What follows is my account of becoming and being an AP (Advanced Placement) English teacher in the American public high school system. African-American teachers, both male, and female, are slowly being driven out of the profession. Experienced African-American AP teachers are so rare in the Western United States that I have only met one, in over a decade of teaching, speaking, attending conferences, and generally traveling widely in spheres of public educators. I cannot purport to speak to everyone’s experience, all I can do is stand in the truth of mine. This is a four-part series.

Part IV

“AP for All”

Every summer, teachers across…


What follows is my account of becoming and being an AP (Advanced Placement) English teacher in the American public high school system. African-American teachers, both male, and female, are slowly being driven out of the profession. Experienced African-American AP teachers are so rare in the Western United States that I have only met one, in over a decade of teaching, speaking, attending conferences, and generally traveling widely in spheres of public educators. I cannot purport to speak to everyone’s experience, all I can do is stand in the truth of mine. This is a four-part series.

Part III

“Winning”

When I found out…


What follows is my account of becoming and being an AP (Advanced Placement) English teacher in the American public high school system. African-American teachers, both male, and female, are slowly being driven out of the profession. Experienced African-American AP teachers are so rare in the Western United States that I have only met one, in over a decade of teaching, speaking, attending conferences, and generally traveling widely in spheres of public educators. I cannot purport to speak to everyone’s experience, all I can do is stand in the truth of mine. This is a four-part series.

Part II

“Will the real AP English teachers please stand up?”

When I left Whitopia


What follows is my account of becoming and being an AP (Advanced Placement) English teacher in the American public high school system. African-American teachers, both male, and female, are slowly being driven out of the profession. Experienced African-American AP teachers are so rare in the Western United States that I have only met one, in over a decade of teaching, speaking, attending conferences, and generally traveling widely in spheres of public educators. I cannot purport to speak to everyone’s experience, all I can do is stand in the truth of mine. This is a four-part series.

Part I

What is an “AP English” teacher?

My journey to becoming…


Netflix has 100 Million subscribers, and as of very recently, their stock and value was on the rise. According to recent hearsay, Her Majesty The Queen watches Netflix, so it’s reasonable to assume that they think a few hundred thousand customer complaints don’t matter. The condescending and dismissive responses from HQ point to a company that has been corrupted by success and forgotten their humble startup origins. Their endless lineup of Marvel shows (safe bet, built in comic fans as audience), and predictable renewal of OITNB and 13 Reasons (both based on books w/built in audiences) shows a company that…


I’d like to open with a quote:

“Without a sense of identity, there can be no struggle.”

These words are by Brazilian educator and revolutionary, Paulo Freire

The way I see it, within this quote is a two-fold question. Who are we, and what do we struggle for?

My answer, is that I am first, an academic, and a life-long-learner, and second, a proud AP teacher. I teach in Montbello. I struggle for the future. I struggle for my students. I struggle for a better, freer, more equal playing field in education.

To me, being an AP teacher, means being…


This week, at a Pho restaurant, I was celebrating my daughter’s birthday when I saw a former student who graduated three years ago. We hugged, exchanged greetings, and then when I asked her what she was up to these days, her less-than-stellar reply was,

“I’m just chillin’, working at Taco Bell.”

I don’t know whether the look on my face betrayed my emotions, but I have to admit that I was less than impressed with her answer.

Now, before you abandon this article as yet another “millenial-bashing” piece, bear with me. Through the disappointment I continue to believe there is…


MONTBELLO aka THE BELLOS aka THE ‘HOOD’- Denver, CO

Hello world. This will be the first of a series of posts wherein I will attempt to shed some light on what it’s really like to work in today’s public school system. I can’t promise to make you laugh. I can’t promise to make you cry. I can’t promise to make profound statements about the meaning of life. However, I can promise you that what I write will be true. I may change names on occasion to protect identities, but, since this is my little corner of the Internet, and I…

Julia E. Torres

I enjoy laughing, sleeping, reading, teaching, writing and eating yummy food...not necessarily in that order.

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