Teaching Diary, 25 November 2016

0. Confession: I should be using this vacation time to adequately prepare for my classes over the coming month. I am constantly in a state of panic, flying by the seat of my pants, a sort of educational just-in-time production model unto myself. But then every so often, I need time to step back and look at the big picture. This need weighs even more heavily on me as someone who has been a political activist my entire adult life. Yet I’m often trapped in the minutiae of the day-to-day. So I’ve taken this time to think and write about where I’m at in my career as a foreign language teacher and a political thinker. I used to keep my activism much more separate from my career, but that has changed in the last few years. I am also changing my approach to foreign language teaching, and I think it may be creating new contradictions that I have not yet fully identified, let alone solved. Thus, this attempt to weave together the threads. Continue reading

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Ken Wagner: “joy” in the classroom?

It’s been seven months since Rhode Island said farewell to Deb Gist, who has gone on to an exciting career in entertainment. She was replaced by Ken Wagner, who strikes me as a non-entity. Continue reading

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Unresolved

My new year’s resolution: to write more than one post in 2016.

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Why I’m Running

Below is the campaign statement I submitted for the BWEA Election, which takes place this Friday. I’m running for VP of the local, and here’s why.

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The Union’s Election Day Dilemma

I had meant to write something about the election before now. But with these candidates, what is there to write? They are all corporate tools. A vote for any of them, even the “less worse”, is nothing more than a vote for more corporate control over Rhode Island’s teachers, parents and students. Continue reading

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A Brief History

Prefatory Note: the following was written over the summer and intended as part of a larger document for discussion among CDPE members. That document did not come to fruition, but I felt that it may be of use none the less to publish this part of it. The views contained herein are my own, though developed through contact and common experience with the multitude of participants in CDPE over the past three years. The history may well benefit from more input from a broader range of participants. And most importantly, this document is intended not to dictate a direction for the group, but rather to help enrich the discussion so that a collective sense of direction may be reached on the basis of a deeper discussion of the history and purpose of the group. Continue reading

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Who will be the lesser evil in 2014?

Prefatory note: Over the weekend, I used the wonder of social media to raise some questions about today’s primary elections. I received a personal message from someone in my union, the National Education Association of Rhode Island (NEARI), expressing their disappointment that I was not supporting the union’s endorsed candidate, Clay Pell, in the Democratic Primary. Below is my response.

As a quick note: exactly two years ago I published another piece on this exact topic. Es como si el tiempo diera vueltas en redondo y hubiéramos vuelto al principio.

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