Meet Lynn, Fellow since 2002.

Before I became a teacher, I was a photo editor for sixteen years—at the big newsweeklies and finally at The New Yorker. September 11 drained most of the joy out of my job. The hustle to get the best, the most unusual, the only great photo began to wear thin. How much difference did it make to anyone's life?

 

I began to think about teaching. Not in a private school, but where the kids really needed help. I wondered whether I liked kids enough to teach. I liked my kid enough but had very different feelings about roomfuls of them.

 

I looked into the NYC Teaching Fellows program. One of my dear friends assured me that I could afford the pay cut if I scaled back on my shoe consumption. I invested in Harry Wong's First Days of School, figuring it would disillusion me. It didn’t. I applied. The pre-service training gave me all the nuts and bolts of teaching, and I was prepared to enter the classroom full time.

 

Eight years later, I still love teaching, and it gets better every year. My nightmares about finding myself rehired by some photo department are finally easing up. I'm a card-carrying teacher now.

 

I work in a small school in Park Slope that has an unusually diverse (both economically and ethnically) student population and a group of teachers who work together to improve themselves, their students and the environment in the school. There are two other fellows from my cohort in my school. The principal listens to us. In short, my colleagues at my school provide a support system I rely on.

 

For those considering becoming a Fellow, I say go for it. You may never find anything more challenging or more rewarding. And you may never leave teaching.