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…

Career Day!!

Many thanks to all the professionals who volunteered their time to share their career paths with the students of LA Academy.   Below are some pics of the event that took place yesterday, June 16, 2010:
The Principal, Maria A. Borges, with students and presenter

LAPD officer chats with students at nutrition

NBA Referee Violet Palmer motivates students to aim for the top

Cynthia Flores from Univision encourages shy girls to speak up

Jim Cloonan, Marine researcher makes his presentation in scuba gear

This event was well-received by students who learned about a wide variety of careers throughout the day.  Over 50 presenters were eager to talk to students and share information about each of their careers.  Poignantly, one student asked why no teachers came to present at the Career Day.  He reprimanded the organizers for not including teachers.  Touche.
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