“Look Outside the Window”


Is this what it is like to be making a mess of your life? Where does it all lead? Can one turn that mess around? Those of us who teach in community colleges and at the lower end of American university hierarchies face students asking these questions daily. That’s not surprising: We often encounter people who have descended into the pit and are now attempting the long climb out, attempting college being one of the rungs they grasp for.

Some of us teachers have also experienced “the pit” and, because of that, identify with the situations of our students. Some of us became teachers because of that. I turned to teaching when I was in my fifties because of the students at the CUNY campus where I’d started teaching part-time a few years earlier. I recognized something in them that was in me, as well.

Writing in The New York…

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