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The Teacher Project

Reporters in Columbia Journalism School’s education seminar profiled teachers from across the city, looking for insights into a largely misunderstood profession.

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A Teaching Fellow Finds Her Footing

Luisa Cavagna once thought she wanted to be a doctor, but now her heart is in the classroom

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From Broadway, With Love

Dan Pettrota is a math teacher at World Journalism Prep, who stepped down from the Broadway stage to enter the classroom through the New York City Teaching Fellows.

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Staying the Course in a High-Demand Charter School

Despite the long hours and endless challenges of teaching middle school students in this high-octane charter school, first-year teacher Carpenter has shown no signs of becoming discouraged by the obstacles.

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Making The Grade: Mentoring Student Teachers In a “Failing” School

Is it possible to learn to be a strong teacher in a school the city says is failing? Veteran teacher Ann Neary mentors Lehman College senior Greg Castro at DeWitt Clinton High School, a struggling landmark in the Bronx.

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Inspiration from a Difficult Childhood

Until last year, Kadeem Gill wanted to be a lawyer. Now he’s decided to give up his spot at Columbia Law School to teach middle-school math to kids who remind him of his own difficult childhood

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Clown Turned Teacher Finds He Needs a New Bag of Tricks

A neatly trimmed beard and pocket full of pens and pencils are now the workday toolkit for Dan Berkley, a former circus clown turned physics teacher thanks to the NYC Teaching Fellows program.

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From NASA to the Bronx, a Student Teacher Learns What Works

Tim Hatlee, a student teacher at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, used to work at NASA. Now he’s getting his master’s in education through a program called Math for America.

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Unconventional Classroom

Cinzia Bontempo, who teaches 12th grade English to students from over 50 countries, knows what it’s like for her students at Manhattan International High School to be far from home.

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Surviving the First Year, Day by Day, in the South Bronx

Just getting through the first year is an accomplishment for a new teacher, but Emma Schneider, 31, is determined to make a difference in the lives of her students at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in the Bronx.

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