Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself...

Just in case this blog has found some new readers or some returning readers need a refresher, I thought I'd give a quick synopsis of who I am and where I teach.

Who I am is tricky... obviously I want to retain a bit of anonymity if that's at all possible in this day and age, but more so, how do I define myself? I'm a 23-year-old white male. In some ways these are my most defining characteristics, but at the same time I constantly strive to break out of the mold they create for me. I'm originally from California, which is more important to know in a place like New York City than say, California. Otherwise I would describe myself as someone who sees the world through a pretty realistic lens, but has a fairly idealistic sense of one person's ability to bring about change.

As for where I teach... that should be obvious enough - the Bronx. More specifically I teach 4th grade in a Title I public elementary school in the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. Of the 1,000-plus students at my school, 99% qualify for free lunch. My students are mostly Hispanic (Carribean, Mexican, Central American...) and Black and mostly below their grade level in reading in math.

It's not an easy job, and I won't pretend I've always loved it. If you were to go back and reread my earlier entries on this blog the overarching sense would probably be despair more than passion or commitment. However even during my arduous first year, when asked how my job was, I would still answer I liked it. Nowadays, with a chance to apply lessons from my (many, many) mistakes, a fresh classroom of students, and a firm passion for my job, I tell people who ask that my job is great.

That's perhaps the greatest sign of a year's transformation. I used to almost relish the pity of my friends and family. Now, I consider myself truly lucky to have this job. I didn't know a lot about what I was getting into, but I knew it would be challenging and it would never be boring. That's why it's one of the greatest jobs I could have.


I'm a first year teaching fellow and can totally relate to everything you went through a year ago. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one feeling certain ways!

I'm also in the Bronx, special ed. early elementary. My favorite thing about teaching in the Bronx is the train ride up there every morning. The only (well, almost only) white people are young teachers. We stick out like a sore thumb.

Good luck this year, hope it's off to a good start :)

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