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{ Category Archives } Why We Can’t Get It Right

Four Emotions While Watching Pixar’s Inside Out: Body Shaming, #CharlestonShooting, and the Privileged Feels

Building off of the four key emotions portrayed in Inside Out, a quartet of reflections on Pixar’s latest. Joy It’s a fun Pixar film that gives you Pixar feels. Yay. (Also, the fleeting nod to Steve Jobs’s “reality distortion field” was a nice gesture.)   Anger As much as I wanted to love this movie, […]

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 […]

Not Quite EverythingEverything: Why Our Approach to Music Education is Kinda Awful

Over the past week, along with an abundance of holiday shopping, I purchased the updated anthology of Underworld’s selected hits and rarities. It was with nostalgia that the opening arpeggiated notes of “Rez” kicked in that I remembered the way the band seeped into my consciousness. It was the Golden Age of Napster and it […]

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. […]

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 […]

My Union Sucks at Twitter (#DeasyFTW)

I’ve been disappointed with my union lately. That’s a difficult thing for me to say in the current teacher and union-bashing climate. However, while I support unionized teaching labor, I don’t feel like my union (both at the my specific school site and the district at large) has made decisions that are in the best […]

Canyons of Inequality: A few thoughts on Academically Adrift

  Flying to Boston for the Urban Sites Network Conference, I read Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Really insightful report. Though I’ll go over a few main ideas from the text below, it’s worth a look. Some main takeaways: Teachers and schools matter – Students’ critical thinking and general learning was improved by […]

Reflections on #aera2011

After a couple of days to recover, I wanted to share a few thoughts on another AERA conference. Though they do not represent everything I saw within the conference, I think they speak directly to what needs to be improved.   Lack of twitter While I didn’t expect a twitter feed as lively as #dml2011, […]

Monopoly Panopticon: Why Hasbro is Screwing up Game-Based Learning

Hasbro, I want to tell you something: I grew up playing Monopoly with ever-evolving house rules that varied everything from the value of dice roles, to jail-breaking bribery, to lucrative Free Parking. Reading about the changes that Hasbro has made to the game makes me concerned. Changes in board games like this doesn’t feel like […]