sort of thing just makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it. But are you back for another year???

ruska treldis

well done i think your site is great


I am doing a "Scavenger Hunt" project for my technology in teaching class. One of my requirements was to find an educational blog and respond to an entry. Your entry has inspired me at a time when I feel like I'm never going to make it. I am currently in college completing my bachelor's degree in Deaf Education. After reading the experience of your first year of teaching, I am eager to complete my first year of teaching. Thank you for being inspirational and sharing your thoughts, feelings and ideas as a teacher. Good luck in years to come!

Darth Vader

So are you going to start posting more 'good reads' for us to enjoy? I'm missing your wit and stories from the classroom...


Look! It's you!


A really touching description of the absolute joys of being a teacher. You can't buy this kind of satisfaction. The highs and lows of teaching are exhiliarating and addictive. Thanks so much for sharing the thrill of your experience with me.


WOW! I am so glad I found you. I am a new teacher this year and struggling with so much. Sometimes I feel like nothing I do is right. It is wonderful and gives me hope on a dark day that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Are you still teaching in this new year? I would love to hear what is new now.


It must be so exciting to see all your hard work pay off. I've heard that the first year is the hardest - congratulations on making it through. I'm a sophomore English education major, so in just a few years I'll be where you stand. It's amazing to see the impact we can have on students, even in my small field experiences.


I AINT gonna let U down but,I was like you in my first year and now after 10 years I have turned into a old ****.
I hope you say the same thing after a couple of years where no one gives a **** to what you do!


I miss your blog. I was an avid reader, I hope you post again soon.


I see that this post is old but I found your blog when searching for those of teachers. But as an aspiring high school English teacher, this post was very inspirational and amazing.
My philosophy is based in providing a rich and stimulating environment to truly inspire students. I hope to allow them some freedom in what they choose to focus on so that it is something that is meaningful for them. I believe that it is through this approach, rather than a strict structured curriculum with little wiggle room, that true learning takes place.
I hope your success as a teacher continues. It sounds like you're definitely a good one! :)

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