Meet a DPS Teacher Leader
The last career Yu-Cheng Yao ever thought he’d have growing up was that of an educator. As a student growing up in Taiwan he shared, “I was not a rule follower when it came to the process of my work, so I always got into trouble, not because the work was bad, but because it was different and within that culture that was considered bad so I was considered a bad kid.” Yu-Cheng, who is now in his fourth year teaching science and math to 6, 7 and 8th graders at Dora Moore, use to think every teacher disliked him because he was such a non-traditional student.
During his first few months of college at the University of Colorado, Don Reynolds called his mother and told her he was going to switch his major from electrical engineering to education. “But she shot that down really quickly,” Don says laughing. “So I did become an electrical engineer, but education is something that’s been in my spirit for a long time.” Don is now a Senior Team Lead and math teacher at West Early College. After working as an engineer and a consultant, Don decided to return to his lifelong passion for teaching and learning, beginning as a substitute paraprofessional and gaining his teaching license through the Denver Teaching Fellows. This is Don’s second year in a Teacher Leadership & Collaboration role.
When it comes to Teacher Leadership & Collaboration, “the greatest impact is stronger instruction within the classroom,” North High School American literature teacher, Elizabeth Gorka says. “Teachers are getting feedback constantly. We’re in classrooms every week sharing best practices.” Elizabeth is in her second year as a team lead, spending half of her time teaching and half of her time observing, coaching, and collaborating with a team of fellow teachers.