My name is Eric Birn and I have been teaching in the District since 2000 and at New Urban since 2010.  A little bit about myself.  I went to Reed College in SE Portland and after that joined the Peace Corps and worked as an English and Agricultural Education teacher in a small village in Togo, West Africa.  I got a MA from UCLA and my teacher’s endorsement through Portland State.  I also had the pleasure of teaching English in Japan and Indonesia before coming to the District.  I began my work for the District as an English as a Second Language teacher at Putnam High School but realized over the next decade that a large Comprehensive High School was not for me.  So, around 2007, I picked up a teaching assignment at the grade school and for the next 7 years or so, I taught half time at Sojourner ES, Oak Grove ES and finally at Riverside ES.   This is when I started teaching at New Urban HS spending the other half of my day managing and teaching the English Language Learners.  In 2014, I was offered an (almost) full time job teaching Math, History and English Language Learners and have never looked back.  I love New Urban because of the connections that I make with kids and my professional passion is to help provide academic confidence to kids.  I love the outdoors, hiking, running and biking and in my free time, I often go on long bike rides around Portland or nature walks.