Skip to content

{ Category Archives } Manual Arts

Full recording of StoryCorp Interview

Recently, NPR re-ran the StoryCorp conversation Roger and I had several years ago. I continue to think about and reflect on how Roger, like many of my students, transformed both my professional and personal life. Though it is raw and sometimes meandering, I wanted to offer curious readers access to the full recording of Roger […]

Sadness-Tinged Relief: Uncomfortable Reflections on Leaving Manual Arts

It’s been just over a month since I stopped working at Manual Arts, the high school where I spent the past eight years trying to cut my teeth as a teacher; the place where I probably learned more every day than I was privileged to teach. And while I’ve been spending my time since packing­­–and […]

Reflections on my Conversation with Roger

Several months ago, my former student, Roger and I, sat down and had a rich, two-hour conversation that was recorded as part of an initiative at StoryCorps to capture stories about teachers. For me, this was an opportunity to connect with a student that taught me significant lessons about life, teaching, and the challenges of […]

From the Archives – Teacher as Griot

Continuing to mine the mysterious folder of research ideas from my first year as a teacher, I’m sharing below my initial thoughts of teachers as griots. Perhaps more than any other kernel of thinking in this old folder, this one reflects most the direction my research is still oriented. Storytelling and narrative are still the […]

Somewhat Alarming

In addition to a wonky bell schedule, the fire alarm system at our school has been pretty erratic. It’s gotten to the point that when the alarm goes off at school no one even flinches. Sometimes it is only the emergency flickering lights, sometimes it is an occasional ring. And sometimes–like yesterday at lunch–it is a […]

From the Archives – Racializing Students by Track

Recently organizing files on my computer, I found a folder I created that culled several documents I wrote during my first and second year teaching. It’s interesting looking back on these files now. Long before the Ph.D. track entered my mind and long before I had any kind of proficient grasp on my role as […]

Why One English Class Isn’t Allowed to Have A Library: Storage Space Woes at Manual Arts

Visiting one of the English teachers the other day, I was surprised to find how much storage space her classroom contains. However, as I asked her about it, I was unfortunately informed that nearly every cabinet, drawer and shelf in the room was occupied by the adult school. It’s pretty easy to tell if a […]

A Quick Note about Information

It would be nice if it were actually provided to teachers. I’m confident that I’m speaking for many when I say I’m tired of reading about our latest school changes in the news before actually being informed as an employee. Don’t worry, though. There will be a faculty meeting after school tomorrow to inform the […]

Colored People’s Time and the Disappointing Inconsistency of Time Management at Manual Arts

I want to talk a bit about time at Manual Arts. Our school’s use of time denigrates students in ways that can be read as classist, racist, and apathetic towards the needs of urban youth. I would argue that they define “colored people’s time” in a way that’s as equally racist as the original definition. […]

Dollars and Cents: How LAUSD and UTLA Failed to Pay a Teacher Today

I know the national debate can be interpreted as if teachers are overpaid or underpaid. However, how about just getting paid at all? You remember, Peter, right? In case you were wondering, he’s still a substitute teacher for himself. Today is payday for LAUSD. However, Peter didn’t receive a paycheck. Somewhere along the line someone […]