For Real Teachers In Our Toughest Schools
Saturday February 17th 2018




Why does this site exist?

When I first set out to create this site, I wanted it, above anything else, to raise awareness about what is going on at the ground level of education. Things are a lot uglier down here than anyone realizes, and it is also more beautiful. I also wanted it to be something real teachers could use. I want to offer support to new teachers who were hired the day before school started, and were talked into taking two extra preps, and have gang problems inside their classrooms. And I want it to be a place where you could find like-minded colleagues who are dedicated to improving our society through education, as hard as the reality of that may be for those of us in the classroom.

My blog is about the Real World we teach in-where students get stabbed just outside my door, where the riot police come onto campus twice a year, and where no matter how many strategies I employ, the kids are still GHETTO in all caps bold italic (and the longer you read my blog the more you’ll know I use the term ghetto lovingly). Being from the ghetto myself, it isn’t anything new to me, but for some of you it might be, and I think I just might be able to help.

So please sign up to join our community. You should enter your e-mail address into the box on the right, or follow us on Twitter. You will get monthly blog posts that remind you that you are not the only one doing this difficult, but satisfying job. I will challenge you to think about the Real issues going on in your classroom, and hopefully provide you with inspiring ways of looking at your students, and your life.

Who runs this place, anyway?

Matt Amaral is a writer and high school English teacher from the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of California at Davis and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. Matt is a featured Blogger at, a leading international website for Education, and New America Media, the nation’s leading ethnic news organization. He is the former Editor-In-Chief of The Gnu Literary Journal. You can also read his work in The Huffington Post, The Progressive Review, Care 2, Alternet,  TeachHub, EmPower Magazine, The Dirty Napkin, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Eclectic Flash, Bird’s Eye ReView, TravelMag, Escape From America Magazine and InTravel Magazine.

Daniel Guerrero is a teacher and lecturer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his B.A. in Philosophy at California State University, Hayward, his M.A. in Education and teaching credential from the University of California at Berkeley’s, Graduate School of Education in the Multicultural Urban Secondary English Program (MUSE). Daniel teaches 9th and 10th grade English, as well as, 11th grade AP English Language and Composition. He also presents workshops at the Puente Program’s semi-annual statewide conferences, which regularly features the nation’s top educators. Puente is a statewide program, funded by the University of California, designed to provide low-income, underrepresented students with a rigorous pre-AP English Language Arts curriculum. Daniel is also a summer writing instructor at UC Berkeley’s Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP) in the GSE. In addition, Daniel is a part-time lecturer at the Bay Area Teacher Center (BATC) at Lick-Wilmerding H.S., (accredited through San Francisco State University) where he prepares new teachers to enter the profession.

Kevin Chen is a former student of Matt’s. He is currently in high school. Kevin helps run this website by weeding out typography errors and improving the design.

Jeremy Schulz is the lead photographer on staff.  His work lives in the realm of illustrative photography.  His images contain lucid conceptual story lines most often delivered by the use of humor and incongruent elements.  He is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in Photography at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has had multiple images published with Creative Quarterly Magazine.  He hasn’t taken every picture for the site, just the ones that look off the hook, like the front banner.