California Educator

February/March 2020

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understanding how schools, stu- dents and education have evolved. "It's important for people to see how things have improved in our schools," says Parlato, who taught PE at Fortuna High School before retiring in 2014. "A lot of people have worked very hard to get where we are today. e teachers union has certainly helped." Today 's students love visiting the old schoolhouse, says Parlato, who enjoys dressing the part in an outfit she sewed herself. "ey are amazed at how things used to be, and they enjoy sitting in the old desk. ey can't believe that schools functioned without technology, students wrote in cursive, and all grade levels sat and learned together." Zana says senior citizens also love the tours, and sometimes experience nostalgia. Often, they will remem- ber how well-behaved students were in the past. "They had to be good — or else," laughs Zana, who taught at Scotia Elementary School before her retire- ment in 2010. "Usually there were at least two or three siblings in the school, so besides getting in trouble from the teacher they knew their parents would hear about it from their brother or sister." Zana hopes that new retired teachers will continue to be interested in this worthwhile project to preserve the past and teach others how schooling has evolved. "It is an extremely rewarding and a wonderful way to stay involved in education after retiring." Continued from "Peek Into the Past," page 49 The Little Red Schoolhouse in an earlier era, along with rules of conduct for teachers. school districts, and Riverside Community College District. Partic- ipating educators include RCCDFA members Kathryn Stevenson, Melanie James, Valerie Zapata, Emma Pacheco, D'Angelo Bridges, Angela Le Blanc, Lisa Ramapuram and Joe Osborne, and VV TA members Juan Sepulveda and Martha Borjon-Kubota. Nearly 2,000 students are expected to participate. "The purpose is to provide culturally responsive and sustain- ing research opportunities with students from middle school, high school and college," Escobar says. "Students will have the opportunity to learn more about their narrators (interviewees), go through steps of oral history methodology, and share their finished narrative." Lead team members will select a theme to unite the foci of the oral histories across the three partner districts. One instructor is focusing on commuters, another on people who b r e a k b a r r i e r s , a n d a n o t h e r project involves students inter - viewing LGBTQ+ educators. As with other research methods, oral history methodology requires that students be responsible for their learning. Conducting this oral histor y project will require and strengthen skills in writing, reading, listening and speaking, and critical thinking. Final projects can be realized a s e ss ay s , pl ay s , p o em s , ph o to essays or other formats. In this way, the proposal encourages stu- dent creativity while also building students' awareness about writing within a given genre and medium for a particular purpose and audi- ence. In thi s case, students are encouraged to employ activism in their projects, giving students a voice to take positive action for social justice, equity and accep- tance in their communities. e grant proposal includes professional learning workshops led by CTA members from the three districts plus invited guests — for example, a speaker from Studio for Southern California History. Students will share their projects at two community events in the spring, which the public is invited to attend. Find more about the project at All CTA members are eligible to apply for IFT grants. This is the second time Escobar submitted a grant. "e good thing is they provide feedback, so I listened to what they said, talked to colleagues, and reapplied." " The purpose [of the oral history project] is to provide culturally responsive and sustaining research opportunities with students from middle school, high school and college." — Jennifer Escobar, Riverside CCD Faculty Association 51 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 2 0

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