California Educator

June/July 2022

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"I wanted to get as much assistance as I can for the first couple years of teaching and have a strong group of people I can have a connection with." —Ayo Adedeji, Student CTA and resident teacher Hom says being a mentor teacher keeps him fresh and young, inspiring him to push harder. "It makes me a better educator," he says. "Having a student teacher helps me to dream as well." SFUTR is unique statewide due to the collaboration with UESF, which is an equal partner with the district and Stanford invested in the program's success. Jaramillo-Woo says that prior to a $150 million grant from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the district had to apply for grants with UESF helping with grant-writing and other sup- port. A SFUTR working group with representatives from both SFUSD and UESF meets once a month to discuss and guide the program. With teacher layos potentially next year and rst-year teach- ers bearing the brunt of impacts, SFUTR worked with UESF on how best to support their residency graduates, with UESF hold- ing workshops to inform them about the layo process. "at's where having the partnership with the union was very inuential for our members to feel supported and connected," Jaramillo-Woo says. Former resident and current eighth grade Spanish language arts teacher Sara Mokhtari Fox says the union's involvement in new teacher programs is especially helpful. Resident Ayo Adedeji with mentor Maria Sanchez. "It really is comforting and builds security in your new career when you know who to go to for support," she says. LOOKING THROUGH AN EQUITY LENS When Mokhtari Fox was researching teacher credential pro- grams, she wanted to nd something that would get her into the classroom quickly. With a stipend that would help with liv- ing costs and a one-year intensive program rooted in real-world work in the classroom, a teacher residency program was the choice for her. "SFUTR formulated and solidified my approach to being a classroom teacher and installed an equity lens in how I look at my students, their families and my co-workers," says Mokhtari Fox, a UESF member. "In this program, I was taught to see who needs the most support and how to give them more of my time. Who as a teacher do I focus on to pull up with the rest of the class?" In teacher residency programs, residents engage in experi- ences that deepen their understanding of how race, culture, poverty and other factors impact students' needs and their own perceptions and beliefs. Horsley says it's important to have conversations that challenge each oth er in areas of equity, inclusion, diversity and justice – an opportunity to reflect and grow together as mentors and residents. "How do we embody anti-racist practices while acknowl- edging anti-Blackness and other racist practices still exist?" asks Horsley. Wahleithner says in rural Fresno County, centering equity means that resident teachers ask students as early as tran- sitional kindergarten to share their lived experiences, to determine what they can explore together. "e residents really get to know who their students are and what gets them going," says Wahleithner, who taught resident teachers in Sanger. I n S a n Fr a n c i s c o , t h i s w o r k i n c l u d e s t r a i n i n g a n d 24 Feature

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