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Our teacher series comes to a close: “For starters, I’m just gonna say gay”

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This week we’ve been talking to teachers about their hopes, fears and dreams ahead of the new school year. 

Yesterday, we heard from Irma Lima, an ESOL elementary school teacher in Volusia County. Today we wrap up our series with Matthew Kiernan. He teaches civics at Renaissance Charter School in Palm Beach County. He told WMFE’s Danielle Prieur that he’s ready to get back to teaching. 

Interview highlights

On teaching during the (ongoing) COVID pandemic

“During the year, every single one of my colleagues that I work with on my grade level team got COVID at some point. So there was still like, COVID was literally and figuratively still very much in the air up until the very end, not to say that it’s not in the air now.”

On new laws like “Don’t Say Gay” and “Stop Woke”

“Well, for starters, I’m just gonna say gay, I’m gonna say lesbian, I’m gonna say bi and trans. Because why wouldn’t you?”

On school shootings like Uvalde and Parkland

“It’s as a parent, as a as a teacher, as just a human person. You know, it’s awful. And as a teacher, I can, you know, I can only do so much.”

Listen to the other stories in the series

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »