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Showing posts from February, 2018

Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

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As I wind up my 24th year of teaching in Los Angeles classrooms , I pause to think of my past lives in different schools and neighborhoods. While presenting to students in Finland I always included a slide of past eras of my life such as growing up in the Eastside, college and adulthood in the Westside, teaching on the Southside, and married life in the Valley. Apart from being a native Angeleno, significant years of my life have been spent living in many parts of town, and teaching in many communities. I love all of them.

Which is why I have no doubt in my mind that what students all over L.A. need more than anything is an ally on the school board. My South Central students need a warrior who recognizes that our teachers’ strike was more than just a salary dispute, but a movement to reclaim our rightful place as agents of change in the profession we love. One that will help us do our jobs serving students. My West Valley students need a fighter who will challenge our legislators to …

Respect, Freedom, and Trust

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What happens in a school system that treats its teachers so well that there is a competition to enter teacher education programs? A competition that in some places is more challenging than being accepted into medical school? What happens is a stable and healthy school system.
In the month I have been in Finland I have spoken to teachers, students, education officials, professors, and non-profit organization leaders. I am only scratching the surface. But it seems to me that the foundation of this very successful school system is to trust the human capital to do what they have been trained to do. Preparation You have to earn a master’s degree to be a teacher in Finland. Teacher training involves conducting research and you are required to produce a Bachelor’s thesis as well as a Master’s one. So not only do you enter the university system as a well-prepared tri-lingual student (Finns speak three languages: Finnish, Swedish, and English), but you do not have to stress about paying for y…