Thursday, May 30, 2024

UTSA gives spring graduate Ayleen González the essentials of teaching

UTSA gives spring graduate Ayleen González the essentials of teaching

MAY 6, 2024 — Ayleen González’s childhood dream was to be an educator — like her mom, who served as a source of inspiration for her journey into teaching.

“As a little girl, my mom always inspired me to be an educator and to continue helping other students,” González said. Her mother, Ariana, is a teacher at Vineyard Ranch Elementary in the North East Independent School District.

Combine that inspiration with González’s strong attachment to San Antonio, a desire to remain close to her family and her recognition of UTSA’s reputation for preparing educators of the highest standard and González was on the inevitable path to become a Roadrunner.

She will graduate this spring from the UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) with her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies EC-6, with a Bilingual Education Supplemental Certification.

“I am excited to move on to the next chapter of my life, and to have the independence of being in my own classroom.”

Last August, González began her clinical teaching residency at the Irving Dual Language Academy in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) as a third-grade bilingual teacher. She has since accepted a full-time teaching position at the academy.

As she begins the next phase in her teaching journey, González credits UTSA for impacting her future education and career choices. She is especially grateful for the role that the university’s residency program played in preparing her to become a teacher.

“I had a mentor teacher from the beginning of the year who I was able to go to for professional development,” González said. “My mentor guided me through setting up the classroom and setting expectations from the beginning of the year. This is going to help me as a first-year teacher, because I already have the sense of routine and procedures that I need to implement to have a successful year.”

UTSA’s coursework also prepared González for current classroom practices. A crucial part of becoming a teacher involves passing the certification tests. UTSA provided the support González needed to earn her teaching certifications while pursuing her degree.

Key to González’s preparation was COEHD’s Signature Residency Model, which provides cohorts of teaching candidates more opportunities to teach, learn and interact with students, fellow teachers and administrators. The goal is to ensure these future teachers are ready to lead their own classrooms come the first day of school.  

“Along with the degree I have, as a bilingual educator, I had five certification tests,” González explained. “UTSA offers practice exams and study sessions for us to get that degree. The Academy of Teacher Excellence (ATE) and the workshops provided by UTSA have supported and prepared me for the challenges and requirements needed to be an educator.”

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González recently had the opportunity to speak about the clinical residency program with members of Texas Strategic Staffing, which works to develop high-quality teacher residencies for the schools within Region 13 of the state’s Education Service Center. The panel wanted to learn more about the program from González, in hopes of introducing similar initiatives in their own districts or universities.

González is considering a master’s degree in the future, but right now she’s looking forward to continuing at Irving Dual Language Academy and having the opportunity to lead in the classroom.  

“I am excited to move on to the next chapter of my life,” she said, “and to have the independence of being in my own classroom.”

— Katelyn Juarez

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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