Diana Arbas has been retracing the ups and downs of teaching ninth graders at Oakland High School. In her first semester she was guided by a mentor, as she tackled some pretty big challenges – by December she was exhausted, and learned she had to take better care of herself if she was going to meet the demands of her classroom. By April, she was finally feeling in control.
“I wasn't even ready to start class. And I look up and students are quietly at their seats, waiting for class to start. It was beautiful,” remembers Diana.
But at this point in her story, she's not finished yet. She has until June to get her students to focus on their lessons and to beat the grim statistics – only 60 percent of students in the Oakland Unified School District graduate, and what happens in the ninth grade could either set them on the path to success, or not. Here’s the third installment of Diana’s Teacher Diaries.
All week, Crosscurrents is featuring the real-life recorded diaries of a first-time teacher. Click the audio player above to hear the third installment of the Diana Diaries. Click on the links below to hear parts one and two.
Diana’s teacher diaries were produced by Martina Castro with help from Alyssa Kapnik. They were edited by Casey Miner. Thanks to Ashleyanne Krigbaum, Maya de Paula Hanika, Mary Willis and Karen Gordon for recording and transcribing, and a very special thank you to Diana Arbas and Oakland High School.