I am a teacher-librarian in the Bronx, NY. I grew up in Manhattan and love working in the same school system that I attended. After a stellar career as a middle school student I dropped out of two different high schools and a college, all before I was 17. That started what has been a long-lasting and continually evolving interest in schooling.

I started teaching at age 50, after being a newspaper reporter, radio newsman and talk-show host, voice-over artist, political campaign operative, bartender, restaurant manager, advertising copywriter, and public relations person. Of these careers, teaching is the most difficult, lowest paying and most rewarding. It took a long time to figure out, but being a teacher is what I want to be when I grow up. Like that is ever going to happen.

Deven Black

15 Responses to About

  1. readnshare says:

    I love your site. Keep it up !

    • Julia Thompson says:

      Your blog is wonderful! Clearly you spend time thinking through what you do as a teacher! I’m glad you are a teacher!

  2. miriamtbt says:

    Do you ever come out to California? I’d love to have you speak to a group of Jewish religious school teachers!

    • Deven Black says:

      I have been to California but do not plan on going anytime soon. Using technology there are other ways to address a group without being in the same room. As far as talking to Jewish religious school educators, my bubbe would kvell at the thought of it.

  3. Hadass Eviatar says:

    Oooh, Deven, Miriam, the thought of having two of my favourite educators work together is just too wonderful!

  4. Hadass Eviatar says:

    BTW, Deven, Miriam found you because I posted your wonderful story about Tyrone on my FB page.

  5. Michael J says:

    Your blog is a naches machine for the tribe. Lovely work.

  6. Harold Shaw says:

    Hi – I too found out what I want to do when I grow up teach. I made a sort of stab at something else and am now coming back as one of those old guys who teach after 50!

    I hope your leg heals quickly and that you are back in the classroom quickly

  7. it is all about community and learning form each other. cheers!

    • Deven Black says:

      I always tell my classes that they will learn as much as I can teach but that I will learn more than they do. This is the first class that asked me why I’ll learn more. Their enthusiasm for learning is infectious. I hope some of my other students get infected.

  8. I love what you have to say about education. After being in the business world for 10 years (with students as my contractors) and now in education for 10 years, I couldn’t agree more. Thus, the reason for my website and developing company. When businesses, community and education finally get on the same page somewhat or at least TRY to work together toward student success, WATCH OUT! We’ll be living in a whole new world.

  9. I quite enjoyed the personality of your “about” description. I look forward to reading your posts.

  10. Laurie Murphy says:

    Dear Mr. Black:

    Thank you so much for your fascinating site, Education on the Plate. I have enjoyed reading your articles; they are not only informative, but thought provoking as well. I find that I am constantly sharing your words of wisdom with my friends.

    The reason I am contacting you is that I hope you can help me with a project that I am working on: Shoelaces for Teachers.

    Members of the Shoelaces for Teachers campaign are collecting shoelaces in honor of educators who work hard every day to help students to have a better future. These teachers understand the true meaning of education and put the needs of students ahead of politics and savory sound-bites.

    However, teachers could not succeed if not for the support of the community. Therefore, shoelaces are also being collected in honor of people who are speaking up on behalf of education-people who demand that teachers receive the support needed to do their job and who insist that public education remains adequately funded and available to all. They also understand that, while some aspects of education (such as creativity, independent thinking, engagement and compassion) cannot be easily measured, they represent some of education’s greatest achievements.

    When combined, all of these shoelaces become a “virtual march” in the name of education.

    The string of collected shoelaces will be measured and revealed during the world premiere broadcast of the documentary “I Just Keep Going” on July 30, 2010 on Ustreamtv. The stories of several of our honored teachers and supporters will be featured as part of this documentary.

    We would be honored to include a shoelace representing you and your ongoing efforts in our campaign. We would also encourage you to submit other shoelaces on behalf of other educators who have made a difference in the lives of students or who have worked hard to improve our educational system. We encourage you to write your name on the shoelace you submit (or on an enclosed piece of paper). We also would ask that you submit the name of other people being honored, should you submit additional laces.

    Shoelaces may be old, new, plain, or creatively decorated. That part is entirely up to you!

    Shoelaces should be mailed to: Laurie Murphy, 6414 Foster Road, Sebring, FL 33875.

    The Shoelaces for Teachers Campaign is sponsored by the SOS Million Teacher March, an organization made of up teachers, parents, students, and other concerned citizens who are rallying together in support of education. To learn more about the Shoelaces for Teachers Campaign or the SOS Million Teacher March, please visit us at http://www.sosmtm.com. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this further, feel free to contact me by telephone at (863) 386-4806 or by email at murphylauriet@gmail.com.

    Thank you for your time and for having such an incredible site. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Laurie Murphy
    Save Our Schools Million Teacher March

  11. Deven – I’m enjoying experiencing your enlightenment at http://www.facebook.com/everyonematters

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