Monthly ArchiveJuly 2011
Uncategorized 22 Jul 2011 12:54 pm
Are we serious here? I’m sure the iPad is more powerful in the hands of a teacher…. One who actually stays in the field of education and is committed to students and their communities beyond the 3 year required internship of most TFA alums. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some amazingly talented folks come out of TFA. unfortunately they never stick around teaching long enough to become one of those “powerful”, tech savvy and creatively daring pedagogues that apple is promoting here. Not surprising tho, given apple’s affinity for selling the constant upgrade and next generation fetish. Anything older than a year is outdated and best served by the newest model, which was built with a purposefully short lifespan. Seems fitting for apple then to promote this iTeacher idea. Unfortunately we know that just doesn’t work in making quality education Sustainable.
contrary to popular belief (or desire) not all teachers have three months off to become the working class version of a corona vacation… the current economic imperative to cut public education from every angle has necessitated that a lot of teachers trade in the sand for the blackboard to make ends meet… which is to say that those teachers are blessed to have the option to do so in such difficult times (myself included)…
apart from what the national dialogue would have you believe about teachers being one of the last hold outs of public employees who are over paid and under-qualified, others are continually pushing to make the educational opportunities they can provide for their students in the coming fall that much more wonderful, innovative, creative, and effective (count me in this column too)
to those ends i have been pushing through many exciting projects with my fellow teachers, and i feel the need to share/reflect on these here:
i was fortunate enough to have a colleague recommend me to become part of the adjunct faculty at Antioch University’s Master of Arts in Education program… in teaching a small cohort of 8 graduate level students who are training to become educators, i have rediscovered why my job as a public middle and high school teacher is so important. i have also rediscovered certain educational theories that have helped inform my pedagogy. the class i teach is language acquisition and development… crucial for every teacher to have a strong theoretical and practical understanding of yet i am finding that the subject is increasingly relevant in my personal life as a new father. i am pleased to be joining the Antioch faculty.
a small team of colleagues and i have also just wrapped up an intensive 10 day training centered around GIS and how to incorporate this technical knowledge in our classrooms and in the community. through our UCLA TIIP grant proposal (scroll down to manual arts) we are lucky enough to fund our instructional inquiries throughout this summer and next. although intensive, this work has inspired me to continue to dream of the possibilities public education can accomplish despite the challenges we face.
the most daunting and inspiring task i have found myself working on these past few months has been designing a new public high school. it is daunting for the mere fact that the less than perfect LAUSD school board proposed process of public school choice is more political in nature than it is student or community centered. a continuing mix of privatized special interest lobbying, community swooning, and just plan old district disorganization has created a situation that has resulted in many heated exchanges including this one at a school board meeting earlier this year… it is in this, the 3rd round of public school choice that i find myself neck deep in… yet i am not alone. a trusted team of teachers, students, and community members have all come together under a unifying vision… Schools for Community Action. it is in this work where most of my idealizing and dreaming around educational possibility is taking place. but its more than that… it is a true dialogue with the community, with a basic premise driving it. in order to provide for the community you have to ask them what they need, what they would like to see, what do they deserve. our team is tirelessly organizing every thing we do around this premise… and hopefully at the end of the summer we will be that much closer to submitting a proposal that will usher in a new standard in k-12 education for the community of South Central Los Angeles…