New teachers were hailed by their union and the city’s Department of Education at Brooklyn’s Kings Theater on Monday.
“I just look forward to getting to know my students. I’m just ready to meet her and have a great start to the year,” Brandy DeLeon said.
DeLeon was part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, which allows fellows to teach while earning their master’s degree and certification.
“I’m looking forward to going back to class. I was part of the Teaching Fellows, so we taught this summer, but I really want to have my own classroom and teach my students the way I want to,” DeLeon said.
Many of the grantees, and many of them at Kings Theater Monday, come from a variety of careers.
“I said, ‘I can handle it. I’m a tough guy. i am a construction worker There will be no problem.’ On October 31st I passed out. The kids kicked my ass,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, who came to teach from the construction field.
But he thinks the career change was worth it.
“The first year was really tough. But it was one of the most rewarding years of my life,” Mulgrew said.
Ben Siegel, a new teacher, is a graduate of the city’s public school system. He looks forward to giving back.
“I was bitten by the mistake – the teaching mistake – when I came on and I realized that’s what I want to do. I love making learning accessible to all students,” Siegel said.
City Schools Chancellor David Banks, who noted he originally wanted to be a lawyer, offered advice to the new teachers on Monday.
“Teachers help their children learn and realize that they are not robots. And none of them are the same. That is why teaching is difficult. When you’re really good at it, you spend hours, countless hours, thinking about your kids, thinking about new strategies and techniques to hone your craft and get better,” Banks said.
Teachers return to school on September 6th – the first day of classes for students is September 8th.