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{ Category Archives } Manual Arts

Projecting On the SMART board: Playing Catch up with Technology

  Related to something I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Peter and I found it interesting that the English teachers at school were given overhead transparencies to prepare students for the CELDT (California English Language Development Test). Check out the instructions emailed to teachers:   In particular, Peter and I were trying to figure out how […]

A Classroom Tour (And the Difference Between Whining and Advocating)

In an effort to get all of the students to fit on campus, my school has converted our former woodshop into two different classrooms: a biology and a history class. Originally, one teacher was supposed to teach upstairs and one downstairs.   Both teachers agreed that the second floor alcoves felt too prison-like to actually […]

A Series of Unfortunate Events (at Manual Arts)

Sandy Banks wrote a new column about what’s happening at Manual Arts today. Yes, the class sizes she reports are accurate; the photo above is from the online attendance system for one of the teachers I work with. I appreciated the conversation I was able to have with her in preparation for this column (and […]

Corrections: What is Travis Teaching?

Department Chair Qualifications

[In case you were wondering, RIFd teachers like Peter are not qualified to be department chairs at Manual Arts.]

“Chinese Communist bliss,” Alienating 11th grade Urban Youth, and the Danger of a Single Story Revisited

I’m both intrigued and troubled by the prevalence of stories like this one. At once I am fascinated by the voyeuristic look into the rigorous lives of “the other” while also concerned about what the prevalence of these narratives say in maintaining the competitiveness from a capitalistic perspective in the United States. We’re still #12, […]

Peter and His Amazing RIFs

  As teacher layoffs have become a frustrating norm for several of my friends, I wanted to find a way to personalize for the public the mass layoffs that affect the teaching force. Peter and I sat down for an afternoon trying to figure out a way to clearly explain the mess that has been his […]

Teacher Facebook Groups & Civic Lessons: Learning from “The Truth About L.A.’s Promise”

[As should be obvious, the images and quoted text in this post were not made by me.]* As schools are being cleaned, painted, prepared for the new year and as many of my friends collect unemployment and search for teaching jobs in charters and small non-LAUSD schools, I want to spend some time on this […]

Transitions: Manual Arts, The Department of Education, and Stepping into the Productivity of the Summer

Thursday was the final day of the school year at Manual Arts. It was the end of a very long year with significant changes. As the students left the school, they walked away from a campus that has been under constant operation for nearly a decade. This will be the first summer since I’ve worked […]

Hubris: What is Travis Teaching?