In this powerful essay, Juan F. Carrillo, a teacher educator in Austin, Texas, reflects on an encounter with a first-year Latina teacher, Christina, who has decided to leave the profession. Despite successfully learning and applying critical pedagogy, Christina finds herself isolated and frustrated, stuck between a societal push for standardized success and her own desire to nurture transformation among her students. In listening to Christina’s experiences, Carrillo grapples with his own responsibilities as a teacher educator.
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Juan F. Carrillo
is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education. He is finalizing his studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where he specializes in cultural studies in education. His work draws from his experiences growing up in the south Los Angeles barrios of Compton and Lynwood, California. Additionally, much of his research is informed by his teaching and administrative experience at urban low-income schools and his work with pre-service teachers at UT Austin and the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. In 2008 Carrillo was awarded a Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for his study on Mexican-origin scholarship boys. His work has appeared in the Journal of Latinos and Education
, Trajectories: The Social and Educational Mobility of Education Scholars from Poor and Working Class Backgrounds
, and the Handbook of Latinos and Education: Theory, Research, and Practice