Diana Diaries

Diana Diaries, Part 4: Graduation Day

Jun 13, 2013
Under CC License from Flickr User Michael B.

Today is the last day of school for students in the Oakland Unified School District, and it also marks the end of a long year for student teacher Diana Arbas. We’ve been listening in on her radio diaries all week, as she struggled with classroom management and learned how to take better care of herself so she'd be prepared to help her 9th graders pass her class.

Karen Gordon

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. 

Diana Diaries, Part 2: Conquering classroom management

Jun 11, 2013
shared by USAG-Humphreys on flickr

Have you ever had to command the attention of three dozen teenagers? It’s not easy. Especially when you’re still learning how to be a teacher.

“Classroom management, it’s about control,” says Oakland High School student teacher Diana Arbas. “Control of the students, sure, but it’s about control of self. It’s about demonstrating to them how an adult behaves.”

Diana, 27, is learning to lead in the classroom with the help of her Coordinating Teacher, or CT. She has felt a sense of responsibility to her students from the beginning. But, by December, when we last heard from Diana, she was ready for a break.

Diana Diaries, Part 1: A lesson in teaching from a first-time instructor

Jun 10, 2013
Karen Gordon

Diana Arbas, 27, is a student teacher at Oakland High School. She’s in a masters program at Mills College, where in order to earn her degree, she has to tackle a real classroom. Diana has the guidance of a more experienced teacher, known as a Cooperating Teacher, but the goal is for her to be able to stand on her own.

Oakland’s a hard city to teach in. Oakland High is in East Oakland. The student body is made up of kids with very diverse backgrounds, many from the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Not all come to the ninth grade ready to tackle that level of work.