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    13th March 2015

    Live in Long Beach and need a high school diploma?

    I briefly mentioned this when I posted my poem/life-update, but I’m currently working for the education branch of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach (www.cclb-corps.org). We serve 18-25 year old students who are in need of their high school diploma – and also offer job training and paid experience for students. We started out as an affiliate of a statewide network of schools for non-traditional high school students, but separated to become our own independent charter school: CCLB Gateway Cities Charter School.

    The last few weeks I’ve been trying to improve our web presence and drum up some attention for the school so we can enroll new students or reach out to old students who stopped coming. I created a facebook page for the school, I also use my Instagram account to post news about what’s happening, but I know there must be better ways to communicate and create community.

    IF YOU LIVE IN LONG BEACH AND NEED A DIPLOMA, STOP READING AND CALL 562-216-1790 – NOW IS THE TIME TO RESTART YOUR EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY!

    As for me, I’ve been at CCLB for a year and a half now, and the school is an interesting and amazing place. The students that come in are in their current situation for many and various reasons: they had kids while in high school; they had family problems when they were younger; they fell behind in school and didn’t get the help they needed; they have undiagnosed learning disabilities; they were rebels of various sorts. Now they’re motivated to return to their studies. Some come to improve job prospects, some to prove to their families and children that they can do it, and some to keep themselves out of trouble.

    Whatever their reason, the students here have decided to come back to school, and I’m really proud of them. I make them work hard in my classes, and I know that the other teachers here keep up a rigorous curriculum as well. On the other hand, every student that comes in is coming in at a unique level, and so we have to do more differentiation than anywhere I’ve ever worked. I still structure my class similarly to a traditional education classroom, but I end up working one on one with students more than I used to. I love this aspect of my job with CCLB GCCS. I feel like I get to know my current students, both personally and academically.

    Another change that I have really enjoyed in working at CCLB GCCS is that now I teach not just English, but also science (last year I took the test and class to add a credential). In fact, most of my classes are Earth Science or Life Science, with a few English sections and an elective here and there. Teaching science as a substitute at Poudre High School is what got me into a teaching in the first place, and it feels a little like I’ve come full circle – though my current teaching environment is far from Fort Collins. Perhaps someday I will really come full circle and return to Colorado, but for now now I’m happy in Long Beach, where it’s going to be beach weather this weekend, making it very difficult to concentrate on my homework for the UCSD classes…

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.