I'm currently in Minneapolis for my very first National Education Association (NEA) Representative Assembly (RA) where around 8,000 public school educators across the country have gathered to set the policy and direction of NEA.
Coincidentally, the Families Belong Together March happened on the first day of the RA. The issue of children being separated from their families is a very personal and strong issue that resonates with many educators. Naturally, since teachers educate children, many educators, including myself, took part in the march. About 7,000 people showed up to the march in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday, 6/30/2018. Here I've shared some pictures I took during the march.
This post/letter is dedicated to the Class of 2018.
Keeping with a tradition I set last year, I wrote and dedicate this letter to the Class of 2018
Dear Class of 2018,
As you (my seniors) know, I am a second-year teacher. You are the second group of seniors I graduated. Like last year’s class, your group holds a very special place in my teaching career and my heart. I made a much strong effort to build community and have more personal conversations with each and everyone of you, which largely motivated the community circles and the personal interviews I had with each of you.
I apologize that this site hasn't been active the entire school year. I thought Year 2 would free up some time to write and reflect. Instead, I made the conscious choice of doubling to even tripling my responsibilities, making Year 2 even busier than Year 1. I'll be reflecting on Years 1 & 2 over this summer while I give this site a facelift.
*This post was originally a response to a post from The Civic Educator*
Brian at The Civic Educator posted in this Facebook group I moderate, asking about our thoughts on testing in civics education (and to me, the social sciences & history by extension). This is something I feel very strongly about so I decided to share my response on that post here.
I apologize for the long hiatus. By the time I had this site up and running, the school year ended and I went out of the country for a month to attend two weddings in East Asia. I took the opportunity to do quite a bit of travel around South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. I will probably write about those down the line. You can check them out in the "Travel + Life" section (if I ever get to it). I thought I would've had plenty of time to blog while traveling, but that wasn't the case.
This post/letter is dedicated to the Class of 2017.
Dear Class of 2017,
As you (my seniors) know, I am a first-year teacher. Your class occupies a lot of “firsts” in my career and life. You are my first group of students (at least as a paid teacher) and the first class of seniors I am graduating. As such, you hold a very special place in my teaching career and my heart.
Before I start sharing my teacher stories and reflections, I should preface all of them with how I became a teacher in the first place. As long as I can remember, I never wanted to work in an office environment/cubicle farm. My plans after high school was to eventually become a high school history teacher. College came and my dreams ran wild. I wanted to become all kinds of things: Foreign Service, academic, hermit, etc. Becoming a public school teacher became too small of a dream to pursue and I brushed it aside.
I'm Jace, a high school social science teacher with a strong passion for social justice and public education issues. Current education interests are critical pedagogy, culturally relevant pedagogy, social-emotional learning, and blended learning. Outside of the classroom, I am a travel enthusiast who loves to learn about how different people & cultures interact with each other in our society.