I’ve had a chance to reflect on my 23 years of teaching, and I’ve been reminded to consider the role that Chicana/o/x Education has played in my life. When I came into teaching, and declared myself to be a Chicano teacher, some looked at me quizzically, wondering aloud, “Is that still a thing? Do people still identify as Chicanos?” Later I read a quote by some journalist declaring that “Chicano” is only used by old guys who have handshakes and reminisce about the past.
Welp, thanks to stickin’ around so long, I have seen a renacimiento of the Chicana/o/x name. Not that we ever went anywhere, but there is a new generation of Chicanas and Chicanos entering the teaching profession, but unlike me, the show up as their authentic selves.
I hope you enjoy this Chicana roundtable with Isabel Barajas de Benavidez, Emely Contreras, and Diana Bustamante Aguilar, three early-service teachers who are proudly and uncompromisingly CHICANAS…and who are connecting with each other for the first time.