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Showing posts from December, 2009

Leaving Finland

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Lake Jyvasjarvi I have never lived anywhere for 5 months other than Jyvaskyla, Finland. As my Fulbright journey concludes, there is so much to still digest. It will take months, if not years, to truly assimilate all the learning. Before I left Southern California, I wrote about the what I would miss the most from home and what I  looked forward to experiencing in Finland. It is safe to say I met my goals. Top 7 Goals 1. Discussing Education Helsinki Workshop Through professional development programs, Fulbright Finland connected teachers with scholars and researchers, for the purpose of putting inquisitive minds together. The Making Democracies Resilient to Modern Threats seminar provided participants with fascinating research and presentations. 2. Nordic Model Bus station in Espoo What does an efficient and earnest country look like?  It looks like Finland. Yes, people pay higher taxes, but get so much in return. I for one appreciated the well-maintained ro

End of Year Reflection

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As we approach New Year's Day 2010, Los Angeles Academy Middle School has much to be thankful for. Below are some factors that have helped keep our school together, in spite of forces trying to tear us down: 1. Maria A. Borges, Principal This dynamic principal is tough as nails and has managed to put together an outstanding group of teachers and support staff that has allowed our school to thrive in difficult circumstances. The secret to her success? She doesn't care about winning popularity contests. She will ONLY do what she believes to be in the students' best interest, and doesn't hesitate to overrule something she thinks is misguided. Arne Duncan is running all over the country trying to figure out what works in education but all he needs to do is pick up the phone and call our Principal. 2. The Teachers Our LAAMS teachers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to plug

RIF'ed Teachers Won't Sit Around and Wait Forever

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LAAMS teacher RIF'ed in March, laid off in June is subbing in her old position...but for how long? Read article about Kate Conrath's run for the Long Beach School Board here . The LAAMS community supports and wishes Kate Conrath the best of luck in her race, because we understand that our talented teachers, relegated to sub work, won't sit around and wait forever. Our loss.

You Won't Read About This in the L.A. Times

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Here's something you won't hear about in the media: a talented Math teacher and a creative English/History teacher go above and beyond the call of duty to produce educational math songs and videos for students at a public middle school in South Central LA , in spite of one of them being laid off in June. Lamar Queen signing autographs for his fans Lamar Queen with AvalonSensei, teacher/blogger LAAMS teacher Ha Nguyen and Jimmy Pascascio Former students come out to support Mr. Queen LAAMS teachers support their talented colleague Video Director Jimmy Pascascio with My Dear Aunt Sally, former student Whitney Parham Its not as fun to read about real teachers that reflect the best that LAUSD has to offer: educators with a passion for for their craft, amazing talents, abundant creativity, a commitment to students and their families... Close to 100 teachers, community members, and fans came out o