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Ask Me Anything (About Working In A School)

Hello, GothamSchools community! I recently realized that I’ve been working in urban education for nearly half my life, which I still can’t believe. Although I would never claim to be an expert (an overused term in education), I might have gained some insights over my career that I would be happy to pass along. So I have decided to take on an “Advice Column” to run on GothamSchools.

When I was starting out, I often had questions about classroom management, that hard-to-reach student, that impossible colleague. Sometimes the answers could be found in my own school and network — but sometimes not. Also, I didn’t always want to go to my own principal or school mentor because either it was tough to admit I was struggling or I wanted a different perspective.

I remember reading “Dear Abby” (yes, I’ll admit it) a while back and thinking, “Free help? And you can stay anonymous! Awesome!” The same anonymity rules will apply here. You can make up a silly nickname like “Teachless in Tribecca” or “Literacy Queen in Queens” or simply use your initials — or just  your position, like “Gym Teacher.”

If you have a question about a tough professional situation and would like some advice, feel free to ask away! Sometimes newer teachers or administrators can’t find someone (or don’t feel comfortable) confiding in someone in their own workplace. I look forward to fielding your questions. I promise to be honest, fair, supportive, and occasionally humorous.

Please submit your questions via email. Answers will appear regularly in the Community section.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of the NYC DOE or any other entity.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.