Tales from the First Year is a series chronicling the journey of seven first-year teachers as they learn, succeed, fail, and grow as educators. You will be able to read first-hand accounts of beginning teachers as they start their career during a global pandemic that will require them to teach in a virtual, hybrid, and in face-to-face environments. Our seven teachers include:

  • Amberleigh Starr: a middle school teacher in a STEM school
  • James Button: a high school teacher in a public school
  • Jessa Reed: an elementary school teacher in a public school
  • Kelley Zebrowski: a high school teacher in a public…

Tales from the First Year is a series chronicling the journey of seven first-year teachers as they learn, succeed, fail, and grow as educators. You will be able to read first-hand accounts of beginning teachers as they start their career during a global pandemic that will require them to teach in a virtual, hybrid, and in face-to-face environments. Our seven teachers include:

  • Amberleigh Starr: a middle school teacher in a STEM school
  • James Button: a high school teacher in a public school
  • Jessa Reed: an elementary school teacher in a public school
  • Kelley Zebrowski: a high school teacher in a public…

By Emma Walker

You all are probably unaware of who I am so let me lead to a simple introduction. My name is Emma and I am a pre-kindergarten Intervention Specialist. Typically when people hear that they say, “Oh- that must be hard?!” I’ll start by saying it is hard. Nothing about my job is easy and that’s why it is even more difficult in the 2020–2021 school year. I work in an integrated classroom, which means we have eight students on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 12 students who are not on IEPs. I am the intervention specialist and I work with a general education teacher and an aide. This set up works seamlessly in the classroom. …


By Dr. Matthew Clay

In the last couple decades, a lot of engineering language has slipped into conversations about how we structure and operate schools. Whether focused on efficiency or system design, the shift has been difficult to miss. However, I would like to suggest that if we are to borrow a mindset of a scientific discipline for schools, it is ecology, not engineering that offers real potential.

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Engineers study isolated components of a system to seek to improve that system toward a particular outcome. As they test the system by applying stress they look for weak points or failures and remove or replace those components with ones which can withstand the stress. If it is necessary to completely tear down and rebuild a system, engineers are willing to do so if it leads toward the desired outcome. …


By Gene Deary

My name is Gene Deary, and I am currently a 5th-grade special education teacher at MacArthur Elementary School in Waltham, Massachusetts. This is my 7th year teaching and, to be honest, probably the most challenging, as it has been for pretty much everyone.

What I feel makes it the most challenging is that the kids are not in front of us. I know many schools have had different protocols for responding to Covid-19, but ours chose to start the year teaching remotely as much as it is tough not to have the kids in front of us. …


By James Button

So today, I walk into school around 7, have my coffee and my breakfast, first period planning is really nice. I open up my computer, start checking in on emails, and I have one from a parent. “Dear James,” it opens with. The next 7 minutes of my life were the highest my blood pressure has been since running a half marathon. …


By Gary Greeno

For the last 30 years I have loved being in the classroom teaching middle school and high school math. For 28 of those years you could find me after school in the gym coaching the school’s basketball team. As I reflect back over these years and the many students and athletes I’ve interacted with, I can’t help but think about the most important factor in touching the life of a student in a positive way.

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We can all think back to our days in school and recall a teacher that made a huge difference in our lives. In my speaking and working with people in all walks of life, I’ve never asked the question about what teacher made a significant difference, without getting an answer. Great teachers who make a lasting impact are not forgotten. …


Please keep washing your hands, but how well-rounded are your kids when it comes to whole health?

By The fit Team at Sanford Health

Good hygiene and eating vegetables are a great way to start your child’s whole health journey, but there’s more to it than just that. fit’s unique platform separates the concept of whole health into four pillars of wellness that help your child understand and enjoy the full spectrum of health.

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Recharge Your Energy

Everyone agrees that kids have a lot of energy! But is their energy focused? Adequate sleep and taking time to relax throughout the day are essential to maintain the energy needed to support impulse control and attention. Your child’s energy levels also affect what and how much they eat, as well as their moods and emotions.During sleep, their bodies grow and their brains process information. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children, ages 6–12, get 9 to 12 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Adolescents, ages 12–18, need 8 to 10 hours. Sleep hygiene — creating and following a healthy bedtime routine is the first step to adequate sleep. First, children need to wind-down about an hour before bed — that means to shut off screens and replace physical activity with quiet, calm activities such as reading, journaling, or creative hobbies. Of course, the routine should include personal hygiene such as a bath or shower and brushing teeth. At school, educators can talk about the importance of sleep with their kids, and provide them with a chart to support the creation and fulfillment of a bedtime routine. …


Tales from the First Year is a series chronicling the journey of seven first-year teachers as they learn, succeed, fail, and grow as educators. You will be able to read first-hand accounts of beginning teachers as they start their career during a global pandemic that will require them to teach in a virtual, hybrid, and in face-to-face environments. Our seven teachers include:

  • Amberleigh Starr: a middle school teacher in a STEM school
  • James Button: a high school teacher in a public school
  • Jessa Reed: an elementary school teacher in a public school
  • Kelley Zebrowski: a high school teacher in a public…

Tales from the First Year is a series chronicling the journey of seven first-year teachers as they learn, succeed, fail, and grow as educators. You will be able to read first-hand accounts of beginning teachers as they start their career during a global pandemic that will require them to teach in a virtual, hybrid, and in face-to-face environments. Our seven teachers include:

  • Amberleigh Starr: a middle school teacher in a STEM school
  • James Button: a high school teacher in a public school
  • Jessa Reed: an elementary school teacher in a public school
  • Kelley Zebrowski: a high school teacher in a public…

About

Tales from Classroom

Official Medium page for the Tales from the Classroom project, examining how educational policy really affects our schools, kids, teachers, and administrators.

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