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C'est la Z

Sloan awards for excellence in teaching science and mathematics

I spent yesterday evening at the Cooper Union in their Great Hall, a place famous for Abraham Lincoln's speech that some say propelled him to the presidency.

I was there in the audience watching as the Sloan Foundation and the Fund for the City of New York awarded seven public school teachers with an ward for "Excellence in the Teaching of Science and Mathematics."

I was their to see my friend Dave Deutsch, a long time public school physics teacher receive the honor. Here's a brief clip about Dave:

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You can read Dave's blurb as well as blurbs and videos for all of the recipients here.

I've never taught with Dave but I've known him for a couple of decades and he's a teacher's teacher. He and Devorah cut their teeth teaching together at the Manhattan Center for Science and Math. Dave's still there.

Dave's also not the guy that normally gets awards. It's not because he doesn't deserve them - he's probably the best physics / science teacher I know. It's that he never toots his own horn, he's not the over the top super charismatic popular teacher who seems great in the moment but in the long run might not be, and he never looks for the spotlight. He just goes about his business of connecting, inspiring, and truly caring about his kids. His value as an educator can be seen not only in the short term in his classes but in the long run through his former students.

He's the best.

Over the years I tried to pull Dave over to Stuy or involve him in other projects but he's always stayed true to Manhattan Center and it's population even with the school's toxic administration (it's worth noting that Dave's video is the only one that didn't include the school's principal lauding the recipient and was the only principal not present at the festivities).

In any event, Dave's a true champion for the public school students of NYC and a true hero. There are a small handful of teachers that I really look up to and Dave Deutsch is one of them.

Here's to Dave and other teachers who never get the recognition they deserve because they're too busy doing the good work rather than self promoting.

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