Greetings and welcome to my page!
This post represents many firsts for me. First blog, first website, first business. Also first time saying many of these things out loud, so bare with me as I introduce myself and set the stage for my latest project, Fulcrum Education Partners.
My name is Tim Regalado. I live in Los Angeles at the date of writing this, though I grew up in New Mexico and will eventually make my way back home. For the past decade, I have worked in education. Most of my career has been in special education, but my path has been rather broad. I've worked as a technology instructor, resource teacher, reading specialist, behaviorist, inclusion teacher, mentor, instructional coach, social studies teacher, and the director of a district program. I love learning and finding new experiences, so my career has been just as varied as my interests.
I attended college at the University of New Mexico, where I completed a double major in History and Philosophy. This was formative for me as a young man. I started off in the engineering program, but after taking a couple of these classes my freshman year, I recognized that I needed more than technical knowledge to grow as a person. I found something I felt was important; I learned how to question where we come from, where we might be headed, and what values ought to guide me in life. It was this education that lead me into a career as a teacher, and into the Special Education program for my Master's degree.
Following the completion of this program, I moved to Fort Stewart, Georgia, to run a behavior program through the Department of Defense. This was another pivotal experience for me. The DoD is, as you might imagine, extremely well resourced. I learned what an ideal program might look like and what I could do to help students given the right tools. I also learned how to navigate and make change within a rigid, rules based system. I'm proud of both the skills I gained there and the difference I made within the organization.
My next move required a 2,500 drive from Georgia to El Segundo, CA. I lucked into a job at an amazing charter organization here that has really taught me the meaning of innovation in education. Our schools specialize in Project Based Learning, Mastery Based Grading, Inclusion, Career Technical Education, and Culture Building. I'm proud to be a part of this organization, and I'm glad to say that I have pushed myself here more than any other place. Not only did I come into my own as a leader in the organization, but I enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Southern California in the Fall of 2020.
At USC I studied organizational leadership, educational psychology, and instructional design. Again, this experience was revelatory for me. I felt extremely well prepared for the program due to my background in philosophy and special education, but this work gave me a chance to dive deeper into the world of education and psychology than I ever could have on my own. I can remember feeling myself increasing my capacity to take on new responsibilities, engage with formidable peers, apply the theories I learned about in my classrooms. The pinnacle of this experience was the completion of my dissertation, a curriculum design titled Stress, Health, & Mental Wellness in the High School Setting. This project combined my love for teaching social emotional skills, supporting vulnerable populations, and designing efficient systems. I could not be more proud of myself for this accomplishment.
I graduated from USC six months ago and am now working out which doors I'd like to walk through. I have many options, but one of the most meaningful actions I could take at that time is to begin working on Fulcrum. This blog will serve as a platform for me to share my ideas, inspirations, and challenges as I construct a tool for building a more inclusive, accessible, and empowering education system. This will not be my only pursuit, but one that is close to my heart.
The idea is a long time coming. When I first began working in education, my first reaction was to think to myself, 'How did it get this bad?' For those of you do know, the situation in my home state was, and still is, quite dire. I couldn't believe what my 23 year old self was seeing. I'll leave the details up to your imagination, but New Mexico resides firmly at the bottom of several very sad lists. My home state ranks in the bottom 10 for:
Education funding per student
Alcohol related deaths
Median household income
Child well-being (hunger, etc.)
Substance abuse & addiction
I remember, during my first year of teaching, a coworker told me, "Albuquerque needs you..." and boy were they right. Not just me, though, and not just Albuquerque. All of New Mexico needs all the help it can get. Especially in the areas that make the biggest difference, like education.
But what was I going to do? Teach everyone about philosophy and hope that it would transform them the way it did me? Not likely. I didn't know much of anything at that time. In fact, I didn't see how things could get any better without making dramatic changes to the very foundations of our lifestyle. How was I going to do that?
The reality was... that I wasn't ready for all that. I needed to get outside of our state to see what was possible, to gain as much knowledge and experience as I could, and bring that home to my community. Maybe then I could make a difference and help change the way things are done. My very own Hero's Journey.
And that is Fulcrum! My way of sharing my gifts and experience with the people who need it most. I truly hope that my work through this platform can make a difference in the lives of students and inspire other educators to instigate meaningful change within their organizations. I will start small... and this will not be my only effort to make change... but I hope that this project can grow into something powerful enough to reach thousands of educators and hundreds of schools, and contribute towards making our educational system more inclusive, accessible, and empowering for students.
Look for online workshops to be offered beginning in January 2024, and school partnerships in the Southwestern United States to begin in July 2024. Thank you for your work as an educator and for your support in my mission to make a difference.