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Updates
February 2011
Volume 3 - Issue 1

CalStateTEACH Intern Candidate a Finalist for OUSD Teachers of the Year

OUSDOne of CalStateTEACH’s very own intern candidates was a finalist for the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) Teacher of Year Award. As an intern, teaching in a classroom while earning her Multiple Subject credential, Jessica Murphy was selected for this honor.

Jessica Murphy is a first grade teacher at Sequoia Elementary in Oakland. She started her career in the Oakland Unified School District six years ago as an Instructional Assistant at Thornhill Elementary School. She progressed to the role of reading instructor at Sequoia Elementary, then was assigned to teach in a 1st grade classroom in 2006. Ms. Murphy enrolled in the CalStateTEACH credentialing program soon after, learning the art of teaching as an Intern in her classroom.

Principal Kyla Johnson-Trammel says, “Jessica has worked fervently to master the art of differentiation. On any given day, you can observe 3-4 learning stations, with advanced students trained to run learning stations for struggling students. The high level of student autonomous learning allows Jessica to work with small groups—at their specific zone of proximal development—so she can document their learning and then later use that data to modify instruction or activities for learning stations.”

“Jessica is a true self-starter!" Kyla continues. "She frequently debriefs lessons with me to improve her instructional delivery or shares with excitement her successful lessons, always trying to grasp a better understanding of how to close the achievement gap. This year, she has really pushed herself toward developing a comprehensive "room parent" program. While many teachers reluctantly invite parents into their classrooms, Jessica has embraced eager parent volunteers by developing a parent-training program. Through this training program, the student’s parents have learned how to tutor students and facilitate enrichment learning centers—such a Reader's Theater—so Jessica has more time to work with struggling students.”

Jessica’s CalStateTEACH university faculty member notes, “It was always refreshing to observe her as she worked with her students. She possessed such a strong commitment to her students’ successes: I was pleased—but not surprised—that she received this honor”.

Ms. Murphy is more than just an example of the importance of teacher preparation. Her success demonstrates how the art of teaching is supported through excellent preparation and mentoring like that available through the CSU CalStateTEACH program.

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