Opinion
Teaching Profession Opinion

Equity and Excellence Entering Education

By AAEE — February 10, 2015 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I have been in education for a long time and as my calling and career, I have had the honor of serving as a Teacher, Math Specialist, Assistant Principal, Principal Consultant for the Colorado Department of Education, Principal and now a Human Resources Director. I have always worked in urban school districts with a large minority population. As a Mexican-American woman I have always believed that education is the key to ensuring Equity and Excellence for all students. As you enter the field of education you should know the following:

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, schools are becoming more racially and economically diverse. Public schools are now more likely to have Black and Brown students enrolled as the majority of the population instead of the minority.

As a nation we are going to have to learn to discuss race in a constructive manner. Whether as a White or a person of color the achievement or opportunity gap is real and we cannot address it without discussing how race impacts the experiences of students in our schools. The future of our country depends on our ability to educate Black and Brown students. We must all engage in conversations about race and the impact on achievement and the educational experience of our students.

The only constant in education is change. In order to be successful in education you will need to model what you expect from your students-Learning. Our public school systems face a variety of challenges: declining budgets, an achievement/opportunity gap for students of color, increased public scrutiny and public policy that impacts the day to day operations of teaching and learning. The education career is not for the faint of heart and it is not for you if you don’t have or develop grit and perseverance.

To be successful with students of color we must as educators: believe that all students can achieve; learn about our students as individuals and all of the strengths they bring to the classroom; adapt our classrooms and schools to meet the needs of our students instead of expecting our students to fit into the our schooling experiences; expect more from our students so that they are able to think critically at a very early age; and most importantly continue to adapt our practices.

All educators must be teachers of reading and writing and English Learners. As a former high school principal I know that typically a science teacher is expected to be a master of their content area. While this is still important ALL teachers must be able to make sure students are literate in scientific reading and writing and critical thinking. Whatever you teach you must also be able to incorporate reading and writing and your content area. School districts continue to struggle to fill the need for high quality candidates in the following categories: Special Education, English Language Development, Math, Science, and Speech Pathologists. It is a great idea for any teacher to have a strong literacy, Special Education and English Language Development background.

Education is a calling and a tremendous responsibility. As we become more diverse we must improve our ability to educate ALL of our students. In order to adapt to our constantly changing world we must continue to adapt our teaching practices while engaging in a process of continuous learning. This profession is meant for the glass half full people who truly believe in every student and are committed to doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of students. We must commit to better prepare students for postsecondary education by meeting students’ needs and not expecting students to conform to our notion of a classroom or our educational experiences. We must support ALL students by entering the education field with a strong understanding of Special Education, English Language Development, and literacy across the content areas.

Marisol Enriquez, Ph.D.

Human Resources Director

Adams County School District 14

Commerce City, Colorado

The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read
Teaching Profession With Vaccine Mandates on the Rise, Some Teachers May Face Discipline
With a vaccine now fully FDA-approved, more states and districts will likely require school staff get vaccinated. The logistics are tricky.
9 min read
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state in Hayward, Calif., on Feb. 19, 2021. California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward, Calif. California is among those states requiring all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Terry Chea/AP
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Why This Science Teacher Doesn't Want the COVID Vaccine
Contrary to public health guidance, Davis Eidahl, an Iowa high school teacher, has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Rachel Mummey for Education Week