Hit another milestone today. Officially made it through 60 days of teaching which also means I'm 1/3 of the way through the year and as of Monday I'll have completed three months of teaching. Funny how it feels like so much and so little time has passed at the same time.
In an attempt to calm my students down reinforce positive behavior I'm using a Christmas Party (oops! winter party?) as an incentive. There is a blank Christmas tree on my board that I will fill in piece by piece each time a table earns 25 points. It was remarkable how effective the phrase "Show me you're ready for the Christmas party" was in getting students to be quiet, sit up and listen. Of course there was the question, when are we having the party? I explained it would be in three weeks, right before break. "It might as well be a thousand years away," Lil Miss Stay Puff remarked. Note to self: Find more immediate incentives. It's also funny that as a Jewish teacher I still didn't even pause to think about calling the party a Christmas party.
In other news, I had my observation with the principal on Wednesday. I think it went really well and the students behaved perfectly. I didn't think much of it, because who's going to act out when the principal is in the class? But as my mentor and another teacher told me, the kids know they can make you look like a fool by acting out. If they give their best it's a sign that they care and are willing to show up and have your back when it counts. I don't know if that's really true, but for now believing it is enough to give me a bit of comfort.
Quick weekend to get focused, relaxed and recharged. Then it's back to the trenches!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Hit another milestone today. Officially made it through 60 days of teaching which also means I'm 1/3 of the way through the year and as of Monday I'll have completed three months of teaching. Funny how it feels like so much and so little time has passed at the same time.
Posted by ruben_b at 5:54 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Still trying to find a balance within so many things. Work and play. The authoritarian-style management of some of my peers and my own ineffective mellow "refuse-to-yell" routine. Rewards and consequences. The temperature in my classroom.
Seriously I wonder if there will ever be a day in my classroom where the temperature is comfortable. All through the Indian Summer it was sweltering without A/C. As soon as it cooled down the furnace started blasting and I actually have to open the windows AND turn on the fan just to make it bearable. With so many factors to consider for student learning (and it's like an enormous jigsaw puzzle of academic and social factors for each individual) never knowing what temperature my classroom will be is yet another complication.
This week has felt like a flashback to the days of ALP. The two days of Thanksgiving vacation seem to have set my class back two weeks at least. And another student (yet to be introduced with her own catchy nickname) has replaced ALP as my nightmare. Although to be fair she wants to do well, she just hasn't figured out that telling me off in front of the class is not the way to go about it. So I'm working hard to reteach rules and expectations and trying to lay the rewards and praise on thick as possible. At least tomorrow's Friday. Like I said as a naive first-week teacher, I'm pretty sure the phrase TGIF was invented by a teacher.
Posted by ruben_b at 5:47 PM
Monday, November 26, 2007
A four day weekend can be bad news for someone like me. Still adjusting to life in the "real world" it's dangerous to be reminded what it feels like to sleep in and waste a whole day watching Showtime OnDemand. And then you wake up at 6am and you hate everyone and everything that necessitates such an ungodly wake-up.
Of course there's also the risk of going soft. It's not easy for be to give my students the tough love that they need. Even with practice I'm still more or less a softy compared to the seasoned veterans in my school. So four days of rest and relaxation can definitely take away your edge.
Luckily for me two of my more bothersome students, Lil Miss Stay Puff and Pop N Fresh, were absent. So today went relatively smoothly because I wasn't exerting as much energy trying to get PNF to be quiet (Or as I'm often thinking, STFU!) or asking LMSP to stay in her seat. I feel guilty for the relief caused by their absences. They deserve to come to school every day and get an education. It's my job to figure out how to teach them whether they're annoying or not. Still, it's nice that I had a chance to ease back into things and hopefully tomorrow I'll be a bit more on top of my game.
Posted by ruben_b at 10:20 PM
Friday, November 23, 2007
I guess it's time for the obligatory Thanksgiving post. After all I have a 4 day weekend with plenty of time and energy that could be spent on lesson planning on paper work. What better way to waste time than right here on Is Our Children Learning?
I've now made it through 12 weeks of teaching. I'm thankful that I'm still doing it and that I really believe I can make it through the year. I could not be here without the support of family, friends and many, many brilliant teachers. I'm incredibly thankful for these people. I also know that it's pretty rare to have a job that challenges you constantly and offers so much room for growth and learning. I'm thankful for that.
On Wednesday I read a crappy book about the first Thanksgiving that was just the most whitewashed story of the whole tradition I could have chosen. I felt awful about that and I know it's exactly the opposite type of narrative I wanted to teach. Sometimes the safe and sanitary story is easier to teach. I hope I won't let that keep me from being the sort of teacher I set out to be- someone who challenges conventional narratives of history, challenges my students to think critically about themselves and their world and someone who helps my students grow in all subject areas while understanding that learning is more than reading, writing and arithmetic and much, much more than a couple of stupid standardized tests. I'm thankful that I am learning enough each day that hopefully I can eventually be that teacher.
Posted by ruben_b at 7:00 PM
The day before Thanksgiving was surprisingly easy. It didn't have much of the chaos or hyperactivity from the kids that I've seen on most Fridays or on Halloween. The only real misbehavior was of my own creation.
Two weeks ago I announced I was going to have an exclusive Thanksgiving lunch. I didn't want to go to the trouble of having a class party so I figured I would use the idea of a colleague of hosting a private party in my classroom during lunch. I explained that 10 of the students who were on their best behavior and displayed their best effort would be invited to join me for a Thanksgiving lunch of KFC (I know not the best choice in the era of childhood obesity).
So, Wednesday finally came and I passed out 13 (I couldn't narrow it down further) invitations that said:
Dear Student X,
Thank you for your continued effort, respect and good behavior. Please join me for a Thanksgiving lunch at 12pm in room XXX. I will pick you up from the auditorium.
It all seemed like a good idea. I was getting great behavior out of some of the worst behaved kids including the class clown Gary Coleman Junior (GCJ). But what I didn't anticipate was that because of absences on the day before Thanksgiving, the 13 students who were invited outnumbered the 9 students who weren't. And by rewarding GCJ for short-term improvement I sent a confusing message to a lot of kids, especially the ones left on the outside of the party.
I don't regret having the party or requiring that students earn and invitation. But I should have been stricter about who I invited to come and kept it to 8-10 students. I don't mind having hurt the feelings of some of the students who didn't earn invitations. They didn't deserve it. But there were definitely a couple of students who deserved to come as much as or more than GCJ. Instead of a simply rewarding good behavior I sent mixed messages and created alienation and resentment within my classroom.
When I picked up the remaining students they were bouncing off the walls and very deliberately trying to misbehave. I wasn't even angry, because I knew that I was reaping exactly what I'd sown. Luckily the afternoon had a diversion of another classroom joining mine for a joint-lesson, so eventually everything settled down. I can only hope things will be forgotten by the time Monday rolls around.
Posted by ruben_b at 3:43 PM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
As a new teacher it's probably not my place to comment on the state of education in NYC or across the country. After all, could I really have a fair idea of all the conflicting pressures and nuances of education after just 11 weeks (but who's counting?) as a teacher? Probably not. I only mention this because I know that some of my opinions seem to be at odds with the conventional wisdom/accepted practice in my school and throughout the system.
More to the point, I'm a big fan of Bloomberg and Klein's aggressive education policy. For a system that's so clearly in shambles, it seems the best thing that can happen is a shakeup across the board. Bloomberg is clearly trying to accomplish this by increasing accountability for administrators and teachers and providing economic incentives for teachers and students. I'm not saying I agree completely with all of Bloomberg's measures or that I believe they'll fix what is a very complicated and systemic problem. You have to respect creativity though, especially when it seems like mediocrity and failure are entrenched throughout the DOE and ingenuity is in short supply.
Unfortunately a lot of teachers see Bloomberg and Klein's bold and broad measure and feel like they're under attack. And it's hard to feel otherwise. The stakes on the standardized tests keep rising (evidenced by student scores accounting for 30% of the new report cards and student progress on tests accounting for another 55%). Then there's the omnipresent threat of the "rubber room" and articles like this from Thursday's Times about new efforts to remove bad teachers from the classroom. A noble goal of course, but when you're working in a struggling school (especially as a new struggling teacher) and seeing little to no progress in your kids it's easy to feel like you might be targeted as one of those bad teachers.
In the end I'm still siding with Bloomberg and Klein and I hope the UFT and my fellow teachers aren't into any sort of "You're either with us or against us" ultimatums. I do have a few questions for them though. First, when the teacher turnover rate is such a problem and the city is hemorrhaging teachers, wouldn't it be better to invest in turning bad teachers into good teachers instead of removing them from the system altogether? Next, was it really the best strategy to unveil these report cards so bluntly and stubbornly? Parents, students and educators felt blindsided. Wasn't there another way?
Finally, accountability for students, teachers and principals is great. What about for parents? Obviously we can't fire parents, but isn't there a way to provide more services and incentives to parents so that my students come to school with a meal in their bellies? Not to mention chronic absenteeism, lateness, not having access to books at home or anyone helping them with school work. I do the best I can with the seven hours I have with my students. I could use a little help when they get home though.
Posted by ruben_b at 5:31 PM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This morning on the 4 train to work a man (presumably homeless and/or mentally unstable) came onto the train and starting shouting warnings of fire and brimstone and lakes of fire. It was 7:30 in the morning. As a Jew I'm not generally interested in hearing about Christ as the past to salvation. Before 8am I'm really not interested in hearing about it.
Why do I relate this story? The state ELA exam is 29 days away and throughout the school the test is being touted as this End of Days event. "If you don't get it together you will fail the test and be back in 4th grade!" Is fear really the way to get kids motivated? And if they don't want to hear about in general, do they really want to hear about it at 8am?
I am tired of hearing about the test. I am tired of using it as a blunt tool of intimidation and motivation. Everyone in the school constantly complains about the tests and how there's way too much emphasis placed on them. But when it comes to talking to the kids we make them think it is the end and the beginning of their education this year. So if/when they fail it feeds into a powerful sense of learned helplessness. There must be a way to prepare them for the test without building up the test into this singular and final indicator of academic performance.
Now playing: IndieFeed.com community - MF DOOM - One Beer
Posted by ruben_b at 8:25 PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sometimes I wonder why I bother to make these optimistic prognostications. Invariably the day after I think I've got a handle on things goes horribly. Yesterday I wrote, "I feel like I'm turning a page and opening a new chapter of more creative, engaging and interactive learning." Today, creative lesson plans be damned, was a long, tiring day.
I'm sure I can blame part of the struggles on my new seating plan which has the students working in groups of 6 or 7. Sitting in such close quarters the students are much more easily distracted and more likely to be chatting away while I wait for quiet and attempt to explain a lesson or give out instructions. According to the current pedagogy this group seating encourages interactive and cooperative learning and will help my students thrive. For now I only feel like I'm seeing the negative byproducts - namely constant talking.
I yelled a lot today. And I didn't like it and it wasn't effective. My mentor is telling me I need to lose my temper and show my aggressive/authoritarian side from time to time to get my kids in line. But I feel like I end up displaying more frustration and powerlessness rather than intimidation and power.
After a full day that felt twice as long because of yesterday's half day I had to wait around until 5:30 for parent-teacher conferences. I was happy that 19 out of 25 parents showed up. I was also happy that it wasn't only the parents of my top students but parents of students from across the spectrum. I had a hard time being brutally honest though. Some of my best students (behavior wise) are really struggling and it wasn't easy to explain to their parents that there is a real possibility their child might not pass the upcoming ELA exam. So of course rather than do this I tried to paint even the bleakest picture a little brighter. Hope I'm not shooting myself in the foot in doing so. Because who's going to be to blame when a child scores a 1 on the test and their parents are blindsided? Still it was nice to meet the parents and hopefully establish a partnership towards my students' academic success.
Posted by ruben_b at 10:25 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
As I struggle to come up with semi-original titles for these posts I wonder if the days and their accompanying posts are running together. I try to reflect on each day, but is it amounting to more than "This day was hard" or "This day went okay"? I don't know really, but I do know that today felt good. For starters it was a half day because of parent teacher conferences in the afternoon. Naturally that made things easier. But I have to say I felt energized from the long weekend and on top of my game in a way I haven't been in a while.
I spent Monday night relaxing but also preparing for today. Today I finally had my students grouped together in tables. Knowing this would lead to more talkativeness and distractions I knew I had to have some more engaging lesson plans ready. It wasn't rocket science or anything- just relying more on handouts, the overhead projector and hands on work. Even though it was a half day it still felt good that the lessons went smoothly and most of the students were engaged.
For tomorrow I'm trying more creative lesson plans - a non-fiction "scavenger hunt" around the classroom for example - and more group work. If today was any indication (and it most likely isn't) I feel like I'm turning a page and opening a new chapter of more creative, engaging and interactive learning. Tomorrow's a long day because of more parent teacher conferences in the evening, and I'm sure I'll have some reflections from these meetings when I get a chance.
Now playing: NPR - Spoon in Concert 10-24-2007
Posted by ruben_b at 9:46 PM
Monday, November 12, 2007
I'm still working to wear the role of role model more comfortably. It's taking work to compartmentalize my life a bit more clearly. Obviously I know there's certain language or certain parts of my life (namely the way I spend my weekends pretending I'm still in college) that don't belong in the classroom at all. Still, as always, there's those parts of me that seem to fall into the gray area.
How truthful should I be about the music I listen to? Because the truth is my students and I might share some musical tastes (I'm thinking of Kanye not Soulja Boy to be clear). And how should I react to a gesture from a student that's overly familiar? I could see it as friendly or I could take it as disrespect.
I'm only six months removed from being a student myself. I'm still struggling to find my identity as a teacher and at times it makes for awkward interactions with my students. Obviously I want them to respect me above all else and to learn from me as an adult role model, not their friend. But I'm certainly not on the sort of authoritarian power trip I see on display sometimes around my school. I guess it's all part of the regular process of growing up post-graduation, and realizing certain parts of my life are behind me.
Now playing: Beirut - The Penalty
Posted by ruben_b at 5:48 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I guess this is off topic for a blog about teaching, but then again I wouldn't be trying to do what I'm trying to do if it wasn't for a love of reading and writing. And few figures loom as large in the past century of American literature as Norman Mailer. If I get a chance to pursue writing and journalism after my stint in the teaching trenches, I'll be walking in the broad path that Mailer paved over the past sixty years.
In the interest of full disclosure my knowledge of Mailer is limited to some of his shorter fiction and non-fiction as well as interviews and profiles. That doesn't diminish from my reverence for him though, and I hope when I find time to read again I'll be able to pick up one of his many books.
The full New York Times article on his death is here, and looking over his prolific resumé is a reminder of how little I've accomplished so far, but also a challenge to make the most out of what's ahead. Hopefully what I'm doing in the classroom will be a vital part of that task.
Posted by ruben_b at 10:20 AM
Thursday, November 8, 2007
A while back my friend Ryan passed this blog post from Marginal Revolutions along to me. The blog argues that the high turnover rate of teachers and the general failure in the classrooms is because people are practically forced to be heroes to succeed. In this case burnout is inevitable.
The solution, according to the blog, is Direct Instruction, a method of teaching based on a provided script. It doesn't sound like the most fun or effective way to teach, but the post argues that, "Contrary to what you might think, the data also show that DI does not impede creativity or self-esteem." The tone of the post is a little hostile towards the so-called "education establishment," but I still have to agree with the general premise.
I know I feel overwhelmed more often than not trying to figure out what to teach and how to teach it. And I was given a pretty extensive curriculum map for reading, writing, map and social studies. I can only imagine what new teachers are feeling at schools where they're not given so much curriculum support. Being a teacher should give people an opportunity to be a hero, but you shouldn't have to be a hero to step into the classroom in the first place. As long as the system is set up so only heroes can survive in high-need classrooms, the fight to close the achievement gap will be completely Sisyphean.
Posted by ruben_b at 7:53 PM
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
It’s difficult to hone in on one memorable moment from my short teaching career when every day is packed with experiences ranging from absolute frustration and despair to ecstatic joy. Just today I can think of three memorable moments that sum up the broad spectrum of emotion encapsulated in a single day of teaching.
This morning I was completely dumbfounded as a student of mine acted out so horribly that I was at a complete loss for words. She was flailing around on the ground, shouting out nonsense that was supposed to be Spanish and yelling insults towards me, almost trying to boss me around. I told her to move to the back of the room to cool off. She ignored me. So, I did my best to ignore her. I really didn’t know what else to do. Of course I could try to ignore her, but her classmates couldn’t. “Mr. B, I can’t concentrate on my work,” one young girl complained over the loud gibberish of her classmate. It’s moments like these that are more than memorable. They are completely disheartening and crystallize my failure to control my classroom and provide the most basic environment of learning to my students.
Later as I tried to teach a math lesson an enthusiastic student seemed almost desperate to share her ideas over the din over her classmates. I had asked for a volunteer to share a pattern they noticed in the 9 multiplication table. This girl (the same one who couldn’t work earlier) had innocently raised her hand to share. Meanwhile, absolutely nobody was paying attention. Small conversations were going on around the room and Chandrella was shouting out because she didn’t understand what we were doing (although I’d explained more than twice) and was acting out of frustration. What’s most memorable about this moment was the sheer anxiety and desperation in the voice of the girl as she tried to share her thoughts amidst the chaos in the room.
Finally, at lunch another moment caught me off guard when Lil' Miss Stay Puff who frustrates me to no end with her inability to stay seated. She asked me if she was going upstairs to clean the classroom. “No,” I explained, “That was a punishment, and you’re not being punished right now.”
“That was a punishment? Then why didn’t you tell me I was being punished?” It was a reminder first of all that it’s surprising what a student will consider a reward or a punishment. This girl likes to clean the room, and my idea of a negative reinforcement was probably backfiring all along. Secondly, it reminded me that you can never be too clear or consistent in rewards and punishments. And that more often than not students can’t pick up on anything other than the most explicit explanation of expectations.
My days are filled with memorable moments like these. Funny, frustrating, maddening, encouraging. I can only imagine what kind of memorable moments will stand out at the end of my teaching career, however long or brief it will be. Hopefully the positive ones will outweigh the negative.
Posted by ruben_b at 4:49 PM
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
While the kids are away do the teachers get a chance to play? As a kid I always wondered what my teachers were doing on those so-called work days. Now I know, but I can't say it was much of an exciting revelation. And while the teachers seemed more relaxed without 1000+ students running wild around the campus, it wasn't exactly a day off.
I spent all day filling out surveys, analyzing school reports and testing data and grading my students' practice ELA exams. After Monday I'm feeling a little anxious about going back into the classroom. Ideally I'll be able to get to bed soon so I can go to school tomorrow recharged and ready.
Right now I'm feeling a mix of exhaustion and panic. Exhaustion because I didn't spend the weekend catching up on sleep or work like I should have. Panic because I'm behind on my portfolios, way behind on my DRA's (a system of assessing student reading abilities), I haven't started my report cards yet and they're due Friday, I'm being observed by the principal this week and on top of that after grading my students' practice ELA tests I realized if they were to take the test tomorrow near half of them would fail. So, how do I even start to get them ready?
Posted by ruben_b at 9:41 PM
Monday, November 5, 2007
Today was one of "those" days. I didn't sleep well - woke up 3 times in the middle of the night with a start, sure that it was 6am and time to get up for work - and so I didn't feel right all day. I spent the day exhausted and shouting. I haven't felt so frustrated and ineffective since ALP was in my class and I had to wonder if maybe my class had gone through a second honeymoon period, readjusting and reequilibrating in his absence. At least tomorrow is a teacher work day so I have a bit of a grace period before I go back in there and try to right the ship.
Meanwhile, the big news in the real world is that Chancellor Klein and Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the results of their bold and semi-controversial school grading system. The system grades schools based on student achievement relative to schools with similar student demographics. According to the NY Times, elementary schools like mine "are grouped mainly by racial and socioeconomic background." The grade is based on the following assessments:
The largest portion of a school’s grade, 55 percent, is based on the improvement of individual students on state tests from one year to the next, a so-called growth model analysis. Thirty percent of the grade is based on overall student achievement on state tests. An additional 15 percent is based on the school’s environment, measured by attendance figures and parent, teacher and student surveys
So, hypothetically under this system it shouldn't matter if a school is "high-need" so long as their students are making progress from year to year. In fact one school with as many as 86% of its students passing the state exams, unheard of at a school like mine, still received a failing grade. And sure enough looking over the complete list I saw more than a few schools in the Bronx that I know personally from summer school and fellow Fellows that received B's and A's. Unfortunately my current school is one of the 50 Elementary Schools that scored a D. Disheartening news, but then again as far as I can tell it doesn't change any of the day to day pressures and realities of my job. It's just one more test my school has failed.
Posted by ruben_b at 7:50 PM
Sunday, November 4, 2007
As a serious addendum to my last post I want to say how fun and interesting it is to get to know my students as individuals. The amount of growth they're going through as children is staggering and then when you consider the number of challenges and obstacles each of them is facing outside of school, it's overwhelming. Learning that one student lives in a homeless shelter for example, while another was kidnapped and abused a few years back... It's hard to compartmentalize this information and synthesize it with your understanding of a student without letting it get in the way of your teaching or their learning.
Meanwhile this past week marked my 9th week/Second month as a teacher. Hard to believe how it feels like I've been teaching forever and how much I feel like I've learned, grown and overcome in such a short time. This means I'm 25% finished with the school year and I don't know if that makes it feel shorter or longer, but it means something either way. Didn't have the most productive weekend unfortunately, but Tuesday is a Teacher Work Day so hopefully I can get a handle on things.
Posted by ruben_b at 9:57 PM
Saturday, November 3, 2007
With ALP gone for good I thought it was time to introduce more of the characters in my daily drama. Although there are really 26 unique individuals in my classroom I'll only take the time today to mention my most challenging, frustrating or amusing students.
Chandrella: From the first day my 4th graders walked in I knew that Chandrella would be what we euphemistically call a handful. This woman-child practically as tall as me, very dark skinned and as a holdover, she's a year older than her classmates. This makes her stick out like a sore thumb and naturally she's extremely self-conscious. I'm constantly looking for ways to make her a leader and a helper and when she has a chance to do so she can be a model student.
On the other hand, her moods are extremely volatile and if she's confused by a lesson or insulted by another student she often erupts. Last week when another student allegedly took her pencil she was screaming into his face demanding it back and finally knocked his desk over and started throwing the contents around the room until she found the pencil. I calmly told her this was unacceptable and told her to pick his things up. She slammed the desk upright and threw his folders and papers into his face. I told her again this wasn't okay and eventually she picked up his stuff and returned it in a semi-respectful manner.
Gary Coleman Jr. (GCJ): Obviously the class clown is a staple of any classroom. Mine comes in the form of a hyperactive little boy we'll call Gary Coleman Jr Jr, because he's constantly repeating Coleman's catch phrase "Whatchu talkin' bout?" which apparently has new life on one of The Disney Channel's shows. In Jonathan Kozol's Letters to a First Year Teacher he mentions that young kids have only a theoretical connection to their seats. GCJ is the embodiment of this disconnect between chair and child.
GCJJ drives me crazy, but I think honestly he might be one of my favorite students. It's so obvious that he acts out and jokes around because he's desperate for attention. Basically unless I'm sitting right next to him, working through an assignment with him or one of the terrifying literacy coaches is in the room he's hardly ever sitting at his desk. And when he needs to go to the bathroom, and all he needs to do is sit down and raise his hand he'd rather keep calling out and asking out of turn and say, "If I pee myself it's gonna be your fault" instead of just follow the procedure so he can go.
Lil' Space Case (LSC): Lil' Space Case is one of those students who is deceptively cute. She's the smallest girl in the class, and I think she knows that she can use this to her advantage. The problem I have with her is she's hardly ever on-task and she loses everything. And maybe a man who's lost articles of clothing on multiple continents isn't one to talk, but I'm confident I could hold onto a worksheet long enough to fill it out. Books, papers, notebooks, LSC has lost it all except for her desk.
Lil' Miss Stay Puff (LMSP): Lil' Miss Stay Puff, a cute chubby girl, has the same classroom wanderlust as GCJ. Overall she's a sweet girl and eager to do well, but she cannot stay in her seat to save her life. I'm trying to focus on her positive traits as a student and encourage her through incentives to stay on-task and in her seat, but it's definitely an uphill battle.
Pop N Fresh (PNF): Pop N Fresh is another chubby student. Sometimes it's all I can do to keep myself from squeezing his chubby cheeks into his face a la Billy Madison. He's incredibly bright and articulate, but probably spends more time getting into other people's business then doing his work. I guess you could imagine him as a smart, more effeminate, Hispanic version of "Ham" Porter from the Sandlot.
Posted by ruben_b at 10:03 AM