the beginning of a new chapter…

this past week saw the proudest moment in my career as a professional educator. for the past year and a half, almost two years i have been part of a special team dedicated to designing a counter-narrative to the traditional story of public education in south central los angeles. our first chapter saw the opening of a new school, with new facilities, and a new vision for our students…

for the past 8 years i have written about my adventures in public education, the context being underserved inner city schools in the second biggest public school district in the nation. i have reflected on my daily practices, relationships with students and colleagues, political contexts, as well as my personal life and how it has so been impacted by my choice to enter this profession in said context… yet for almost a year now i have frequented this blogging space only to leave uninspired, not motivated to write with the passion or discipline i once approached public reflection. despite the evolving ease of being able to post my thoughts, no matter how random or well thought out, quickly on multiple devices like my phone… i just did not feel like writing about my experiences any longer. and although in reality i have written more this past year than in all my years of teaching – mainly focusing on the development of four viable small school plans, all of which can be summed up by the title of this blog – i could not bring myself, no matter how guilty i felt, to share any of these thoughts, experiences, nor adventures here…

i realized that there were many factors to my absence in the blogosphere… time being one principle element… it is hard to find time to dedicate to writing. it is a disciplined practice… especially hard for amateur writers such as myself. but we create and decide what to do with our time. as i looked back on some of my posts i realized that i didn’t always write about that idea of possibility in education, not as often as i would have liked… and this idea resonated with me as my colleague antero, one of the team members in this endeavor to open a school, asked me if i was ever going to get back on my blogging horse… i shrugged it off at the moment with a typical answer, something to the effect of “pending time”… but i realized that there was a deeper reason to why i had put the laptop aside and just decided to design a new school and not reflect publicly. i felt myself venturing into a common space where teachers (many of whom have blogs) write about all that they experience, good, bad, and ugly… too often i feel the latter two. and although there is a lot of validity and often productivity in sharing some of the uglier sides of our world as educators… when push came to shove in my mind, i wanted to raise the level of my writings to reflect more of possibility, positivity, and true education for change

as i find myself in a new space – figuratively and literally – i have rediscovered my intentions for creating this blog in the first place. i am ready to write about these things again. although i cannot promise that my teacher reflections will exclusively spell out reflections on possibilities and positivity… i want to start from that intent. and if there is one thing i have learned in the past year and a half… its that writing with a purpose… it works. our new schools are a testament to that.

i am now a teacher at one of these schools for community action. a collection of schools i helped to design. these schools opened this past week with an excitement and ease that i had never witnessed before at my two previous campuses. things were not perfect but they were good. really good. it felt like a school campus that you might find elsewhere… and that is the point. because you can find us on hoover and 60th st. in south central. we have begun the first chapter of our educational counter-narrative. stay tuned. education for change is happening. right here. and i am willing to write about it again.