Showing posts from 2016

Leaving Finland

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
Studying in the house of wisdom...LAAMS

We went to China!

More details to come of our incredible trip this past summer...but first, let's finish the semester. Here's a teaser:

To wand or not to wand?

Image Admittedly, the first time I saw this happen it was jarring. But one time, the administrators found a gun in a student's backpack (at former school.) Another time, they found a razor the student had been using to mutilate herself. They gave her the help she needed. Some parents appreciate the random security checks. In a country where mass shootings happen daily, folks want to get offended that we wand? Methinks we have bigger things to argue about. Like suspensions. P.S. The charter schools oppose wanding...of course, you already expelled all the potential safety risks and sent them back to us. Bye, Felicia!

Suspensions don't work! Tell that to the other 35 students

Image Question: In lieu of suspensions for severe misbehavior, we offer what? A talking/healing circle? What if the bully doesn't want to talk or let the victims heal? We know suspension doesn't work for that ONE student who gets sent home. But does it help the other 35 who remain in school? Who is fighting for the rights of the 35? I think I might be the only social justice educator in favor of lifting the suspension ban. Not for little things like talking back (I applaud it when it is thought provoking and reasoned.) But for, I don't know, assault? Vandalism? Sexual and profane language? When the powers that be tie our hands and do not allow the professionals who actually work at the school the authority to make these calls, the misbehaving students see a green light to go on a rampage. It's been happening since suspensions were banned. No, it is not just for willful defiance...a ban has se