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
School & District Management In Their Own Words 'Kind of Surreal': A Student Cleans Floors at Her Old Middle School
A high school sophomore works as a part-time custodian, part of her district's unusual effort to fill critical staff positions.
Catherine Gewertz, December 16, 2021
3 min read
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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