“The number one reason I am a Teacher Leader with the project is because of its community.”

April 25, 2023

Artemisa Perucho-Green is an accomplished National Board Certified Teacher, whose current assignment at Valley Elementary in the Poway Unified School District is with fourth graders in a dual language strand. In her seventeen years of teaching, Artemisa has taught first, second, and fourth grade students.
Artemisa is a part of the CRLP because of the community it cultivates. “The number one reason I am a Teacher Leader with the project is because of its community. Knowing there are other teachers out there as passionate and excited about teaching and learning from one another, and helping their students thrive, keeps me motivated and committed to my purpose as an educator.” Artemisa understands the challenge of staying positive about teaching, especially after the effects of the pandemic, and the overtone of teaching it produced. “There’s been a lot of toxicity around teaching, especially since the pandemic started, and it still permeates. But knowing there are still teachers [in the CRLP] who are actively passionate about teaching leaves me happy and excited about the profession!” The CRLP’s year long book club on Elena Aguilar’s Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators (Jossey-Bass, 2018) helped her to understand the importance of taking time for herself and to realize there are a lot of things that connect us to each other’s shared humanity. CRLP’s book club solidified the necessity to be in community and because of it she has acquired the tools to build her resilience and stay grounded and centered in the profession.
There is also the learning aspect of being part of the CRLP that Artemisa highly values. “I’m developing as a professional through the CRLP and keeping current with the latest research and practices. The project’s invitationals are where we can learn a slice of something that is directly applicable to the classroom. I can bring what I learn immediately to my students and positively affect their achievement.” Artemisa and her students have benefited from several of the CRLP’s signature programs. The Results academy, foundational skills for teaching word recognition and fluency, and the SEBT institute, Spanish-English Biliteracy Transfer, have helped her deepen her content and pedagogical knowledge.
With involvement in the CRLP, teacher leaders like Artemisa also receive the benefit of the project’s partnerships. Only through CRLP did Artemisa learn about the California Global Education Project’s (another Subject Matter Project) Global Book Bags program, elementary Computer Science with English Learners (out of the Coding Our Future grant), and #USvsHate. Coding our Future and USvsHate are both initiatives based in the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, & Teaching Excellence (CREATE), UC San Diego’s hub for teachers’ professional learning and outreach efforts, with a focus on serving historically marginalizedbstudents. CRLP is one of the California Subject Matter Projects housed at CREATE, alongside the San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP), California Math Project at UC San Diego, and the San Diego Science Project (SDSP).
Of all the partnerships and signature programs she has participated in through CRLP, the one that was significantly important to her and changed her teaching was the USvsHate pilot. “It helped me address and tackle social justice issues with my students. Without the proper tools, it can be scary. There are more people these days than before that are pushing back.” With USvsHate she had no hesitation to jump into the work in the classroom. It gave her confidence and she felt comfortable addressing these themes with her students. Her students took the lead on the conversational pieces of it. And she realized that through the lessons from USvs.Hate, “My students were totally ready to have these conversations. They had a lot to say and talk about with their peers. ” (see Artemisa’s class’ winning message here and the UC San Diego Today’s article with Artemisa’s take here).

You can learn a little more about Artemisa and how and her colleague, Marisa Plascencia-Contreras, another CRLP Teacher Leader, share their excitement about doing #USvsHate with their students in her Us vs. Hate Teacher Story.

You can also find Artemisa on Twitter at @SraPerucho.

Click on these names if you would like to learn more about the SEBT, Results, Global Book Bags, CREATE’s Computer Science with English Learners, and USvsHate lessons & skills Artemisa mentioned in her vignette.

Keywords: teachers as learners, teachers as leaders, community, resilience, social justice, foundational reading skills, literacy, multilingual learners, leadership, equity