Latest posts from Los Angeles

May 02 2013

Closing one chapter, but not the book…

Dear Teach For America / Teach For Us blog friends, Due to a combination of circumstances out of my control, I had to leave the 2012 corps a few months ago. However, I am still in the Teach For America program, and the joys of teaching have been so incredible that I look forward to…

read more »
Apr 29 2013

The Diverse Views of Corps Members and Alums

During my interview for Teach for America in the spring of 2007, the interviewer asked me to explain what I felt was the cause of the achievement gap.  I replied that I thought schools serving primarily low income and minority students were educating children who faced severe challenges in their lives due to poverty, and…

read more »
Apr 26 2013

Reverse Culture Shock

My early days in Japan with the JET Program were full of cultural misunderstandings.  I brought with me a lot of assumptions about how schools should work and how students should learn that simply did not mesh with the Japanese teachers’ views.  I had to unlearn a lot of things and be willing to understand…

read more »

Teachers, like any other profession, should be evaluated and held accountable for their job performance.  I don’t honestly know anyone who doesn’t believe this.  If you listen to many of the ed reformers though, you’d think otherwise.  I found this rather bizarre tweet from a StudentsFirst blogger in my Twitter feed today, retweeted by StudentsFirst…

read more »
Apr 22 2013

Teaching Foreign Language: A Good Cure for Cynicism

This month I’ve gotten the rare chance to spend Sunday evenings without planning or preparation.  After finishing my second long term substituting assignment at my school in March, I become a collaboration teacher and day to day sub wherever I’m needed.  On collaboration days (Tuesday and Thursday) I teach World Languages and Culture to students…

read more »
Apr 19 2013

Adoring Ed Reform Journalists

It’s been an interesting week in education news.  Michelle Rhee is taking heat for her failure to acknowledge a memo regarding cheating in her district, and Ben Chavis’s American Indian Public Charter School had its charter revoked by the Oakland Unified School District because of Chavis’s money embezzlement.  It comes to my mind that so…

read more »

Teach for America is coming to my hometown.  Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, they will be bringing in a small group of about 30 corps members to test the waters and see if they can develop a good working presence in San Diego.  I was initially wary when I learned the news. San Diego…

read more »
Apr 15 2013

My Education Career: Discouragement and Optimism

The 2012-2013 school year has been a blur; with only forty days left, it still feels like I’ve barely gotten into it.  I’ve spent the entire year in a substitute role at my charter school, and I’m eager- or maybe desperate- to find a job as a full time teacher, hopefully at the same school. …

read more »
Jan 29 2013

Mediocre Teaching from the Students’ Perspective

Most new teachers, at some point in their training, get a chance to watch skilled teachers teach.  Although providing few opportunities during institute itself, TFA does mandate that its inductees log a certain number of hours of classroom observation.  Once I switched from TFA to a traditional credentialing program, observing the master teacher prior to…

read more »
Jan 07 2013

The Primacy of Classroom Management

In August of last year I returned to California from Japan after completing two years on the JET Program.  The transition was anything but easy.  First, I returned to the same moribund economy that had caused me to take my job in Japan in the first place.  As September approached and I had already sent…

read more »