Brief statement of problem: Texas State University, as an institution that graduates a substantial number of the teachers in the state of Texas, has a responsibility to have program content that is relevant to the population of Texas. This being said, Texas has an enormous need for bilingual teachers, teachers who are culturally competent and able to communicate in an authentic way that reaches the parents. I do not need to point out that this population of students have the highest attrition rate in the south. These students and families have special needs that can be met by the school, but only with support from the University level to the local school district to the parents in the neighborhood schools.
Casa Xelaju in Quetzaltenango Guatemala and Kukulcan in Cuernavaca Mexico could be utilized as sister schools to provide in depth training for those teachers who wish to work in these neighborhood schools, but who lack the opportunity for specialized training at the University level. We currently have the ability (and in my opinion the responsibility) to move forward with formalizing a bilingual-bicultural program for masters degree and doctoral seeking students in the college of education. Dr. John Beck agreed with this sentiment and I would like to pursue this with the current Dean of the College Dr. Barrera.
Texas State currently has a well documented and published action research program under the leadership of Dr. Davis. There is no reason why the University could not sponsor a program that allowed for these students to work during 3 summers with the students in Guatemala and Mexico for 4 to 6 weeks each time (for a total of 100 to 150 contact hours) and earn course credit for it. I would LOVE (in fact it is the reason for my return to the University) to head up this program with the help of Dr. Waite and possibly Dr. Brooks and the sanction of Dr. Barrera. I would like to develop this program further and present it to the accrediting agency for inclusion in the College degree offerings starting in 2012.
Commitment: I commit to developing a solid teacher exchange relationship between student teachers at Texas State University-San Marcos and master teachers at Casa Xelaju in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Commitment Goals: I plan to negotiate a reciprocal exchange program for the pre-service teachers of the State of Texas with master teachers in Guatemala to develop culturally responsive public schools.
I have already developed a pilot program to begin implementation in 2010 through a partnership between Texas State University-San Marcos and the College of Education and the teachers of Casa Xelaju.
How Meet Goals: As a Development Coordinator for a charter school, I have successfully employed many strategies for fund raising over $100, 000. I feel certain that with the proper connections with organizations and agencies such as Unicef and Unesco, we will well on our way to formalizing the program.
I currently manage a community organization and cultural center in Austin, Texas called Ruta Maya. We currently host medium to large scale events to raise awareness on a number of issues relating to the needs of the indigenous peoples of Central America as well as the needs of local central Texas citizens.
Through these efforts I plan to raise awareness of and support for the education of the indigenous peoples of the Guatemalan highlands while simultaneously providing opportunities for pre-service teachers from the U.S. to develop a deeper understanding of Latino culture and the needs of their students.
For more information about how you can make a call to action, visit www.cgiu.org
Evidence of the Portfolio Planning Matrix criteria found here for:
Facilitate the change process
Facilitate professional growth for others
Facilitate human resource and professional development for learners in occupational, professional and volunteer roles
Plan and develop learning program responsive to human professional and community settings
Facilitate school improvement efforts