This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview with Lisa Arrastia, Phd was conducted on December 4, 2020, via Zoom Conference. A native of New York City and currently residing in Upstate NY, Dr. Arrastia is an educator whose experience is wide ranging. Dr. Arrastia has taught grades 9-12, founded a charter high school, served as middle/high school principal, and consulted with schools around the world. She currently is an assistant professor of education at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and she is an alum of the 2016 Oral History Intensive in Chicago.Dr. Arrastia reflects on experiences that have had a significant impact on her work, including working in the affluent Marin County in the San Francisco Bay Area where she had a positive and fulfilling experience. She also talks about her experience working in underprivileged areas of Chicago where she founded a charter school but was unable to secure city funding and support to keep it going. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, she was head of upper school at the Brooklyn Friends School. She recalls the stress of shutting down the school for in-person classes and the preparations for at-home learning. Dr. Arrastia also described her own experience with having COVID and how she powered though the best she could to complete the remainder of the spring 2020 session.Toward the end of the interview, Dr. Arrastia shared her feelings of exhaustion. While she sees opportunities in education presented by the COVID-19 crisis, she questions educators' ability to make radical changes in the traditional (large, powerful, rigid) American educational system.This interview may be of interest to those who want to learn about creative approaches to learning; democratic classrooms; and intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and social class in educational settings.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.