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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
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Mitchell Rutherford, who taught biology at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Ariz., left the profession due, in part, to students' cell phone usage. Here, pictured at Finger Rock Trailhead in Tucson on June 8, 2024.
Cassidy Araiza for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Cellphones Turned My Teaching Career From 'Awesome' to Exhausting
A former high school teacher shares how his students' increasing reliance on cellphones drove him out of the classroom.
Elizabeth Heubeck, June 10, 2024
5 min read
Vector illustration of a woman sitting indian style with her arms spread wide and a rainbow above her head.
iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being In Their Own Words These Students Found Mental Health Support in After-School Programs. See How
3 students discuss how after-school programs benefit their well-being.
Lauraine Langreo, May 17, 2024
6 min read
Alfred ”Shivy” Brooks II, left, and his father, Alfred Books Sr., chat together at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., on Feb. 28, 2024.
Alfred ”Shivy” Brooks II, left, and his father, Alfred Books Sr. visit at Charles R. Drew High School in Riverdale, Ga., on Feb. 28, 2024.
Josiah Rundles for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words He Comes From a Family of Teachers. Does He Want That for the Next Generation?
Alfred “Shivy” Brooks II, a high school economics and government teacher from a family of educators, talks about his profession.
Elizabeth Heubeck, March 7, 2024
6 min read
Saxon Brown, a first-year teacher, leads his 9th grade honors English students through a lesson on To Kill A Mockingbird at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
Saxon Brown, a first-year teacher, leads his 9th grade honors English students through a lesson at Bel Air High School in Bel Air, Md., on Jan. 25, 2024.
Jaclyn Borowski/Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words 'Why Doesn't Everybody Want to Do This?': A New Teacher's Midyear Reflection
Twenty-two-year-old Saxon Brown talks honestly about the challenges and rewards he's encountered in his first year on the job.
Elizabeth Heubeck, January 26, 2024
5 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
Stephen Sawchuk, December 21, 2023
4 min read
Retired teacher Ann Freemon is pictured in Everett, Wash., on November 24, 2023.
Retired teacher Ann Freemon is pictured in Everett, Wash., on November 24, 2023.
Chona Kasinger for Education Week
Curriculum In Their Own Words Why I Kept Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird When Others Wouldn't
A recently retired English teacher explains why she continued to teach the classic novel after it was challenged in her district.
Elizabeth Heubeck, November 27, 2023
6 min read
Student Well-Being In Their Own Words LGBTQ+ Student Perspective: At School, ‘My Safety Didn’t Feel Like the Priority’
For Landon Callahan, mental health challenges and substance use became easier to manage once he came out as a transgender man.
Lauraine Langreo, October 16, 2023
5 min read
Student Well-Being In Their Own Words LGBTQ+ Student Perspective: ‘My School’s GSA Saved My Life’
Esmée Silverman came to the realization that they were transgender in high school, but thought about suicide constantly during their freshman year.
Lauraine Langreo, October 16, 2023
3 min read
Student Well-Being In Their Own Words LGBTQ+ Student Perspective: Mental Health Challenges ‘Come With the Territory’
Imani Sims says it's rare to come across fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community who do not have difficulties with their mental health.
Lauraine Langreo, October 16, 2023
4 min read
Karen Lauritzen stands for a portrait on the Millikin University Campus in Decatur, Ill., on August 30, 2023. Idaho’s Teacher of the Year moved to Illinois for a new job due to right-wing harassment over her support of the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter.
Karen Lauritzen stands for a portrait on the Millikin University Campus in Decatur, Ill., on August 30, 2023. Laurizen, Idaho’s 2023 Teacher of the Year, moved to Illinois for a new job due to harassment over her support of the LGBTQ+ community and Black Lives Matter.
Neeta R. Satam for Education Week
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words 'I Was Not Done': How Politics Drove This Teacher of the Year Out of the Classroom
Karen Lauritzen was accused of being a pro-LGBTQ+ activist. The consequences derailed her career.
Madeline Will, August 31, 2023
6 min read
Aaron Bishop as Tremor, mascot for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Aaron Bishop, dressed as the lime-green dinosaur on the right, poses during the national anthem for his summer job as Tremor, the mascot for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, a single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Courtesy of Pete Soto
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words What Does a Teacher Have in Common With a Baseball Mascot? It's All About Engagement
Aaron Bishop reflects on his decades of double duty as a teacher and a mascot in the minor leagues.
Elizabeth Heubeck, July 31, 2023
5 min read
A two photo collage on dark blue paper of principal Stella Nwanguma and others from school.
Photos: Courtesy of Stella Nwanguma; Design: Gina Tomko/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management In Their Own Words Teaching 'Grand Students': A Principal Treasures Her Work With Multiple Generations
A New Jersey principal built connections over multiple generations of families.
Denisa R. Superville, June 23, 2023
2 min read
A three photo collage on dark blue paper of principal Chris LeGrande and others from school.
Photos: Courtesy of Chris LeGrande; Design: Gina Tomko/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management In Their Own Words This Principal Endured A Lot of Senior Pranks. One Stood Out
Chris LeGrande won't forget 215 keys, a jar, and a parking boot.
Denisa R. Superville, June 23, 2023
3 min read
A five photo collage on dark blue paper of principal Catherine Diezi and others from school.
Photos: Brad Vest for Education Week; Design: Gina Tomko/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management In Their Own Words 'What Happened to Sherman?': A Principal Who Can't Shake the Memory of One Special Student
Catherine Diezi shared her love for literature with staff and students. She'll remember how that transformed their lives.
Denisa R. Superville, June 23, 2023
3 min read