November 6, 2014

Teaching in the City

by Cecil Harris

There are unique challenges to being a teacher in New York City. Parental involvement and student motivation are not always as high as in other school districts. Teachers and those who aspire to teach may not view certain neighborhoods as desirable places in which to work. And then there is the fairly recent issue of public schools and charter schools battling each other for space, equipment and financial resources—often within the same building—with the children sometimes caught in the middle.

Yet, despite the struggles, many teachers not only thrive in New York City schools but also would not want to teach anywhere else. “I know a lot of graduates who still don’t have full-time teaching positions—that’s because they’re only considering schools on Long Island,” said Irene (Demille) Pizzo ’03, M.A. ’04, who teaches in Brooklyn. “New York City has such an amazing group of kids who need good teachers.”

Here are three such teachers, all graduates of the Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, who bring talent, passion, compassion, a fierce intelligence and a tireless commitment to their jobs in the city that never sleeps.

Irene Pizzo teaching

Irene (Demille) Pizzo ’03, M.A. ’04, teaching students in Brooklyn.
» Read Irene’s Story

Nellyzita Nwosu, Ph.D. '13

Nellyzita Nwosu, Ph.D. ’13 works with speech- and hearing-impaired children at P.S. 69 in Queens.
» Read Nellyzita’s Story

Leonard Bruno '11, M.S. '14

Leonard Bruno ’11, M.S. ’14 teaches at Urban Dove TEAM Charter School in Brooklyn.
» Read Leonard’s Story


This piece appeared in AU VU, Fall 2014 issue.
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