Student Profile: Heather Macias Walks and Talks the Teaching Life

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Heather Macias

Heather Macias is a doctoral student in the Department of Education with research interests in multilingual literacy, literacy education, and sociocultural learning theory under Dr. Richard Duran. Prior to starting her Ph.D., Heather taught English/Language Arts for seven years. She currently has plans to make her dog Instagram famous. Read more about Heather here!

GGSE: Tell us a little about your current research topic.

Macias: My dissertation will be looking at the discourses for inservice ELA (English/Language Arts) teachers to investigate how they speak about teaching their ELLs (English Language Learners) compared to how the CA State Standards and a local professional development program with an ELL-focus talk about teaching and supporting ELL students.

GGSE: How have your research interests changed over the course of your time here at the Gevirtz School?

Macias: Working more with TEP (Teacher Education Program) and also taking classes in the Linguistics Department has helped me allign my interests with teaching and language, which is awesome since I didn’t want to lose my connection to the classroom while in grad school, particularly as a former teacher.

GGSE: What has been a source of motivation or drive for you in your graduate studies?

Macias: Teaching helps me focus and reminds me of why I’m here. I love to teach, to talk about teaching, and to learn about teaching so when those three things intersect, I remember why I’m in grad school and who I want to help through my research: students and teachers.

GGSE: Any hobbies or pastimes?

Macias: Making my dog Insta-famous (@Lady_andthe_tramper), trying to eat every breakfast burrito in Santa Barbara before I graduate, traveling, and theatre (spelled the pretentious way).