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Barely illuminated by the overhead projector, David Donaldson explains the creative writing assignment to his second 9th grade English class of the day. He is in his second year as a 9th and 10th grade teacher at the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences, a Baltimore City magnet school. He got the job through the Teach For America program.
I shot this for the New York Times before the 2009 Winter Holidays.
David Donaldson sits in his class room a few minutes before the start of his first class.
Donaldson works the Halls, making sure the students don’t congregate. Crowd control takes precedence over making sure the kids get to class.
At the beginning of every class 9th and 10th grade English teacher David Donaldson implements quiet reading time. Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences a freshman sits under an open window, while reading a book.
A student looks up from his book during quiet reading time in David Donaldson’s 9th grade English class. Donaldson, directly behind the student, talks to two students who are prepping for a skit where they act out one of the week’s vocab words. The skit idea, which helps the kinesthetic learners in the class, was thought up by resource teacher Victoria Burson, upper right.
Students in David Donaldson’s 9th grade English class act out one of the week’s vocab words. “Sometimes this can be the highlight of my day,” says Donaldson.
David Donaldson shushes his 9th grade English class. He regrets that he has to spend so much time on classroom management when he would rather be teaching.
David Donaldson walks to lunch Tuesday, December 15, 2009. “It’s lonely.” Last year he would eat with six other faculty members, all of whom have left the school. He is the only returning English teacher at the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences.
David Donaldson, middle, a Teach For America teacher, eats his lunch by the students. He makes sure to let them have their space and time during lunch, letting them come to him if they want. Last year he would eat with six other faculty members, all of whom have left the school. “It’s lonely.” Donaldson is the only returning English teacher at the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences.
David Donaldson gets a head start back to his classroom before the students are done eating lunch.
Athletes at the Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences ditch their school uniforms and dress up before their games. A freshman basketball player asks Mr. Donaldson to help him with his tie.
Mr. Donaldson’s hand is illuminated by the overhead projector.
“Now shake hands.” At the end of class David Donaldson heads off a confrontation between two freshmen.