Teaching Profession Photo Essay

See Me After School

By Education Week Photo Staff — March 11, 2014 1 min read

Aliza Eliazarov is a Brooklyn-based photographer, picture editor, and teacher. Her portrait series, “See Me After School,” draws inspiration from her personal experiences as an educator for 8 years before leaving the profession to become a photographer.

“After school is a poignant time in a teacher’s day. It’s one of both reflection and preparation – exhaustion and relief, concern and contentment. This portrait series is a glimpse into the world of the challenging life of today’s educator,” says Eliazarov.

All of the portraits were taken right after school at the end of the last school year. Eliazarov had her subjects close their eyes and check in with how they were feeling before photographing them. She then interviewed each about their day.

Josina Reaves: A high school teacher at Poly Prep in Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. How do you feel right now? Exhausted. What was the highlight of your day? I read some fantastic student poems; some were really thoughtful, well done, and revealing.
Jeremy St. Romain: A middle school technology teacher at MS 343, The Bronx School of Applied Mathematics and Technology. What was the high point of your day? I had a good time with my 6th graders. Right now they’re doing Google presentations. Even some of the knuckleheads were engaged.
Kate Louis: A high school English teacher at Urban Assembly For Green Careers on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. How do you feel right now? Accomplished, proud of students who stayed late, and overwhelmed because I still need to make lesson plans for tomorrow.
Emma Fryer: A middle school special education teacher at MS 363, The Academy For Personal Leadership and Excellence in the Bronx. What was the highlight of your day? There was a really good flow today in one of the struggling classes. It’s really nice when everyone is working at their fullest capacity. I’ve been working really hard developing a new lesson plan template. What do you like most about teaching? Picking kids’ brains apart to find the best way for them to access the curriculum.
Hilary Koenig- Beynon: A middle school art teacher at Poly Prep in Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. How do you feel right now? Tired. What’s the best thing about your job? The kids are mostly motivated and enthusiastic. There are lots of resources here. What’s the hardest thing? You have to be “on” all day. Also, school politics.
Peter Mancini: An elementary music teacher at PS 164 in Borough Park in Brooklyn. I was a baker before I was a teacher. I really enjoy teaching. I get a kick out of the kids. What was the high point of your day? Conducting the band playing Star Wars.
Jacqueline Malanga: An art teacher at High School For Fashion Industries in Chelsea. How do you feel right now? Glad to be here, relieved that it’s the end of the day. I have a lot to do for tomorrow, but if I go home I will crash. I constantly think about how to take time for myself and not get completely enveloped, but I do.
Francesca Leibowitz: A middle school English teacher at Poly Prep in Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. She left a career in advertising to teach. What was the high point of your day? I’m currently doing a poetry unit. Students were enthusiastic, and inspiring. I’m thinking about wrapping up, cleaning my desk and getting organized. I have to say I have the best job. I love, love, love what I do.
Maddie Sage-El: A high school special education teacher at Urban Assembly for Green Careers on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. How do you feel right now? Exhausted.
Belina David: A fashion design teacher at The High School For Fashion Industries in Chelsea. How do you feel right now? Tired. My son wants to go home but I can’t because there’s too much to do. We are getting ready for a fashion show. Yesterday I was in Albany with the teachers’ lobby. That was exciting.
Ariel Polonsky: A preschool teacher at the Brooklyn Heights Synagogue Preschool. What was the high point of your day? There were lots of little high points. The room was humming. We let our butterflies go today. That was nice! What was the low point? I forgot my lunch.

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A version of this article first appeared in the Full Frame blog.

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