Cliff Hong, an assistant principal and new teacher coach at Oakland’s Edna Brewer Middle School, is one of 20 young teachers and administrators from across the country this year to be honored as an Emerging Leader by Phi Delta Kappa International.
In a podcast interview posted on the organization’s Web site, Hong said that he quit law school after one year and went into teaching — first as a Teach for America newbie in the South Bronx, and later as an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Brewer.
“I haven’t looked back since,” he said.
Hong said he fully intends to stay in Oakland Unified for his entire career — eventually as a school principal, but no higher up the chain — and that he encourages new teachers to put down roots as well by emphasizing the impact they can have in an urban school district.
You can listen to the podcast here (I think you need QuickTime for it to work).
In your experience, what has made you want to stay in a particular school — or in the education field? Do you, like Hong, just try to focus on all of the rewarding aspects of urban education (and set aside that minor issue of pay)?
What keeps you going?