Maribeth Whitehouse, IS 190

Maribeth Whitehouse is a special education teacher at IS 190 in the Bronx. She is in her ninth year of teaching eighth grade.

I teach because …

…of my students. Each of them is a gift, even if they don’t know it or act like it.

…no matter how good I get, the crafting of an excellent teacher never ends. It demands a lot from me all the time, and I like that.

…there are moments and experiences with my students that are electric, addictive and imprinted in my mind.

…the process of learning to trust one another as teachers and learners is unique and intricately beautiful.

…I can ignite a new passion or enrich a long-held one, the potential of which reaches beyond the limits of my own life.


Maribeth Whitehouse spoke out against the teacher data release in New York City, which ranked her as one of the highest-rated teachers last year via published teacher evaluation models.

…our democracy cannot survive without citizens capable of critical analysis. I am proud to be charged with amplifying justice.

…my students stand on the precipice of greatness. Instilling an unwillingness to compromise on excellence, searching for the kernel of their truth, showing them ways to use their talents to improve the lives of others – I am honored to teach life lessons.

…I am challenged daily by my students to grow in compassion and wisdom.

…I can’t do anything else. I don’t mean “can’t” as in “those who can do and those who can’t – teach.” I mean that post-9/11, I couldn’t continue in a job that failed to promote positive transformative change in the world.

…when students accidentally call me “Mom,” I am reminded that guiding children as they mature in thought, word and deed may be the single most important mission ever given to me.

When people hear that I teach special-education students in a South Bronx middle school, they often shake their heads and say, “God bless you.” To which I say, “He already did.”

9 Responses to “Maribeth Whitehouse, IS 190”

  1. Konsalis Mboy 17. May, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    I think you are great teacher because you are not only a teacher but also a parent for the students.

  2. Steve Metzger 17. May, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Maribeth rocks! I wish she had been my teacher when I was a kid.

  3. Lani Jo Leigh 17. May, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Maribeth’s statement that our democracy cannot survive without citizens capable of critical analysis resonated with me deeply. We are so bombarded with propaganda posing as truth, and expected to accept it without any type of thought process, so in this one small way – by engaging her students and teaching them how to apply critical thinking to any situation – Maribeth is truly helping change the future of our country.

  4. Melissa Scheideler 17. May, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Maribeth is a friend of mine, so I guess I am a little partial – but, if you could see the light in her eyes when she tells us about when a student “gets” it, you would realize what a wonderful teacher she is. I told her the other day that she is the teacher I always wished I had. I know she feels blessed for being able to teach, but I believe her “kids” are the lucky ones. The passion for teaching & the genuine caring that Maribeth has for her students simply cannot be measured in a standardized test. Thank God for teachers like her.

  5. Nancy Novick 18. May, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    Every child should have a teacher that cares as much as Maribeth does, is as creative as she is, and who teaches students to raise their expectations and expand their dreams.

  6. Ron Riccio 19. May, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    Maribeth is a great teacher because she is able to appreciate and take joy
    in the growth of her students in all aspects of their development. I’m sure her
    enthusiasm and concern is in turn deeply appreciated by her students.

  7. Sephali Ray 19. May, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    I concur! I think you’re a fantastic teacher that fuels our future by inspiring your students and colleagues alike. I’m fortunate to know you and know that you continue to inspire me in countless ways. Best wishes as you continue your journey…may our paths continue to cross. :)

  8. Michael 20. May, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    Well said!


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