Posts Tagged ‘dual immersion’

The 2017 Melrose Leadership Kindergarten Portraits

This is the eighth year that I have photographed the Melrose Leadership Academy dual immersion kindergarten students. I have photographed every kindergarten class since MLA introduced the Spanish bilingual program. My daughter was in the first class; my son started two years later. I have also photographed other activities, often as the Historian. (See the MLA Collection of Galleries.)

 (bryan farley)

MLA is an OUSD district school. We have created something special in a place where failure is expected. If I did not have my pictures, I would question whether we ever built the school. Some days, I still wonder if I am hallucinating.

 (bryan farley)

One of my mentors, Jim McNay, recently sent me an article about long-term projects from the Magnum Photo Agency site. The authors provide “Five lessons in developing and sustaining a long-term photographic project.” The first lesson: have a mission statement. Why is this story important?

 (bryan farley)

My goals have changed during the eight years, but my reasons have remained consistent.… Read the rest


Melrose Leadership Performance Expo

 (bryan farley)

The Melrose Leadership Academy after school program students presented the 2016 Winter Performance Expo on January 20, 2016. I believe that I have photographed each performance expo since my daughter started MLA in 2009. If I am correct, this is my 13th.

A baker’s dozen

 (bryan farley)

The 2016 photo gallery can be accessed here. I have also included the Spring 2015 Performance Expo gallery.

 (bryan farley)

I enjoy watching our younger students prepare for their first assemblies. I enjoy watching them grow into confident performers.

 (bryan farley)

I also cherish seeing older students. Some of these older students I have been photographing since they were in pre-school. I wish our school system would create standardized tests that measured collaboration and presentation abilities. Our students would exceed expectations.

 (bryan farley)

Technology has changed since I first started photographing MLA students… and the marketing of photography products reminds us that “everything has changed about photography.”

But it hasn’t. Kids are still kids.

 (bryan farley)

And adults teach children how to find their place on the stage.… Read the rest


The 2015 MLA Kindergarten Portraits

When my 11 year old daughter began kindergarten at Melrose Leadership Academy, I had a simple idea. I thought I could photograph each kindergarten class as long as my children attended the school. I live in the neighborhood. How difficult could it be?

 (bryan farley)

As I tell my photography students, simple and easy are not the same. “Simple” is difficult and my simple idea has become more difficult this year. I teach in a district an hour away from my home. We have the same breaks, so I don’t have a week to visit the school.

 (bryan farley)

There is another complication. I try to create something different each year. MLA was at a different site the first three years, so those pictures all look different from the more recent images. Each year I wonder how I am going to create something interesting. Last year, I gave the kids magnifying glasses. This year, the students photographed me with my smartphone.… Read the rest


Mills Healing Plant Tour

On a standardized test, what does a leader look like? How do you build standardized assessments that reward collaboration and creativity? If you wanted to identify the next Julia Morgan, would you rely on the SAT?

 (bryan farley)

The two 5th grade pioneer classes from Melrose Leadership Academy visited Mills College in Oakland, California. Mills College is in our neighborhood, so the students walked to Mills. Melrose fifth graders are the architects who have built MLA into a model for urban education. This year, I photographed Ms. Jessica’s 5th grade students during their neighborhood field trip to Mills. In April of 2012, I photographed the 2011-2012 kindergarten classes  for their expeditionary learning project at the campus creek. That was also our the last year that MLA was at the old Elizabeth Sherman site. The walk was shorter.

 (bryan farley)

During both visits, students learned about native plants and the natural environments supported by a native ecosystem. This year, Mills College students taught MLA students how to remove invasive plant species so that natives can return to the creek bed.… Read the rest


Melrose Leadership Academy 2014 Community

My two children attend Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland, California. MLA is a Spanish dual immersion K-8 school. Our school is part of Oakland Unified School District. In previous years, I have posted more frequently about our school, but this year I have been busy teaching photography and yearbook at Pittsburg High School. Both school districts finish their year next week.  In this post, I will share a few events I photographed during 2014.

The first photos are from the 2014 Winter Performance Expo. The middle photos are from the 2014 Spring Academic Expo. The last few photos are from the 2014 Spring Performance Expo.

 

 (bryan farley)

When I walk into the school, I “read” the signs on the wall. I see many of the signs when I am editing my photos. There is one sign that I seem to see more than any others. It reads, “Somos responsables de nosostros mismos y de nuestra comunidad.”

We are responsible for ourselves and our community

 

 (bryan farley)

I do not speak Spanish, but I can look at my pictures and see people caring for each other.… Read the rest


Melrose Leadership Kindergarten and First Grade Photos

 (bryan farley)

Registration just started for the 2013-2014 school year.  Kindergarten families and first graders register today. (I remember registering our first child before the Spanish immersion program started. We were scared!) Many people worry when they send kids to school… any school, so I thought I would post the galleries  from last year’s kindergarten and first grade classes.

 (bryan farley)

Here are photos of both first grade classes. Except for the photo that includes me, I took these photos in June. 2012-2013 First Grade Photo Gallery. I think a first grader took the photo of me, and I probably should give him credit and ask permission before posting it. (bryan farley)Here is the 2012-13 Kindergarten Photo Gallery. Did you think your kids would have this much fun by the end of kinkindergarten? Tomorrow the second through fourth graders register. On Friday August 16, the  sixth through eighth graders register.   Remember to click the link if you wish to view the photo gallery.… Read the rest


The Dual Immersion Curriculum Development Institute

When I first became a parent, I felt as if I had joined a secret club. Membership included our own version of a secret handshake too. (It is a sleepy head nod.) New parents could identify each other anywhere. We would also commiserate about our lack of sleep and share our humbling experience of becoming a parent. We knew parenting would be rewarding, but we did not know that it would be so difficult. Sometimes we discussed how we finally understood our parents… or worse, how we had become our parents.

 (bryan farley)

Becoming a teacher was a similar process for me. I assumed it was going to be easier, probably because I had worked with young people for many years. I had also been a good student! What could be so hard? It was a good stable career. I liked kids. Besides, there is all that vacation. (Just like parenting has all that free time when the kids go to bed.) Well, if you have ever been a parent who looked forward to Friday night housecleaning, you might understand teachers and all their free time.… Read the rest