• teaching portfolio

    Maker Education @ La Escuelita


    La Escuelita Maker Space Website


    KPIX 5 Cool Schools Spot on La Maker Space (special begins at 6:14am)

    Arts Integration - Design, Theater, Poetry

    Humanities Teaching


    Teaching Portfolio, Oakland International High School: 

    Teaching Portfolio


    Educating For Democracy In A Digital Age Lesson Study: 

    Edda Project Findings


  • poetry

    Two Trains of Death Poledance for Attention



    Oh crap Jose Chavez is stripping off his jacket
    he’s on top of the desk pole dancing
    while the boys are chanting
    Mucha Ropa

    ...scratch that:

    the girls are doing it too!
    (This whole classroom is Mucha Ropa, apparently)

    and now Jose is down to his button up
    he’s about to reveal the white t-shirt underneath
    about to hit that last bastion before his skin

    and some idiot is blasting Romeo Santos
    on a Jambox in their backpack and

    shit if this goes any further

    I am one totally admin-fucked teacher

    so duh I’m shoutingThis is inappropriate!

    hopefully loud enough for the office to hear,

    hopefully loud enough for the OUSD HR secretary
    (secretly typing down everything ever spoken
    in any Oakland classroom ever) to hear


    because Jose is doing Bachata
    when the next thing I know
    the cargo train he rode to Oaxaca
    comes dancing magically
    out the steam coming off his fingertips

    and its’ swirling around him chugging
    and rolling its metal wheels
    over his shoulder blades

    and he’s juggling the coal carts like
    soccer balls—and he’s down to his
    boxer shorts, but by this point
    now it’s a competition—

    now there’s tiny teenagers dangling
    off the side of the caboose every time
    Jose tosses the whole thing
    from one hand to the other—

    And its true he’s got his socks off
    but by now who cares— There’s these
    tiny screams coming from the top of the cars

    because women are holding children down
    on any rungs they can

    and sometimes crushed limbs
    are raining on Jose’s exposed skin

    sprinkling tiny droplets of blood


    so now I’ve got a nearly naked kid
    and limbs everywhere
    and the other kids have stopped chanting
    Mucha Ropa. Now Kassandra’s

    searching silently for her brother
    in the miniature parts on the floor

    while the Burmese boys
    try to sweep everything up before
    there’s more real silence.


    I’d like to say that children
    don’t have to carry the Trains of Death
    they rode from Guatemala Honduras
    El Salvador or Mexico

    to Texas
    into my classroom like
    Jose, but here it is

    living proof stripped down
    to its steamy essentials—


    a sideshow act
    we can watch, chanting or silent
    while teenagers fall from the sky

    to the tabletops
    of the United States

    School System


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