As the Director of the Equity Alliance at ASU, JoEtta designs and delivers individualized, comprehensive, and systemic support for school districts in the form of leadership training, collaboration, coaching and capacity building. With a blend of humor, sensitivity, and professional insight, she uses her passion and first-hand experience to help individuals develop and use an equity lens for decision-making related to student achievement. A talented speaker and workshop leader, she has worked with school systems across the United States in addressing issues of equity.
Dear School District,
Sending my daughter off to school for the first time will be a bittersweet experience. I should be good at this by now, right? I’ve seen her off to kindergarten, middle school, high school – heck, I’ve even had the opportunity to walk her to her first class when she started her studies at the university. Each time she started school she came home more intelligent, spirited, and slightly saucier.
And yet, sending her off to work in your district as a teacher leaves me compelled to share a few things with you. I want you to know who she is and understand the kind of teacher she wants to be.
Taucia Gonzalez is a student at Arizona State University pursing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Special Education. Prior to becoming a full time graduate student, she taught in a culturally rich school community that promoted and supported bilingualism and biliteracy. Her research interests focus on the intersections of culture, language, and disability within an urban context; with particular interest in how ideologies create and control spaces.
My daughter Camila is back at school after a two week break. Last night while I was making dinner, I noticed her engrossed in homework, and she even seemed to be smiling. In order to understand why this struck me as suspicious you need to understand our history with homework. For the past year, I have become very hands-off with it. Yes, I know. This is an appalling thing for an educator to say, but you need to understand that homework was destroying my relationship with my daughter.
I used to think, a thirty minute homework assignment? Piece of cake! After all, when I taught, I had teenage boys reading poetry like kittens lapping milk out of the palm of my hand. I could handle my nine-year old and her reading homework.
Everything would start off picture-perfect. Camila would sit at the dining room table armed with her unzipped Eastpack, library books with shiny plastic covers, yellow Ticonderogas with their pointy graphite and clean pink erasers poised for action, and a black and white composition book open and waiting for her tiny hands…but things would quickly turn sour. The dining room table, with all of its shiny homework tools, would become a war zone. Read more