Associate Professor of Education Cleveland Hayes highlighted local Latino educators who are making their mark on public school education in his “We Teach Too: What Can We Learn from Marco and Arturo,” presentation Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room.
Hayes conducted the study on Latino educators to combat the discussions of failure among Latinos and stereotypes that they do not care about education.
He said he also wanted to highlight the stories of Latino educators because he felt their stories were mostly untold.
“There’s a lot about Latino students but very little about the teachers who teach them, especially the Latino teachers,” Hayes said.
Hayes shared the stories of Pomona educators Marco Sanchez and Arturo Molina, and explained why their teaching styles are helping make a difference in the lives of their students.
“Teaching is a ‘how to think’ process and not a ‘how to’ process,” Hayes said.
Sanchez was a first-generation student from South Los Angeles.
His mother had a third grade education and his father a sixth grade education. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cal Poly Pomona and doctorate from the University of Southern California.
He taught math at Village Academy High School in Pomona and is now the school’s principal.
Molina was also a first-generation student from Pomona.
He was the only one of his siblings to graduate from high school.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the UC Riverside and his master’s degree and teaching credential from La Verne.
He is currently a social studies teacher at his alma mater, Pomona High School.
Sanchez and Molina incorporate non-instructional strategies like equity, empathy, cultural capital and activism in their teaching and are warm demanders, meaning they have high expectations of their students and hold them up to those standards.
“They have the ability to empower their students,” Hayes said.
He said that is how most students feel about Sanchez and Molina.
Senior accounting major Sherlock Dal shared his personal experience with a former teacher he considers to be a warm demander.
“He expected more from us and I’m thankful for that,” Dal said. “They expect you to give more than what you’re giving.”
Hayes then discussed his views on standardized testing and how it negatively affects students, as it takes their creativity and “intellectual wealth” away.
Hayes said standardized testing acts as a gatekeeper for most students, keeping opportunities away from them.
Sahar Shahidi, senior kinesiology major, expressed how she agrees with Hayes and voiced how she feels the same way. Shahidi also suggested that something should be changed.
“We’ve known for so many years that it doesn’t work, but we’re still doing it,” Shahidi said. Hayes is hoping to publish his study in the journal Urban Education in the future.
Kaila Williams can be reached at email@example.com.