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Introducing GothamSchools’ first advice column, by a principal

Schools can be intimidating places for teachers who are still learning the ropes.

That’s why GothamSchools is launching an advice column. Jason Levy, principal of IS 339 in the Bronx, will answer questions from teachers facing tough professional situations (and from anyone else who’s curious about why things are done the way they’re done in the city’s schools). Levy explains his motivation in the Community section today.

I was curious about what kinds of questions Levy might receive (submit yours here). So I surveyed some of our Community contributors to see what they wish they’d been able to ask a non-judgmental administrator when they were just starting out. Here are some of the questions they suggested (Levy will answer one next week):

  • What do I do when I have a student whose stated purpose in the classroom is to disrupt my lessons?
  • How do I create an effective and humane grading system for students with exceptional learning needs?
  • Where can I find more paper?!
  • How do I teach reading to fifth-grade students who are reading at a pre-primer reading level?
  • What should I do when a student throws a chair or desk?
  • When and how do I tell my principal that other teachers aren’t doing their job, and it’s affecting mine?
  • How do I work with my principal to address school-wide safety concerns?
  • How do I level my reading library?
  • When is it appropriate to ask for outside help in dealing with a disruptive student? How do I do it?
  • How will I know, as a first-year teacher, if I’m doing a good job?

Email Principal Levy to ask a question of your own. Answers will appear regularly in the Community section.