In Their Own Words

Hear an individual at the center of a story describe their experience, in their own words, as told to Education Week
Principal Janet Huger-Johnson at East New York Elementary School of Excellence in Brooklyn, New York on Sept. 8. 2021.
Principal Janet Huger-Johnson at East New York Elementary School of Excellence in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Jackie Molloy for Education Week
Teaching In Their Own Words 'Chaos in the Adult World': A New York Principal Tells Her Story of Being a Teacher on 9/11
Janet Huger-Johnson was a 5th grade teacher in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Here's her story.
Ileana Najarro, September 9, 2021
5 min read
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Rachel Mummey for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Why This Science Teacher Doesn't Want the COVID Vaccine
Contrary to public health guidance, Davis Eidahl, an Iowa high school teacher, has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Catherine Gewertz, August 17, 2021
4 min read
Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa announces that masks will be required at all Dallas ISD schools at DISD headquarters in Dallas, Monday, August 9, 2021.
Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announces that masks will be required at all district schools earlier this week in Dallas.
Brandon Wade/The Dallas Morning News via AP
School & District Management In Their Own Words Defiant Superintendent: 'How Can I Follow a Law I Believe Endangers My Students?'
A superintendent explains why he required masks in school despite a statewide ban on such policies.
Stephen Sawchuk, August 12, 2021
4 min read
Chad Russell, Flower Mound High School Principal, in his office at the school in Flower Mound, Texas, on June 2, 2021. Russell contracted COVID-19 in December of 2020 and is still recovering after a six-week stay in the hospital, which included time on a ventilator.
High school principal Chad Russell said he survived a "close-to-death" experience with his COVID-19 illness that kept him hospitalized far from home for weeks, including 12 days on a ventilator.
Laura Buckman for Education Week
School & District Management In Their Own Words A Principal’s Battle With COVID-19
Chad Russell, principal of a Texas high school, spent three months battling coronavirus before returning to his campus this spring.
Catherine Gewertz, June 3, 2021
5 min read
Mark Lane, the superintendent of the Decorah Community School District in Iowa, is still going to wear his mask to school, and is encouraging teachers and students to do the same, even though a new law forbids schools and businesses from requiring people to wear masks.
Mark Lane, the superintendent of the Decorah Community School District, is still going to wear his mask to school, and is encouraging teachers and students to do the same, even though a new Iowa law forbids schools and businesses from requiring masks.
Rachel Mummey for Education Week
School & District Management In Their Own Words The Governor Banned Mask Mandates in Schools. This Superintendent Won't Stop Wearing His
Schools in Iowa can't require masks anymore. A small town superintendent keeps his on, and finds most of his school community doing so, too.
Catherine Gewertz, May 27, 2021
6 min read
Tray Robinson, a special education teacher, sits for a photo at Vasona Lake County Park in Los Gatos, Calif., on April 21, 2021.
Tray Robinson, a special education teacher, says remote learning has provided new ways for some of his students to soar, and has made others want to quit.
Sarahbeth Maney for Education Week
Special Education In Their Own Words 'They Already Feel Like Bad Students.' A Special Educator Reflects on Virtual Teaching
In a year of remote teaching, a high school special ed teacher has seen some of his students struggle and some thrive.
Catherine Gewertz, April 28, 2021
4 min read
Eric Griffith, 55, poses for a portrait in front of a school bus in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Griffith, who has been a school bus driver for 20 years, delivered meals and educational materials during the first couple months of the coronavirus pandemic when schools shifted to remote learning.
Eric Griffith has been a bus driver for Duval County schools in Jacksonville, Fla., for 20 years. He's been driving students all year and hopes to get his coronavirus vaccine soon.
Charlotte Kesl for Education Week
School Climate & Safety Audio Driving the School Bus, Waiting for a Vaccine
A veteran bus driver holds out hope he won't get COVID-19 while awaiting his first vaccination.
Catherine Gewertz, March 19, 2021
3 min read
Cedric Hall, principal of Eagle Academy for Young Men in Queens, N.Y.
Cedric Hall, the principal of Eagle Academy for Young Men in Queens, N.Y., has been on an emotional journey with his students and their families in the last year.
Michael Kirby Smith for Education Week
School & District Management In Their Own Words 'Deaths Every Single Day': Leading a School Through the Pandemic and Racial Strife
A New York City principal describes what it’s been like to lead a school community through COVID-19 even while he fell victim to it himself.
Catherine Gewertz, March 10, 2021
5 min read
Denise Jensen, a teacher at the Navajo Preparatory School, stands for a portrait on a dirt road just outside of Farmington, N.M. on Feb. 1, 2021.
Denise Jensen is a teacher at New Mexico's Navajo Preparatory School, a boarding school for Native American students that has been closed for almost a year. She's been teaching her students remotely since March 2020.
Steven St. John for Education Week
Teaching Profession Audio Sitting on the Roof at Night for Internet: Pandemic Learning in the Navajo Nation
A teacher at a college-prep school for Native American students sees the struggles her students face daily to do their schoolwork from home.
Catherine Gewertz, February 3, 2021
7 min read
Illustration of a woman.
iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words After a Stillbirth, This Teacher Was Denied Paid Leave for Recovery. Here's Her Story
A District of Columbia teacher delivered a stillborn baby and was denied paid maternity leave. Her story, told here, is not uncommon.
Madeline Will, January 15, 2021
6 min read
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words 'I'm Numb to All of This': A Louisiana Teacher in the Path of Hurricane Laura
Third grade teacher Erin Washington has weathered hurricanes before. But on top of the ongoing coronavirus crisis over the past months, she said, this one is hard to bear.
Sarah Schwartz, August 27, 2020
3 min read