I am Elizabeth Haela. Passionate Educator.

Middle School Special Education Teacher. Member of NYCDOE’s Fair Student Funding Working Group, Narrative 4 Teaching Fellows, and Educators for Excellence’s Teacher Advisory Group. Skill Set includes SEL Curriculum Development. Recognized for adaptability and communication. Passionate about Social Justice.

“In order to recover from this pandemic, we need the resources to safely return to the classroom and the education policies that reimagine education for all our students.”

About Me

I am Elizabeth Haela, an experienced educator passionate about community development and enhancing student outcomes. With nearly a decade of experience in high-needs urban schools, I have developed expertise in designing and modifying instruction across subjects for middle and high school students. As a member of the Mayor of New York City’s Fair Student Funding Task Force, I analyzed data sets that projected the outcomes of various funding models and advocated for the data set that would provide the most equitable outcomes to New York City Public School students. I am also a member of Educators for Excellence and Narrative 4 and have collaborated with them on projects designed to further equity and bridge communities within public education.


Hunter College, New York, NY 
Masters of Science in Education

Lasell College, Newton, MA
B. A. in Communications
Honors: Presidential Scholarship

Teaching Experience

I am an experienced special education teacher who has worked in New York City public schools for six years. In this role, I have designed and modified instruction for diverse student populations, including those with disabilities and English language learners. To demonstrate the effectiveness of my teaching strategies, I want to highlight my success in improving student outcomes. In the class of 8th graders that I worked with last year, 79 percent of students with disabilities scored a Level One on the ELA State Test when exiting seventh grade, and only 5 percent were deemed proficient in ELA. After receiving instruction from myself and my co-teacher, 32 percent of students with disabilities were proficient on the ELA State Test the following year. In comparison, 52 percent of students with disabilities achieved a Level Two status on the same exam.

In addition to modifying instruction, I have also provided translations of whole class assignments and texts in students’ home languages to aid English language learners in accessing the curriculum. Furthermore, I have translated and provided classroom instruction in Spanish to provide students who recently arrived from Latin America with further opportunities to engage and participate.

Beyond my role as a special education teacher, I have designed social-emotional instruction for a high-needs population of students after the pandemic through the guidance of the organization Narrative 4. I utilized the Interpersonal Reactivity Index to gauge student empathy at three points of our six-week summer program during the 2021 school year before working with me on academic activities based on the themes of Faith, Identity, Immigration, Violence, and Environment. I chose culturally relevant materials for students to explore these themes before exchanging in partnerships. Before engaging in these activities, students scored a 52 percent average on the self-assessment designed to measure empathy levels. Students analyzed short stories, wrote found poems, and created collages to reflect them and their values. Within six weeks of the course, activities students scored an average of 65 percent on the same assessment.

I have also served as a coach on our school’s debate team. I have mentored novice and intermediate debate students in preparing analytical arguments and navigating public speaking roles in their debate competitions. My experience has prepared me to work with a diverse range of students and to design instruction that meets the needs of each student.

Media Appearances

DOE push equity in Fair Funding formula

Amsterdam News

“I’m extremely encouraged by the city’s decision to allocate funds to schools with greater needs,” said Haela in a statement.

New York City educators raise concerns about students' mental health, academic struggles


“Before and since the pandemic, I’ve seen such a great need for social and emotional instruction to be happening in schools. Unfortunately, the reality is the money is not there,” said Liz Haela, a special education teacher in the Bronx.

13 Months Into Pandemic Schooling, NYC Teachers Yearn For Stability


Liz Haela, a middle school teacher in the Bronx, said one class in her school was closed on Wednesday because of a possible COVID case, and that has ripple effects across the whole system.

NYC to roll out breathing exercises for all students, Banks

Brooklyn Eagle

Deep breaths: NYC to roll out breathing exercises for all students, Banks … Liz Haela, a middle school teacher at the Urban Institute of …

Chalk Talk: Liz Haela

Educators for Excellence

“I feel extremely fulfilled without feeling valued,” she says. “In order to be an effective teacher, you have to go above and beyond to be your best for each and every individual student.”

Liz Haela, UFT Executive Board Candidates
City Public School Teachers Champion Climate Education.

Columbia Journalism School

Elizabeth Haela, another ENL teacher in the Bronx, agreed. She teaches at a Title 1 school, which has a high percentage of students from low-income backgrounds. The school prioritizes other services like counseling services for students over teaching climate. 

Class Sighs: City to Roll Out Breathing Exercises for All Students


Education officials said it’s part of an attempt to tackle the mental health crisis gripping schools, but some teachers described the move as a “lackluster, inefficient way to really address social-emotional needs.”

NYC educators still grappling with emotional, academic effects of pandemic in classroom

 New York Daily News

Meanwhile, Liz Haela, a special education teacher at a middle school in the Throgs Neck, the Bronx, said it’s often impossible to ask kids to tackle difficult academic challenges without attending to underlying emotional needs that worsened during the pandemic.

How 5 teachers are changing their back-to-school routines to calm COVID worries and help students readjust


Liz Haela works at a middle school in the Bronx, which was hit especially hard by the pandemic. Some of her students were unreachable during the school year, and she’s seen some students now struggling to socialize during New York City’s expanded summer school program.