IEC Fall Cohort 2015 Raul Contreras' E-portfolio

Welcome to my Innovative Educator Certificate E-portfolio!  

My reflection before I began...I am inspired to know that by the end of this program my knowledge and mastery of social media, Google Apps for Education, and Mobile Technologies will grow exponentially.   I think my weakest area will be social media; I guess I have always been web 2.0 shy after having so many administrators scare me away by saying,  "A young guy like you should stay away from social media, you can't trust kids, nor their parents."  I would like to think things are starting to change and we as educators need to find a place on social media, and maybe it can be a great learning tool.

My reflections at the conclusion...This has been a tremendous experience for myself, my cohort, and my students.  This year I tried so many great new instructional tools in my classroom. I was awarded the Outstanding Emerging Educator Certificate from Central Valley CUE, I was recognized by my district, and I was able to share so much of my learning with staff at my school.  I know that this is just the first step, for an exciting future for me in education.  

A special thank you to my wife Angelina and my son Diego, for their support and love throughout this process.  I know that I couldn't do this without them.  


Biography:  Raised in Porterville, Ca. Porterville High School Grad Class of '95, Porterville College Grad Class of '99, UC Santa Cruz Grad Class of '02.  High School English Teacher El Diamante HS 06-13, High School English Teacher 14-Currently Employed.  

Mission Statement:
This summer I attended a technology training for teachers sponsored by Google for Educators in Palo Alto, Ca. At one of the sessions I was struck by the presenter’s introductory remarks in which he made this analysis of education today: “The world that our teachers prepared us for is extinct, the world that we are preparing our students for hasn’t been invented yet.”  This statement changed my entire outlook on my role as an educator.  I realized that I needed to challenge myself to incorporate as much technology in my classroom as possible, and it needs to be innovative, creative, and purposeful.

I currently look to take what I have learned and train other teachers, to make their classrooms as engaging and cutting edge as my own, but to do so I need to continue to learn and earn certifications that will qualify me to do this work.   Unfortunately, my academic experiences have accumulated a significant debt that makes it difficult to incur any more expenses; I am a professional and a father who must temper my passion with the financial limitations that a public school teacher affords.  

Throughout my career, I have been committed to helping students gain access to higher education.   I was an undergraduate student tutor; as a graduate student, I taught academic writing to Freshmen college students; I worked for UC Merced helping students with their college applications; as a teacher, I volunteer to help students with their personal statements for their college applications.  I consistently help my fellow teachers design lessons that incorporates technology. I have devoted my entire adult life to helping students access higher education.

One of my most enduring personal achievements was my experience as the Student Council teacher at Monache High School.   When I was in high school I wasn’t what you would call an “activities person,” I was quite the opposite: a rebellious, disaffected youth.  I was apprehensive about being a student council teacher; however the experience changed me.  I found leadership qualities that I never new that I had.  We created a student government that was inclusive and caring for all students including the rebellious and disaffected.  My students showed me the tremendous potential young people have to be creative, optimistic, socially responsible, innovative, and inspiring.  Thanks to our success my student council students awarded me the Monache High School Teacher of the Year Award for 2014-15 after just one year of service.  

My enrollment in the Innovative Educator Certificate Program at Fresno Pacific University will give me the skills and training which will allow me to develop my talent of using technology in the classroom, and open new doors for students of the 21st Century.  I plan on using this knowledge to train other teachers at Educational Technology Conferences across the Central Valley and throughout California.  I hope to be able to prepare students for a world that has not yet been invented.
Subpages (1): Mission Statement