Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reap what you Sow

Listen to the interview here:

This month marks the 6 year anniversary of the greatest road trip of my life.  I left Denver in April of 2007 and travelled to Oakland with my girlfriend at the time, Shannon Cram.  We visited 8 national parks on our way to the place I now call home.  We arrived in Oakland the evening before my interview with Oakland Teaching Fellows and Shannon's mom grabbed Stand and Deliver from her VHS shelf.   

In my 5 years of teaching, Escalante's story inspired me to venture out of my comfort zone as a teacher, to build relationships with students and their families, and to spend more time planning my lessons.  

Now it is April of 2013, I'm taking the year away from teaching, Shannon is just a friend and it really is a small world we are living in.  Her new partner's father, Frank Romero, is the real life version of the man who was (mis)played by Andy Garcia in the classic movie about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of a group of young adults at Garfield High Schol back in the early 1980's.

Does Hollywood Hate Math?  Was Escalante really 'The Greatest Teacher in America'?

I want to take nothing away from Escalante.  He inspired hope in a group of young adults, to participate in a system that failed them on every adjacent side.  

I share this because, in 2013, it is time we start asking the tough questions.  

What does it take to score well on the AP Calculus Exam?

1.) Some (math) game
2.) Lots of self discipline
3.) A good teacher
4.) Enough faith that the 'system' is set up to support you that you are willing to spend your weekends studying double integrals

If you grew up in East LA, would you have number 4?

Have we created a system that measures buy-in, and not much else?

You can download to the interview here