Marissa, an African American female teacher, has been teaching chemistry for two years in an ethnically diverse, urban public school that serves 96% Latinx students and 4% African American students. Marissa is having difficulty managing the class. When the whole class is assigned a task, some students are vocally disruptive, and she is unsure how to engage them. In particular, Marissa is concerned about three African American male students who tend to group together, seem to be disengaged, and often shout and cause disruptions in class. Marissa does not want to dismantle what she is doing since the other students seem to be engaged and learning. When Marissa’s instructional coach, who has 15 years of teaching experience, observes the classroom, she skillfully provides strategies for

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Tonikiaa Orange, Jo Ann Isken, Amber Green, Nancy Parachini, and Annamarie Francois

Tonikiaa Orange ( is director of the Culture and Equity Project, Jo Ann Isken ( is director of the UCLA IMPACT Urban Teacher Residency program, and Amber Green ( is UCLA IMPACT program coordinator at the Center for Powerful Public Schools. Nancy Parachini ( is director of the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA. Annamarie Francois ( is executive director of UCLA Center X at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.


Darling-Hammond, L. & Berry, B. (2006). Highly qualified teachers for all. Educational Leadership 64(3), 14-20.

Horsford, S., Grosland, T., & Gunn, K.M. (2011). Pedagogy of the personal and professional: Toward a framework for culturally relevant leadership. Journal of School Leadership, 21(4), 582- 606.

Howard, T. (2003). Culturally relevant pedagogy: Ingredients for critical teacher reflection. Theory into Practice, 42(3), 195-202.

Milner, H.R. (2003). Reflection, racial competence, and critical pedagogy: How do we prepare pre-service teachers to pose tough questions? Race Ethnicity and Education, 6(2), 193-208.

Oakes, J. (1985). Keeping track: How schools structure inequality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Oakes, J., Ormseth, T., Bell, R.M., & Camp, P. (1990). Multiplying inequalities: The effects of race, social class, and tracking on opportunities to learn mathematics and science. Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.

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Jo Ann Isken (, UCLA Principal Leadership Institute Faculty

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Annamarie Francois (, UCLA Center X Executive Director, are faculty members at UCLA’s Center X in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

Categories: Coaching, Equity

The Learning Professional

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