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.
If you ask my daughter, Camila, about her teacher, she will tell you, “He is the best teacher in the world.” I had heard other kids praise Mr. Bandera as well. Last January I spent two weeks launching a poetry inquiry in their class. The kids were taking turns sharing out something they held in their heart. One boy enthusiastically threw his fist in the air and shouted, “Mr. Bandera because he’s the best teacher ever!” Wow, I looked over at the small statured teacher with the disheveled button up shirt; his tie a little off center, wondering what it was that made him the best teacher ever.
What do kids know about good teaching? Honestly, I had yet to see guided reading groups in his classroom, so I had my own critiques of his teaching. I knew that the school was under a lot of pressure to raise their test scores, so I thought that might be a way for me to convince Mr. Bandera to incorporate guided reading. Maybe there were a few things I could teach him, being that he was a fairly new teacher. Read more