A creative inspirational teacher . . . immediately captivates each student. His well-thoughtout rituals and routines demands and gets each student’s best. He has carefully developed an expanded approach to the writing process that brilliantly has the student willingly return to the original draft many times with a well-defined goal. This results in students writing of any genre far above grade-level standards . . . . Students crave reader’s workshop, a cooperative multilevel-designed strategy . . . These methods can be adapted to any subject. —Janet Simon, teacher and writer of Gardner Elementary Mr. Opinaldo continues to train and model for school educators not only educational strategies but also class management strategies. Any educator who reads this book and puts it into practice . . . will learn how to and the reasons behind why the actions are necessary. —Jane Urbina, principal of Ann Street School I am thankful for your support and looking forward to emulating you, as one of my mentors, in my retirement. —Robert Cordova Jr., principal of Harmony Elementary . . . has a gift for educating adult and child scholars in amusing ways . . . enthusiasm is motivating and uplifting his peers. I have used RW for four years and have found that my students have thoroughly enjoyed their reading assignments. Personally, his strategies have given a clearer vision on education: that there is a strong correlation between reading and academic success has never resonated so profoundly to me. —Enrique Vargas, teacher, Harmony Elementary . . . a generous source of inspiration and pedagogical knowledge . . . . Ability to initiate transformation within the individual teacher and classroom by cultivating the critical practice of self-reflection and developing an innate respect for learning . . . as my mentor, I have truly been able to become a successful educator to students of all backgrounds. —Anita Maxon, English Learner coordinator, Harmony Elementary Routines and rituals were not imbedded at one table in a class of twenty-seven students. I walked over and told two students exactly what they were doing, thinking, and planning. Amazed that I could be so present and aware of everything they were doing and thinking, their mouths flew open in astonishment. An observer at that table, Jasmine Mei, said with eyes beaming, “You are awesome!” I responded, “I am here to make you awesome too. – Orinio Opinaldo Learned when people are united and form a community, anything can be accomplished . . . living in apathy prevents us from standing for our rights. A community working together with beliefs in their united strategies, positive thinking, and courage can change the world. I have learned so much from Mr. Opinaldo that my life will never be the same. —Blanca Medrano, parent, Ann Street School
Orinio Gregorio Opinaldo was born in Los Angeles and attended St.Agnes Elementary and High School of which he is still an active member of that community in fi nances, social justice and liturgy. He has been a teacher for fortyfour years for LAUSD and has taught all elementary grades and served as resource teacher in art, drama, math, writing and reading. He was chosen as outstanding teacher from the Mayor’s Offi ce when he taught at Fifty-Second Street Elementary (1964-1989), nominated for the Disney teacher award when he taught at Forty- Ninth Street Elementary (1989-2004) and selected as the 2008 Hero for Harmony Elementary School from LAUSD Board of Education. (2005-2008) After twenty years of teaching, he went to India to refl ect on his fi rst twenty years as a teacher and to plan for his next twenty during all of the 1983-84 school year. During the next twenty years, he spent six months in Botswana where he traveled to South Africa and Zimbabwe. After retiring, he set plans on what his next twenty years would be like in service to children and community. He is the patriarch of twenty-three members of his family of which eleven live with him. He has sixteen grandchildren, eight girls and eight boys and a long history of wonderful friends scattered throughout the world. His greatest asset is his openness as a life learner. He embraces new experiences and is always studying, reading and listening but mostly observing the nuances of his own mind so that he can grow toward total freedom as a vegan and a humanitarian.