Celebrate Teaching!

A county-wide initiative sparks interest in northern California's Tehama County.

April 22, 2019 |
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Rosio Zamora Marin, Lee Shilts, and Austin Shilts present educational perspectives at Expect More Tehama's Celebrate Teaching event.

Ann Schulte, Ph.D. is Graduate Coordinator, School of Education, and Faculty Fellow for Rural Partnerships at California State University, Chico. Ann is also a Rural Schools Collaborative Advocate and along with North State Together's Kevin O'Rorke, Ph.D. serves as our Northern California Hub contact. Ann is a frequent contributor to the RSC website, and we appreciate this good story on North State Together partner, Expect More Tehama.

By Ann Schulte

We introduced you to Expect More Tehama (EMT) back in January. Their mission is, in part, to transform Tehama County by championing higher expectations for higher education and career readiness. That mission combined with an estimated 30% of the teachers are expected to retire between 2014 and 2024 led to the organization of a Celebrate Teaching day for area youth.

“Celebrate Teaching is about introducing interested high school students to a possible career in education,” said Kathy Garcia, EMT coordinator. “With the teacher shortage, we want to show students what’s it’s like to be a teacher in Tehama County; what it takes to become one. We also hope to encourage more diversity, so many of the speakers represent Latinx teachers, student teachers and administrators.”

Because EMT believes in the community, the movement uses collaboration, convening, and connections as means through which the movement works to apply change.

More than 40 students from three local high schools attended. They collaborated with each other to determine their strengths and learn about the qualities needed to be a teacher. The event offered three panels with featured educators. The first panel consisted of local educators: one who is a student teacher, an early career teacher, and a principal who had been in the profession for 30 years. The second panel was a series of teachers whose relationships created a chain of mentorship through the generations. Lee, the veteran teacher of the group had taught Jared in a future teachers class when he was a senior in high school. Jared became a teacher, and is now a superintendent.

Jared taught world geography to Rosio, who is now a bilingual kindergarten teacher in the area. Lee’s son Austin, a current student teacher, also joined the panel. Together they discussed the importance of mentorship and having role models in the profession.

Several teaching residents in Chico State's RiSE program with connections to Tehama County also participated, including Mayra Moreno.

Rachelle Sousa, credential analyst for the School of Education and Tehama County native, said this, “Giving the junior and seniors resources on what steps to take is planting the seed that they can make it happen but they need to do the research. I would love to see the students from the Tehama County area get their teaching credential and come back to the community. I think this speaks volumes to showing future students they can go off to college and come back to the town they grew up in.”

For more information please read this article from the Red Bluff Daily News.

Also, you will enjoy reading Understanding Place, which features a series of reflections from northern California rural teachers and future teachers with the RiSE Program.

Learn more about other efforts to promote rural teaching from across the nation. Also, discover why RSC is so committed to the Rural Teacher Corps concept.

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