Photo Gallery

Igniting and Enhancing Class Discussions Symposium Photo Gallery

View photos from this April 2024 event

On Saturday, April 27, 2024, the School of Education’s Teachers as Learners program hosted a dynamic and enriching one-day event at the UC Davis International Center. The event featured workshops led by seasoned experts, including regional educators and UC Davis faculty, designed to enhance secondary educators’ ability to foster engaging, equitable, and thought-provoking conversations among their students and to empower participants with tools and strategies to elevate class discussions, such as practical and conceptual insights, real-world examples, and interactive activities.

The schedule included an opening presentation framing the symposium and three break-out workshops.

Teacher Partners Presenter Bios

Michael Hutchings is an English teacher at Franklin High School, Elk Grove, California, where he teaches English 12 and English 9 Honors. He also serves as a teacher mentor for Elk Grove Educators pursuing the clearance of credential in English Language Arts with the California Induction Program.

Mariah Houston has been teaching English at Monterey Trail High School for the past 7 years. She currently teaches English 10 Honors and English 12 and works as a teacher mentor in the Elk Grove Unified School District’s Induction Program. 

Bianca Goodson has been teaching for 5 years at Smedberg Middle School where she is also the Athletic Director. Additionally, she has been the Black Student Union (BSU) advisor for 3 years, and received Sacramento’s Black Youth Leadership Project (BYLP) Teacher of the Year Award for 2023.

Xeng Xiong has been teaching high school English for 10 years. She taught college preparatory English, ERWC, and AVID in Lodi Unified School District for 7 years before moving to Roseville Joint Unified High School District where she currently teaches college preparatory English and English Language Development.

Samantha Pupo (nee Camblin) has been teaching for 8 years in Northern California schools (6 years at Dixon High School and 2 at Clayton Valley Charter High School). In her time as an educator, she has taken on numerous leadership roles, all relating to guiding fellow teachers toward integrating equitable practices into their classrooms with a general tendency to focus on English learners.

Taylor Ferdinandsen has been teaching at Vacaville High School for six years, where she is the English department chair and ELD Coordinator. She teaches English 11 and English Language Development and serves as a teacher mentor to pre-service teachers for the UC Davis School of Education.

About the Teachers as Learners Project

Facilitating meaningful, equitable ELA class discussions for culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse adolescents is challenging. As a collective of UC Davis faculty, researchers, and UC Davis Credential/MA program alumni, we have worked for 5+ years to design and study classroom practices to address this challenge. In addition to a diverse team of researchers, central to the project are the alumni, our Teacher Partners, now regional educators, whose perspectives have been vital to developing concepts and practices that are research and inquiry-informed, and field-tested. The Teacher Partners have presented guest workshops for the next cohorts of teacher candidates at UCD and have developed additional workshops for presentations in California. Our project has been funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Science Initiative–Understanding Teacher Change and Teachers as Learners (Steven Athanases, PI — Grant 220020519).

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