A Tale of Two Back to School Nights

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Excitement and enthusiasm were in the air as teachers in my new high school in a middle class neighborhood prepared their classrooms by decorating their bulletin boards, displaying student work, and straightening desks. Welcome messages abounded, Remind.com messages were sent, and we opened our doors to meet the parents.
I have done these events for 24 years, four times a year at my former school in South Central L.A. But this year’s Back to School Night left me reflecting, and perhaps shedding a tear.
First, my new parents were fantastic. They were friendly, enthusiastic, and supportive of the new ideas I bring to the school. I knew in them I would have allies to incorporate my findings from my Fulbright exchange in Finland earlier this year. Parent after parent nodded their heads and strongly affirmed that break time was important to students, teachers, and workers in general. They were excited to hear about the summer travel programs I had prepared.
As I looked at their warm and s…

Two More Teachers Off the Roller Coaster

Congratulations to local charter schools for scoring two top teachers that have had enough of the "wait and see" propaganda from both LAUSD and UTLA:

Natalie Umber

If LAUSD teachers were NBA athletes, Ms. Umber would be Blake Griffin, the #1 draft pick. What can you say about endless dedication, inspired creativity and the ultimate classroom management? Watching Ms. Umber teach was like watching a prima ballerina in action; and her students were the eager recipients of all her instruction. Saying goodbye broke a good many hearts, but we wish her the best at her new school.

Laura Garcia

This second year dynamo whipped her math students into shape, even though 90% of them were taller than her. I had the privilege of being on the same team with her and enjoyed our conversations at the New Teacher Roundtable. Ms. Garcia was a natural, and will be a fantastic educator. Her school is lucky to have her.

How many more hits can our school take? And BTW, are there any outstanding 6th grade math/science teachers with GATE experience that might be interested in teaching an unfilled position until August 30th? Please email me at martha.infante@gmail.com

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