chilean natives

A list of 250+ POC face claims in varying ages. 

These are almost all off the top of Lia’s head, or from our roleplay’s potential fc list, so this is by no means thorough. We will be updating this as we go, and publishing various FC lists in the future. This is just a severe head shake at those who claim it’s harder to think of POC FCs (only those that use it as an excuse). Representation isn’t hard.

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Why I Teach in a “Traditional” Public School (and love it!)

It’s no secret that public schools get a bad rap.  So many discussions in the education world are about how public schools are failing and need to be replaced.  In my area, public schools are constantly getting taken over by charter schools.  Teachers in training are warned away from teaching in public schools.

But that’s not the side of public education I know.  I’ve spent the last four years teaching in a traditional public school (for what it’s worth, my school is 70% free and reduced lunch, 86% students of color, 51% English learner) and the four years prior training in various urban public schools.  Every day spent working in public education has made me more committed to public schooling.  It’s by no means perfect (and I know for every positive story, there are negatives), but in my experience, it is not the big bad world portrayed in our current dialogue.

Here are just a few of the things I love about my experience in public education:

1. I teach ALL students.  

The kids are, without a doubt, the #1 reason I love public education.  I became a teacher because I wanted to work with whichever students walked through my door.  In just a few years of teaching, I’ve taught students from all over the world…Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Chinese, Native Alaskan, Chilean, Tongan, Filipino, Native American, Salvadorian…and more.  I’ve taught students with Autism, emotionally disturbed, partially deaf, ADHD.  I’ve had homeless students and students with privilege in the same class.  All of these students have enriched and expanded my world.  

I appreciate that public schools open their doors to whomever shows up on their doorstep.  I know too many of our public schools are segregated, but I believe that public schools are also our hope for a more democratic society.

2. The teacher and school become part of the community.

I got hired mostly by chance in a town only 20 minutes from where I was born, but it could have been a world away.  I had never spent any time there other than driving by the exit on the freeway.  But teaching here has really made me part of the community.  After a few years of commuting, I bought my first house four minutes from my school last fall.  I love going to the supermarket and seeing my students.  When I had surgery last month, the family of one of my student’s sent me balloons from their flower shop.  Teaching has also made me more “in tune” with the issues the community faces, especially as a poorer neighborhood in the middle of Silicon Valley.

3. I am unionized.

I know, I know.  Unions get a bad wrap.  But I love being unionized.  I appreciate having a clear contract that spells out how many hours I work and how many students I teach.  Like every other teacher I know, I put in way more hours than I’m contracted for, but I appreciate being able to leave at 2:45 when I need to.  I am not a lazy teacher, but I like that staff meetings are held to an hour and that I get paid for meetings held over that time.  My contract helps teaching be sustainable for me.  Also, I have never had a problem with administration, but, as a bleeding-heart liberal (and LGBTQ teacher), I appreciate the extra rights I have in the instance that an issue did arise.

4. There is lots of room for innovation.

I have seen so many cool things happen in public schools.  I student taught at the Mission Hill School in Boston (google it!), which was way more cutting-edge than most charter or private schools I’ve seen.  As opposed to many charter schools with clear agendas, my school gives me a lot of freedom to practice teaching the way I believe.  

I believe my classroom is progressive, well-managed, and academically rigorous.  I teach workshop-style and with project based learning.  I use no “behavior system” or strict discipline.  Yet my students are well-behaved and in control.  Some of my students do have academic struggles, but they also make huge gains.  My students generally make 2+ years growth in one year.  These are the things charter school brag about, but they also happen in public schools across America every day.  My classroom and teaching is not unique. 

For those entering the teaching profession…

My advice for you would be ignore the talk and truly consider public schools…if you are dedicated to and prepared for teaching all types of students.  Not every public school is a good fit for new teachers, but I’m willing to bet there are fantastic public schools in most communities. By “fantastic”, I do not mean affluent: I mean there are public schools successfully serving under-resourced students all across the country.  There are more happy public school teachers out there than you would even imagine!

For those who rail against public schools (especially those public schools serving under-resourced students)…

Take the time to actually spend time in public schools.  I welcome anyone who finds him or herself in Northern California to stop by my classroom. 

To school “reformers”…

Stop dismantling our public school system and put your energy into actually supporting public schools. Make ALL schools more like our successful public schools!

Hi, I’m Aris! Remember me? I submitted to TST like, twice. And now I have a new blog (this one, come talk to me)~

I’m an agender child (I’m only eleven years old lol), I’m obsessed over the bands Hollywood Undead and Fall Out Boy. I really like the anime Death Note, also. I’m Chilean, btw, so my native language is Spanish.

In the recent events, I told my parents about being non-binary (I was already out to my father sooo), and well, they ‘accept me’ but I don’t think ‘accepting’ me counts when they still use my birthname. Whatever.

Today was a average day, nor good or bad. I was angered over a book in school because it treated anorexia like it’s a synonym of thin, but nothing more.

Y'all look fabulous, as always~!

A few years ago my street artist pal Posterchild had a website where he posted his stencil work.  I hosted it for him and acted in some ways as his public face, since he had to stay anonymous.  

In 2009, he did a series of images of native astronauts, challenging the hurtful and racist assumption you too often see, where the First Nations are considered to a people of the past who don’t have a role in modern society.  That’s obviously bullshit, and he was trying to express that.  After they went up he got this email from Jenwa:

I watched your talk with some art students recently and I really enjoyed it. I go to your site because you show me some things I can’t find in Winnipeg. I like to ‘watch’ graffiti and yours is pretty interesting. I always liked your series of astronauts and especially the Native American ones. I even got the hoody and I think I sent you an e-mail about how pleased I was with it. 

Anyways, while I thought the series was awesome I never really knew there were as much to them as you described in your lecture. I figured you had some meaning behind them but you talked about it exceptionally well in this instance. I guess what you had to say revealed a few insights of my own and now I have a deeper connection with the series. 

As a Métis person who aspires to be a doctor, I feel about as ridiculous as your native astronaut. In fact, I don’t talk about this goal with people I know anymore because they feel the same way and feel I’m wasting my time. 

Maybe thankfully, I’m very fair despite being Chilean and native. In a sense, I’m granted a sort of anonymity so long as people aren’t aware of my heritage. I could be Italian… Some people think I’m Asian. I’m still confused as to if I should stop representing myself as my heritage couldn’t and let people assume or if I should stay firm. 

In any event, I have a new way to approach this. So, there is my personal connection to this. I was hoping to send something to you though. I work in a perfumery where we make a blend of sacred essential oils called Ishi. It’s inspired by the last Indian named Ishi and I would say it is like the rain that takes off my helmet. I was hoping to share it with you and send you a vial as thanks for giving me this realization.

Post wrote back:

I’m very glad you connected to the astronaut images and the talk I gave about them. For what it’s worth, I found your story inspiring. I do get alot of emails, and I rarely answer quickly, but I try to answer them all, and I read them all right away.

As soon as I read your email a few days ago, I began thinking of images! I decided on combining the “native” costumes available with the doctor costumes I could find. Not surprisingly, I only found 3 doctors costumes for women! The rest were nurses.

So I’m going to make all three. I’ve attached a photo of the drawing (on the right, the one on the left is something else) of the only female doctor costume that wasn’t “sexy”.  I haven’t yet had time to draw or cut the others. But with your blessing, I’d like to publish your great email on my site when I do put these up.

I hope you’re willing, and I hope your well!

She was down, they exchanged gifts, and when Post cut that stencil and put it up in Toronto…

…he made a special print just for her.

Though Posterchild’s site is now gone, Jenwa’s stayed in touch with him through me.  In 2015 she posted this on Twitter:

It’s been 7 years since Posterchild made me this painting. Next Spring, I get my MD. Just an update. 

That was last year, and in a little over an hour, Jenwa’s graduating.  She’s becoming a family medicine doctor.  I’m going to watch, and you can too: they’re streaming it online

You guys, I know Posterchild only had the tiniest role in this.  And my role was even tinier.  But to see art touch someone like this, to watch anyone set a goal so hard and realize it so expertly… I’ve got tears in my eyes.

I’m cheering for Jenwa.