Dr. Travis Bristol, former BTR Clinical Teacher Educator for Secondary English and English and global studies teacher at two New York City public high schools. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE), and his research focuses on the intersection of race and gender in organizations. Travis’s recent work includes consulting for The World Bank in Washington D.C. and Georgetown, Guyana; his projects included developing a male teacher recruitment campaign; surveying teachers, students, and principals to create a strategy to reduce teacher and student absenteeism; providing a needs assessment for the distant teacher training program; and, in line with Travis’s research interest, designing a curriculum for teachers on engaging boys in the classroom. He holds a BA in English from Amherst College and an MA in the Teaching of English from Stanford University. Travis is a product of the New York City public school system.
Inspiration to teach:
I am unapologetic in my belief that a “quality” education allows the economically disenfranchised to become socially mobile. I am inspired to teach because I have experienced, personally, the consequences of educational malpractice as a student in New York City public schools. At the same time, however, there were a few teachers such as Sarah Gopen and Elayne Shapiro, my 7th and 11th grade E/la teachers, who got me excited about learning: I still hear Ms. Shapiro shouting “STELLA” as we read A Streetcar Named Desire. I continue to teach because I know that all students can learn if we, teachers, create the conditions for learning; I feel deeply the moral imperative to create such conditions.
About my students:
Over the past eight years, I’ve worked with learners in various settings from teenagers in small public high schools and correctional facilities, to adults in international professional development sessions, and recent undergrads and career changers in BTR. The one constant has been that learning happened most when I abdicated responsibility for being the only teacher in the room and created a space where I could be in a community of teachers.
Happily, BTR reminds me a lot of my own teacher preparation program – STEP (Stanford Teacher Education Program). First, here at BTR, I do believe that there is a sincere commitment to prepare our residents to teach for social justice. Also, all of my fellow CTEs have a deep theoretical and practical understanding of teaching and learning.
Favorite Thing in the World To Do:
I love to travel!
To whom much is given, much is required.
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This piece was posted originally on the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign’s Blog: Opp2Learn, where Travis was invited to be a guest author. Please click here to see more on the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign.
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This post is the first in a new series on Teaching Boys.
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