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This One Student

By Kayla Roush, Secondary Section, Harrisburg, PA:   I currently work in a school filled with diverse students who live in the inner city. Their lives are tough—much tougher than mine will ever be. Sometimes my students go hungry, and sometimes they act out because they want...

Remembering the Student I Used to Be

By Abigail Crane, Secondary Section, Overland Park, KS:   One of the beautiful aspects of our profession as educators is that every year we get to press a “restart” button and try again. We can do everything from scratch, or cherry-pick the best lessons and units from...

How do you evaluate teachers who change lives?

By Lorraine Cella, Secondary Section, Tenafly, NJ:   It was 1966 and my 9th-grade year began in a suburban town in northern New Jersey. I strolled to school carrying my small assignment pad, which I needed for writing notes—the kind between friends in the hallway during change...

Make Pinocchio A Real Boy

By Cathy Leogrande, Teacher Education K-12 & Special Ed, Syracuse, NY:   When I was a high school Special Education teacher, I went to a difficult CSE meeting. The parent was not in agreement with the district plan for her son. As she got up to walk...

They Changed My Life

By Julia Peacock, 9-10th Grade English Teacher, Spring Arbor, MI:   When I decided to become a teacher, I believed it was about me changing the lives of students. What I've learned – what has been so unexpected – is that my students have changed my life!...

The Mantle of Story — Passing On Tradition

By Kevin Cordi, College Section, Columbus, OH:   "J" came to an afterschool storytelling meeting. We were there simply to tell stories for and with each other. He shared that he came to the meeting because his storyteller was no longer at home. His father had left...

The Line Between Mr. Keating and Keeping It Real

By Dominic Pioter, Secondary Section, St. Louis, MO:   Looking into Jeremy’s 16-year-old face, I poured my 21-year-old soul into the role of a lifetime. In my oversized shirt and ink-stained tie, I was giving an Oscar-worthy performance of the eager young English teacher who defies all...

Never Give Up

By Lakisha Odlum, Middle Section Lead Ambassador, Jamaica, NY:   I remember the moment that I truly realized the importance of reading aloud and audiobooks in the classroom. I was teaching struggling readers in middle school and I really wanted them to read Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains...

A Spark

By Shyanne DeBaker, Secondary ELA, Orem, UT:   As a student teacher, I wanted to change the world. I thought teaching would be easy, because I knew it was my calling in this life. My first day of student teaching, nothing major happened—very typical introductions, learning the...

A Moment Like This

By Cameron Carter, Elementary Lead Ambassador, Columbus, OH:   Where does one begin when asked to share a memorable teaching experience? It seems as though each and every day adds a little to my teaching story. One moment in particular occurred last school year. I was building...

Barrier Language

By Terri Pantuso, Secondary ELAR, Preservice Teachers, Cypress, TX:   About ten years ago, I taught an undergraduate Shakespeare class at a small university comprised predominantly of first-generation students. The course was difficult given the content, but one student in particular seemed to struggle more than others....