Hello and Greetings from South Central Los Angeles “Home of the Trojans and People Who’s Parents Probably Should Have Used One.” I know what your thinking, “Rom, what the heck? Where has your blog been for the past six months?” I apologize to all of you for being unable to deliver, but I can promise you that it was because I was too busy. Now you may be asking yourself, “Busy…with what?” To which I would calmly answer “Saving lives… One student at a time.” So now you are probably thinking how selfish you are (as you should be), but I am forgiving. Instead of reprimanding you for attempting to prevent me from single handed closing the achievement gap and assuring that “One day…All students will receive access to a quality education.” I will just tell you the top four ways my life has been changed by personally changing the way students learn.
Way #1: A deeper sense of belonging with My Teach for America team.
You know teaching is a hard job. There would be some days when I wanted to give up. There were some days I wanted to stop trying to achieve the realistic and attainable vision of “One Day All Children Receiving an Equal Education.” But whenever that sense of discouragement got me down I knew one thing. The my support team would be there with a loving and concerned “Your not doing enough.” Or “I think you can do better than this.” Or even “You're gonna get fired.” I thank the TFA staff for never acknowledging the fact that I did anything right. Just like the students that I serve, I believe that everyone needs to be told that they arn’t doing enough. Thank you for never allowing me to settle for any sense of self worth.
Way #2 Scholastic Achievement.
When you first go into teaching you think that your students are going to be able to learn from you, but what I have learned is that the students have so much more to teach me then I ever could teach them. For instance, I learned Spanish. “Pooto, Babosa, Pinnochi, Cuhelo, and Culo” are just a couple of the words that my students have taught me. Although I can't order anything off of the menu at a Mexican restaurants I know how to make a back alley drug deal.
Way #3 Fernasco Gonsalves
While there are many people that deserve a thank you for making this year, without a doubt, the greatest experience of my entire life, there is only one person that will receive direct praise. He will be given this praise for the intricate role he had in the joy of my life. I have always been told that when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, but Fernasco Gonsalves (name changed so I won't get sued) taught me that "when life gives you lemons, let a three hundred pound Guatemalan tackle you to the floor." Many people told me to look at the glass half full, but Fernasco taught me to break the glass and shank your teacher with one of the shards. Whether it was the daily greeting of "F*ck you Mr. Evans you're the sh*ttiest teacher ever," a flash of a gang sign, or a shank with a paper clip, Fernasco Gonsalves knew how to really make a teacher feel loved.
\Actual 2 in 1 toothbrush and Shiv that Fernasco uses to brush his teeth
and stab people
Way #4 Intellectual Stimulation at Loyola Marymount University
I have attended a great number of institutions in my day, but there has never been one so helpful, useful, promising, and influential the LMU Masters program in Special Education . Now, with a busy schedule of teaching 6 hrs a day, lesson planning three distinct and different lessons each day, writing 18 IEP (legal documents created for students with autism and emotional disturbance in my classroom) you may be thinking that being a full time master student in a subject that you have never had any desire to be in would be almost unbearable. Well that would probably be true, were it not for the fact that I attended the greatest university and had the best professors on the planet. Whether it was senile professors talking about how they understand seven different languages or 50 year old professors who suffer from self inflicted facial paralja in a scanty and pathetic attempt to hide the fact that they are an over the hill divorced woman, I knew one thing. This something made the extra twelve hours a week that I spent sitting in a classroom worth it. I knew that every Monday and Wednesday spent at Loyola Marymount University would not be an absolute waste of life. I knew that these classes were not at worthwhile as watching paint dry on the side of a barn door.
So readers that is what I have been up to. That is why I haven't been able to write as much as I wanted to. I've been too busy having fun and changing lives. When your life is going well, maybe when you have just flunked that test you have been wanting to flunk for so long, or maybe when your job is going a lot longer then you originally expected and you are super stoked about it, remember Rom's life is a lot better than yours.
Stay sweet and try and change the world
Big Shout out to Brittany Koralewski for telling me to asking me to write in my blog again. No Brittany I don't think you're creepy for saying that I should write in my blog again. I actually found it super hot.