September 30, 2015

Teachers Talk Back: Lucia Huerta

Lucia Huerta is in her fourteenth year of teaching in Los Angeles Unified School District and is currently teaching fourth grade at George De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington, Calif.

In this conversation with E4E-Los Angeles Outreach Director Claire Blide, Lucia shares her experience on the 2015 E4E-Los Angeles Teacher Policy Team on Common Core Implementation.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Claire Blide (CB): Why did you become a teacher?

Lucia Huerta (LH): I became a teacher after starting as a teacher’s assistant (TA). I was inspired by the teachers that I was working with, and wanted to be a leader within my community. I also wanted to be a role model for my son.

CB: What made you decide to join the Teacher Policy Team on Common Core implementation?

LH: I decided to join this Teacher Policy Team because I felt that it was important for all stakeholders to be aligned around the importance of Common Core and its implementation. As a teacher, UTLA Chapter Parent Action Liaison, and a PTA representative, I thought it was an opportunity that should not be ignored. Common Core implementation needs to include the perspective of multiple stakeholders so that it includes what’s best for all students, teachers, parents and community members.

CB: What was your favorite part of the process?

LH: Being on the team gave me the opportunity to meet with many teachers that had the same passions as me. They helped me feel more confident in my leadership skills as we worked to find ways to make CCSS implementation stronger. We created recommendations that include partnerships between all stakeholders to improve student success and support for teachers. I also enjoyed the pleasant and professional environment provided by E4E.

CB: What did you learn through the Teacher Policy Team process?

LH: The Teacher Policy Team process has shown me the many, complex steps needed in order for a policy to truly play its role. Through this process we have had to identify and narrow down our purpose, show the importance of our recommendations, and build a movement behind them to make sure that our recommendations can come alive and be implemented by various stakeholders. It took a lot of hard work and commitment, but it was all worth it.

CB: How will your recommendations positively impact students?

LH: I wrote a union recommendation in which we advise utilizing UTLA Chapter Parent Action Liaisons as parent facilitators that will educate parents about the purpose of Common Core and the background of Common Core through workshops based on targeted needs at individual schools. From polling, we learned that parents clearly want more information about the standards and our workshops will do just that. Ultimately, we believe this recommendation benefits teachers, parents and students because it will ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page.