Teachers' lessons about their hybrid roles, from Chalkbeat's event on "teacherpreneurs"

PHOTO: Samson Peng

On a recent school day, Ariel Sacks supervised student-led discussions in her eighth-grade English classes, then left Brooklyn Prospect Charter School a few minutes early to train teachers at a different school in the approach to teaching novels she had used in class that day.

Sacks described the day during an event Wednesday night about multi-tasking educators whom the Center for Teaching Quality, a co-host with Chalkbeat New York, calls “teacherpreneurs.” The three educators on the panel, which I moderated, all appeared in CTQ’s recent book, “Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Don’t Leave.”

Jose Vilson said missing school occasionally for other responsibilities, such as training teachers, pushed him to give his students more autonomy. Stephen Lazar (also a member of Chalkbeat New York’s Reader Advisory Board) said constantly “changing gears” among teaching, policy work, and school leadership responsibilities keeps him engaged. And Sacks said that while writing in addition to teaching isn’t easy, hearing about her book project showed students that even teachers need to revise their work.

Giving teachers space to play multiple roles keeps them engaged as they work to improve their schools, said New Visions president Bob Hughes, who also sat on the panel.

The hybrid role brings its challenges, panelists said, and audience members asked for advice about the kind of environment that’s needed to make “teacherpreneurship” work and how to navigate relationships with colleagues and principals. Here’s a selection of what the panelists said and what audience members learned, taken from Twitter.

Bob Hughes and Ariel Sacks in conversation. (Photo: Samson Peng)
Bob Hughes and Ariel Sacks in conversation. (Photo: Samson Peng)

If you have questions for the panelists, let us know!

What's Your Education Story?

We can’t wait for you to hear these Indianapolis teachers’ stories — join us April 19

PHOTO: Ronak Shah

Indianapolis teachers have more stories from their classrooms to share this spring.

Over the past year, Chalkbeat has brought readers personal stories from the teachers, students, and leaders of Indianapolis through our occasional series, What’s Your Education Story? Some of our favorites were told live during teacher story slams hosted by Teachers Lounge Indy.

The stories dealt with how a teacher grappled with coming out to his students, a class that organized to save historic trees in their community, and the unexpected lesson of a mouse in the classroom.

Next month, Chalkbeat is partnering with Teachers Lounge Indy, WFYI Public Media, and the Indianapolis Public Library to host a story slam. The event, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, will showcase tales from across Circle City classrooms. It is free and open to the public — please RSVP here.

Event details:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Central Library, Clowes Auditorium
40 E. St. Clair St., Indianapolis, IN
Get tickets here and find more on Facebook

We're listening

What are the Newark education stories you want to read?

PHOTO: Patrick Wall

This is a historic moment for Newark’s public schools.

After 22 years of state takeover ended last month, the city school board is re-empowered and gearing up to pick a new superintendent. Candidates are lining up to vie for three board seats that will open next month, even as Mayor Ras Baraka — who as a former principal promised to usher in a new era for the city’s schools — runs for reelection in May.

And, just in time to help make sense of it all, Chalkbeat Newark officially launched this week.

I’m Patrick Wall, Chalkbeat Newark’s founding reporter. I hope to spotlight some of the city’s education movers and shakers, track the growth of Newark’s charter sector and the pressure it’s put on the district’s budget, and show what’s happening inside city classrooms. And that’s just this month.

To do all that, I need your help. At Chalkbeat, our readers are the people who shape the local schools and rely on them. They’re also our sources. As we start in Newark, I’m hoping you’ll not only read our coverage but also help steer it, suggesting stories and making sure we reach a wide audience. Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Sign up for the weekly Newark newsletter. In it, I’ll share my reporting and round up the great coverage by other outlets so that you know everything you need to about Newark schools. The first newsletter goes out this Friday.
  2. Tell me what you want to read. Which power brokers or inspiring students do you want to meet? What arcane policies or tangled politics do you want to understand? Which schools or programs do you want to see up close? Please send your questions, ideas, and tips to
  3. Come say “hi.” I’m planning to host regular “office hours” throughout the community to meet readers where they are. The first edition will be at the Springfield Branch library during their college fair from 4 to 7 p.m. on Weds., March 14. (Details here.) Say hello and share your story ideas as you pick up college applications and talk to recruiters.

As Chalkbeat Newark gets up and running, I hope you’ll come along for the ride.