Teacher feature: the classrooms

Staff explain meaning behind class decoration

By Era Goel

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  • “It started with the Pez collection, which [has] all the different presidents that are behind the action figures. Then I found one action figure in the election that John McCain and Obama were running against each other, so I got those action figures, and then there’s been like this Kickstarter campaign for all the other action figures. So now I have like a collection going on. And the Obama that is back there that’s made of clay; some student made it in their art class for me … I also started collecting the dinosaurs because of the ‘Tyrannosaurus Debt.’” -Christy Heaton

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “‘West Wing’ is like the best TV show ever, and then a student of mine one year went to Goodwill, and they were selling it. So on the back, I made him sign it for me. He brought it in one day and had paid like three bucks for it.” -Christy Heaton

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “[The flag] is from last year, my AP class. They bought it, went running around campus with it, and flew it at graduation.” -Christy Heaton

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out, but it wasn’t until like 2012 that I started collecting pictures of students voting for the first time. It’s easy when they’re my picture[s] because then I can take their picture. But sometimes when they’ve gone to college, it can be harder.” -Christy Heaton

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “That was Mrs. Wilson’s son. Every four years, we have a viewing party when it’s the presidential elections. And in 2008, they announced that Obama had won, and he pulls it out of his backpack and yelled, ‘Now can I go put this on the wall?’ And I said, ‘Yes, you can.’” -Christy Heaton

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “I have a lot of personal mementos up on this wall. Kids have made different caricatures of me over the years. It started my first year here at Homestead, and the kids have always had fun drawing me. I have a nice, round, bald head, so it must be easy.” -Steve Lavelle

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “The Weeknd was a [British Literature] assignment where they had to make a parody of something. So these guys made a parody of Andy Warhol by making a Weeknd artistic version of it.” -Steve Lavelle

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “Everyone knows I’m the punster, so I have a pun T-shirt on my wall of the English Stonehenge. A teacher, Ms. Hill, got me this shirt when she was traveling and brought it back for me because she knows I love puns.” -Steve Lavelle

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “Over here is where I keep my personal stuff in terms of being a Warriors fan, Giants fan and 49ers fan. I did know Kim Nuestro. Actually for Kim Night, I was there for that and spoke. She was a big Warriors fan.” -Steve Lavelle

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “This was made by Pranali [Kasturi] sophomore year when we did the “Crimes Against Humanity” project. She made a poster about her topic, ‘No Excuse for Child Abuse.’ I thought the message was so timeless and universal. A lot of times, kids will tease me if I’m roasting them, and remind me, ‘Hey, Lavelle, no excuse for child abuse!’ But I think it’s an important message to have up.” -Steve Lavelle

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “This is an inflatable moose head. I’ve always liked moose, and there’s an ice cream shop in San Francisco that has all sorts of novelty gifts. When I had walked in there and saw the inflatable moose head on the wall, I always admired it. A friend of mine lives in that neighborhood, so one year for my birthday, she bought it for me. It’s a little tacky for my house, so I thought it was perfect for the classroom. Sometimes I’ve told students it’s watching them over tests, keeping an eye on them.” -Dara Alleyne-Levy

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “The goat clock was a wedding present from a relative because I like goats. When my husband proposed to me, he rented goats for the proposal. So we have a love of goats. Again, a little tacky for the house.” -Dara Alleyne-Levy

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “One year, all of the science teachers were science misconceptions for Halloween, so we made signs for our costumes. The costumes that the science department actually won for was when we were the stages of evolution. So we went from the single-celled organism, all the way up to the human, and even the future man who was sort of disheveled and out of shape because of the use of technology and no exercise.” -Dara Alleyne-Levy

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “Those are from a really long time ago, when I first started teaching. Back when I had time to read the comics, if anything was bio[logy] related or just funny, I would cut it out. I always enjoy the comic ‘Pearls Before Swine,’ especially the zebra and the crocodile.” -Dara Alleyne-Levy

    Photo by Era Goel

  • “After my second year of teaching, I had the opportunity to go to Japan in a program with a partner school. I got to see a lot of their classes and interact with their students, and my students collaborated on a project with theirs. In Hiroshima, I was with the mayor, and they gave us this pretty neat tapestry.” -Dara Alleyne-Levy

    Photo by Era Goel

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