This week we caught up with Daniel Santana, who is pursuing a Masters of Education and a Special Education Credential in the Teacher Education Program.
GGSE: What is you undergraduate degree and where did you get it?
Santana: I received my undergraduate degree in Child and Human Development from California State University, Fullerton.
GGSE: What has been a highlight of your TEP experience so far?
Santana: It is difficult to pinpoint specifics in terms of highlights for being part of UCSB's TEP program. I've enjoyed all the opportunities I have had in connecting with fellow cohort peers and esteemed faculty members who share a deep-seated passion for personal growth, social justice and education. Furthermore, the opportunity to learn of effective learning strategies, practices and theories relating to the field of Special Education and apply them in the classroom with the mentorship and guidance of dedicated professors and professionals is an amazing experience.
GGSE: When you have your own classroom, what grade do you want to teach and why?
Santana: I don't have a necessary preference for a specific grade. I understand there is a great need for skilled educators in providing quality education and opportunities for children in underserved communities. I am happy and honored to serve in a place where I will make an impact in the lives of children, their families and community.
GGSE: I remember you reading Paulo Freire the last time we spoke. Was that required reading or for pleasure? What other books if any have been inspiring you lately?
Santana: Reading and becoming familiar with the works of Paulo Freire is not a requirement, though I firmly believe that it would be of great benefit to have it be so. I very much enjoy the principle in helping students/adults develop what Freire terms as "critical consciousness" to connect knowledge to power and freedom in order take constructive actions for the betterment of society. Aside from Freire, I have recently finished reading a book called Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Dr. Brené Brown. Her insightful views on what it means to truly connect with others and how to navigate uncertain and risky situations has been a fun and transformational reading experience.