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David Orphal

Dave Orphal is a teacher at Skyline High School and writes about educa

I am good at giving a damn.

El Cerrito


  • David Orphal thinks this is good

    Student Voices in School Reform via



  • David Orphal replied to a comment by Alessandra Rizzotti

    Student Voices in School Reform via



    Alessandra Rizzotti5 months ago

    I LOVE that you empowered Esmeralda to speak up via this blog- and that she knew she had to do research to prove herself. I love how she saw a problem and was able to come up with a solution: "We realized that our school needed better trained teachers and a solid evaluation system. We decided to come up with a system that would fix these problems and we were able to present it to the faculty in our school. It was a great experience because I was finally able to get my voice out there and say what I did not like about my school system and be able to offer a solution to that problem." Her solution makes so much sense- did you guys give her guidance? "Our second idea was to grow our own teachers here in Oakland. We thought that the city could offer a program that guides Oakland students from high school throughout college and a teaching credential, guarantying them a job in a Oakland school once they graduate. We think this is a good idea because that way these teachers have an idea of what kind of environment an Oakland student faces day by day and all the struggles we face in life being Oakland."

    David Orphal5 months ago

    Thank you for the comment - this was a fantastic project. I had four teams across two sections of my Introduction to Education class working on four different school-reform proposals. Esme was on the "Better Trained Teachers" team. Other teams included "Classroom Supplies Budgets," "Smaller Teacher:Student Ratios," and "Late-start Rather than Early-release Minimum Days."

    All four teams presented their finding to our school's Faculty Council. It was a proud-parent kind of day, watching them talk with such poise and preparation.

    I did nothing to influence the choices my students made regarding their choices of reform ideas to pursue. They came up with over twenty different ideas and then discusses the relative merit and feasibility of each before settling on the four they would work on.

    It was my opportunity to visit Finland and talk with teachers and education officials there that influences our studies of that country as a comparison model. What a joy it was to exchange e-mails with my students as they studied in books what I was studying in person.

    You can find several essays about Esme's project and my other teams at my blog "After the Bell" on

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  • David Orphal replied to a comment by Sina Mossayeb

    Five Constraints That Help Me Innovate via



    Sina Mossayeb7 months ago

    WOW! Love the idea of teacherpreneurs. Are you guys around the Bay ever? Would love to chat more about this with you guys (bring you into IDEO for a coffee?).

    David Orphal7 months ago

    Hi Sina, I'm the local (Oakland) teachers that CTQ mentioned. I'd be happy to sit down with you all for a cuppa. My wife and I just moved to Mt. View - so my availability will open up in mid-October. Cheers! ~Dave Orphal

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