Future Oregon Teacher, Alice Viles
Alice Viles entered the UOTeach program ready to immerse herself in a year of hands on student teaching in Sue Terry-Vanatta’s classroom at Chavez elementary school. She spent the first half of the school year actively involved in classroom learning and becoming familiar with students and their learning needs. She was on student teaching path to take over the classroom in March when like the rest of the Oregon, she learned neither she nor her students would be returning to school after spring break.
In her own words, Alice shared, “It was a heart-breaking experience for the entire cohort. We were so disappointed. Due to COVID-19, we lost the opportunity to finish out the year. However, UOTeach turned our disappointment into a valuable virtual learning experience. In the transformed practicum we created our own google classrooms and examined access and equity issues in the online learning environment.”
Despite the shutdown, UOTeach continued to provide Alice and the rest of the cohort with opportunities to connect with local district teachers to learn about the challenges of adapting curriculum to student’s needs.
Alice captures how UOTeach adapted an equity and opportunity curriculum to a distance platform: “With the uncertainty of what a K-12 classroom may look like this Fall, we began a virtual practicum brainstorming and practicing how to include, support, and connect with every student no matter what the circumstances. UOTeach continued to provide motivation and inspiration by connecting teacher candidates with local district teachers such as Rachel Hsieh, who spoke with us about the challenges of adapting curriculum to reflect and meet the needs of the diverse students in our future classrooms. I can’t think of a more important time to focus on educational equity issues as we prepare to teach students who will be entering the classroom with the widest range of academic, social, and emotional needs that our schools have seen in a long time.”
Alice is joining the Bethel School District as a first-year 1st grade teacher at Fairfield Elementary School. We look forward to seeing her in the future at alumni events like the annual Teach-In on Equity and Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies.