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…

FULBRIGHT: Countdown: Day 7

As my Fulbright journey becomes a reality, I am one part excitement and anticipation, another part forlorn about what I am leaving behind. So each day, leading up to my departure this time next week, I will post what I am most looking forward to learning and what I will seriously miss from my life in Los Angeles.

Looking Forward To

Discussing Education


In our August orientation, I met some of the world's most intelligent and passionate educators. It feeds the soul! These are people for whom teaching is not just a job, but a calling. In just the few days we spent together, I knew that the ideas produced could actually make a difference in improving educational practices in the U.S. Now, I will have the opportunity to have these same type of discussions with educators in Finland while visiting their schools.

Here is some more information about the Finnish education system, from the Fulbright Center in Finland.

Will Miss

Sunny California



The fruits. The vegetables. The concerts The gorgeous weather that allows for year-round hiking. Our regular trips to Mammoth. Not gonna lie, that will be missed. Here is a link to the National Parks located in California.

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