One of my communist fellow-teachers mentioned to me that, among other things, he would make visits to his students homes to strengthen his bonds with students who were struggling. Although the lesson came from a self-avowed communist, it was not a concept that required me to adopt a revolutionary mindset - only a pragmatic mindset - so I added the practice to my toolbox and began meeting my students at the homes of their parents, in the heart of gangland. I became one of a very small number of white men who could travel freely in that part of L.A. after dark without becoming a victim of the gang wars.
I also developed other ways of connecting with my students and their grades ascended through the combined techniques that I developed.
Regrettably, the jealousy that I provoked due to my extraordinary success with my students made me quite the target for many of my less successful colleagues.
I could share hundreds of touching stories about these delightful 7th and 8th graders, and also a few heart-breaking stories, but the most important lesson that I can share is that socialism and teaching hate for the USA does not help our inner city youth. It simply pushes them fully towards the gang life which is already present in epidemic proportions. I guess that my years of teaching were really the start of my #walkaway experience, and prepared me to leave the Democratic Party.