Although demand for new educator positions in the San Francisco Bay Area is highly competitive, a leading expert expects jobs for new educators to be strong for years to come. That’s according to Alma Flor Ada, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Emeritus at the University of San Francisco, former Radcliffe Scholar at Harvard University and Fulbright Research Scholar. The esteemed educator taught at the University of San Francisco for nearly 30 years.
What positions have your held and your background in education?
“I began my teaching career in the U.S. in the field of Spanish and Latin American literature as an Associate Professor at Emory University. When I was appointed Full Professor at Mercy College of Detroit, I added to my work in Language and Literature by designing the first Bilingual Education Teacher Training Program in Michigan. I also taught in the International Multicultural Education Program at the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, where I was first an associate and later a full professor. Most of the courses I taught were at the doctoral level and chaired 160 doctoral dissertations. Currently, I am a Professor Emerita.”
Can you offer any advice to individuals interested in a career in education?
“My first advice is to look at your growth as an educator in a spiral movement, where only the best of today will be taken on to a new level blending with the best of tomorrow. Constantly review your own beliefs, motives and goals. Be willing to learn from your experience. Make life a praxis where knowledge motivates action and action informs and enriches knowledge in order to plan new actions.”
Do you foresee an increased demand for educators in the future?
“As the U.S. has given up its role as a major industrial country, the main areas in which the country excels and can sustain its development have shifted to: (1) high technological developments (2) communication, information and entertainment, or (3) higher education. All of these areas require high levels of education. I can’t imagine that educators shouldn’t be in high demand in future years.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.