10 Years at IslandWood: Yesol An

In August, TAF’s Fellows will return to the Martinez Fellowship’s annual three-day summer retreat where teachers of color receive professional development, community support, and participate in invigorating sessions. For the last 10 years, the retreat has been held at IslandWood, an environmental education center on Brainbridge Island, WA, and has become a tradition that our Fellows to look forward to.

To celebrate, we’re highlighting one Fellow from each of Martinez Fellowship’s ten cohorts.

Meet Yesol An of Cohort 10, a K-3rd Students Teacher.

TAF: What was one win or winning moment this past school year?

Yesol: Last quarter in my MIT program at Seattle U, I did my peer coaching, which was my first experience teaching 1st graders in English, and I did it successfully even though I did not have a peer coach who could support me.

TAF: Why did you want to become a teacher?

Yesol: I want to be an advocate for students who are struggling with difficulties that I’ve also experienced as an immigrant student.


TAF: What do you with the world knew about being a teacher of color?

Yesol: Being a teacher of color might mean being a leader of a specific race or ethnicity, and there might be countless moments that the teacher of color should speak up and represent their voice.

What is missing from public education today?

Yesol: Public education today is still missing equity and social justice as many policies at the national, state, and district level are not taking it as a priority in our students’ success and their cross-cultural competence, which is vital in the 21st century.

TAF’s Martinez Fellowship Program recruits and retains teachers of color in Washington State. In the last year its 151 Fellows impact over 14,000 students by providing representation and creating equitable academic environments.

By 2038, TAF plans to add over 2,400 teachers of color to the fellowship. Learn more about the Martinez Fellowship.

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