Teacher of the Year testimony

I’Asha Warfield was named one of two Teachers of the Year for Alameda County California, encompassing 23 districts serving over 200,000 students, 40% of them low-income.

She is an English teacher at Frick Middle School in Oakland Unified. She worked with us as a member of the school’s Partnerships for Learning inquiry team, and attended our Coaching for Equity Institute this year.

I asked her how the National Equity Project coaching had helped her: 

Dear Chris,
I learned so much from the Coaching for Equity Institute. It helped me to rekindle why I became a teacher in the first place. Somewhere along the way I lost a bit of the passion I once had. While I grew in the science and practice of teaching, I misplaced my reason for being involved in the work. Viewing education through the lens of equity reminded me of how incredibly important this work is. There are social, economic and cultural consequences for the work we do and the structures we too often maintain (or re-establish).

It’s been challenging coaching this year. My role has shifted as I work with teachers to create more equitable classrooms. That’s tough. What keeps me believing that the work I’m doing as a coach is important is what I learned at the CFE institute. Since the institute, I continue to return to this resolve: my role in education is to “disrupt predictable outcomes.” As a coach, I can cause these disruptions to occur at my school. I remind myself of this charge when I feel myself growing complacent and find it easier to maintain business as usual without conflict or discomfort.

I look forward to more of your institutes. I definitely need a refresher.

Here is a short video of I’Asha talking about the award: https://vimeo.com/50647972

This entry was posted in Coaching, Equity Pedagogy, Leadership, Learning Partnerships, school coaching, school improvement, student engagement. Bookmark the permalink.

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