Voices From The Classoom — Some Samples

“I’m a young man but sometimes in school I feel like I’m a grandma in a hurricane. At the end of the day I walk home and sit down on my couch and I think, ‘What the hell was that?’ You always have to be on. You never quite know what that kindergartner is going to say or ask you, or what that eighth grader is going to blurt out in the classroom. You’ve got to be ready for it.”

— Steve Vande Zande

“It’s useful for new teachers to reflect on the difference between being a ‘good person’ and being a ‘good teacher.’ It is important to be nurturing and supportive of your students, but it’s also important to challenge them to work hard and to help them assume responsibility for making their own schooling successful. If you’re able to maintain a little critical distance to reflect on situations and not internalize or personalize everything, it will help smooth out the emotional ups and downs, which can get pretty intense.”

— Stan Karp

“It’s in the classroom where we mainly do our activism, instilling in the kids a sense of justice and acceptance of different cultures and races. Whenever someone says a put-down about someone else, and we sit down and talk about it, that’s activism to me.”

— Floralba Vivas