One day, on the last day of school in 2013, two teachers bumped into each other on a subway platform and spoke for hours, becoming fast friends. Marie (then a Spanish teacher) and Mac, (then an ESL co-teacher) had been working at the same school, had heard about each other (Facebook even thought they were doppelgängers), yet had never met. Until that last day of school.
Now we are working together with others at our current school in the Bronx to bring forward a new kind of English curriculum and instructional approach that prioritizes and centers student voice and agency, thanks to our principal who holds nothing sacred unless it truly benefits our students, most of whom are recent immigrants or students who are new to English.
I have been teaching in NYC since 2007. I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was in high school. Thanks to the NYC Teaching Fellows, I started out as a Spanish teacher. Thanks to Mac I now teach Reading and Writing to English Language Learners in an international school. I have fallen in love with teaching again and teaching recent immigrant students is a great way to marry my passion for education and international issues in my favorite borough, the Bronx! 🙂
BA Women’s Studies and Spanish, minor in Philosophy; MA Spanish Literature and Education; MA International Relations; Advanced Certificate: Teaching English Language Learners PK-12; MS Educational Leadership for School Building Leader / School District Leader certification.
Donna “Mac” McKenna
I didn’t start out wanting to be a teacher*. For years, I was a Reporter/Researcher at a financial magazine and then an Associate Producer at Court TV. During those years, I was also a passionate activist around women’s rights, police brutality, and international human rights. But becoming a teacher—serving marginalized + underserved communities—felt like the most tangible way to devote my life to tangible societal change. From 2007-2012, I was an ESL teacher at a wonderful elementary school in Queens. I have been teaching high school ever since, now at a school I love, dedicated to newcomers.
*I also swore I’d never get married or have children; I now have done both. I basically have spent my life proving myself wrong about myself. 🙂
BA Journalism; Minor in Gender & Sexuality; MS in TESOL PK-12; MS Educational Leadership for School Building / School District Leader