Andrea Terrero Gabbadon who joined PEDC in 2021 and is a Visiting Professor at Swarthmore College, and the Founder and Executive Director of ILM Consulting Group.
PEDC’s mission is to increase the diversity of the educator workforce & create a culturally relevant and sustaining education system here in PA. How do you push this work forward in your personal and/or professional capacity?
Have you worked on any projects or initiatives that positively impact the recruiting, mentoring, retaining, or promoting the well-being of BIPOC teachers? If so, how?
I seek to advance culturally relevant and sustaining education and educator diversity in two capacities: my work as a teacher educator and through consulting. As a teacher educator, I bring attention to the ethnic-racial mismatch between the educator workforce and the students we serve. In addition to infusing culturally responsive pedagogies in my teaching, I explicitly equip my students with opportunities to practice these approaches. In my classes, we also spend time exploring the historical context of teaching, centering subversive pedagogies implemented by Black educators and other educators of color to dismantle Eurocentric and patriarchal practices. By centering people of color, I aim to inspire all aspiring students (especially students of color) to see activism as part of our work. In my consulting work, I infuse culturally relevant and sustaining principles into professional development and instructional coaching.
TI am also passionate about the intersection of personal well-being, instructional support, and retention among Black teachers and other teachers of color. I have a forthcoming book geared toward school leaders in publication with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) on how to develop school systems and instructional leadership practices that support and retain teachers of color. It’s set to release Summer 2023. Stay tuned!
Why are you passionate about increasing educator diversity?
I am passionate about educator diversity for a multitude of reasons! Much of my interest comes from my own experiences as an educator. Many times I was one of few teachers of color and most often, the only Latina. Being the one and only or the one of few often lent itself to experiences that I didn’t have the language to describe until much later. Also, as a former urban school leader, I saw firsthand the positive effects that educators of color had on students of color. Becoming a parent has also shaped my thinking about the urgency of increasing educator diversity. Over 50% of students enrolled in American public schools are children of color. These kiddos, including my own, deserve opportunities to have a teacher workforce that racially mirrors their own backgrounds and classrooms that are culturally affirming. Additionally, a significant research base reveals that all students benefit from a racially diverse teacher workforce. In short, educator diversity is good for all children!
Featured speaker and trauma-informed workshop facilitator at an Urban Education Symposium at Cabrini University with local educators
What challenges are you experiencing in this work?
Are there any regional (or statewide) specific challenges you are facing?
What are some of your needs?
In Pennsylvania, we have made significant progress in raising awareness about educator diversity and culturally responsive and sustaining education. That said, there is a need for greater institutional support, funding, and resources to do this work. One clear-cut example of how institutions can support this work is by developing aspiring educator pipelines geared toward children of color in middle and high school.
Did you attend the recent 2022 PEDC virtual summit? What were some valuable takeaways?
I was part of the planning committee for the 2022 PEDC virtual summit. I had the privilege of moderating two sessions, one with the Center for Black Educator Development and the other facilitated by Rochelle Peterson-Ansari and Dr. Amber Pabon. Both of these sessions were powerful in that they touched upon practical strategies that educators can implement to raise their critical consciousness.
Workshop facilitation at a girls' retreat on postsecondary planning
Have you used any of the PEDC available resources & toolkits? If so, how?
I have used the culturally responsive and sustaining competencies with my students at Swarthmore. We did a Jigsaw of these competencies and engaged in a freedom-dreaming brainstorm in terms of how these competencies can be used to re-imagine teacher education. I look forward to putting their ideas into practice!
How can people connect with you and continue to follow your work?
Consulting Inquiries: ILMConsultingGroup.com