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School of Education and Human Development University of Colorado Denver

School of Education and Human Development
 

Maria Uribe

Senior Instructor, Urban Community Teacher Education


My story:

I have been a bilingual student and teacher all my life. I started in bilingual environments when I was five years old. I was born in Bogota, Colombia in South America and attended a French bilingual school. Later in life, I traveled to the United States to spend a year at Columbia University in New York to learn English. As we all know, a year’s time was not enough to become fluent in English.

My work as a bilingual teacher started in a very small school in Colombia. I taught 35 students who ranged in age from three to five. My classroom was as big as a small bedroom and the resources were very limited. However, I knew that I was going to love teaching since, despite the circumstances, I had the most wonderful time with the children in their learning environment. After that experience, I started working in bilingual schools teaching math from preschool to sixth grade. I moved from Colombia to Denver and started as a bilingual teacher in early childhood education since I had obtained a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from a university in Columbia.

For the past 22 years, I worked in Denver Public Schools at Goldrick Elementary. Goldrick is an urban school that has partnered with the University Colorado Denver for 20 years. After teaching one year in ECE, I taught first grade for nine years. Due to the partnership with the University and the desire to teach individuals to teach children, I was the coach and the site coordinator for the University of Colorado Denver for seven years. For the past six years, I was an assistant principal for one year followed by five years as the principal. The work with the teacher candidates gave me the privilege to receive the CABE president award from one of my former teacher candidates. The work and commitment demonstrated by Goldrick teachers combined with the amazing partnership work with CU Denver gave me the honor to receive the Elementary Principal Award of the Year for Denver Public Schools in 2010.

I absolutely love to learn and to make sure that people are successful in life. I am a firm believer that life is very short. If we don’t do what we love to do, we will always be empty of spirit. I love to see children and adults succeed. If I can contribute in their success, is the best gift for my soul.

My students at CU Denver:

I always enjoyed having CU Denver students at Goldrick and valued their expertise and enthusiasm. I think the students are the ones who keep me learning and keep me engaged in new research and new ideas.

Classes I teach at the CU Denver:

  • Elementary Literacy Instruction and Assessment UEDU 5000/4000H01
  • Exploring Diversity in Content and Pedagogy I UEDU 5040/4040

My research interests:

My work and research experience focus on improving teaching practices for students who are learning English as a second language. Recently, I have been active addressing and implementing the common core standards and the WIDA standards in elementary settings to support teachers and ultimately the learning of all students.

My hobbies:

What I love the most is spending time with my husband of 39 years, my three children who are remarkably successful, and my five grandchildren. Anything we do together is my hobby including time spent watching TV, eating together and traveling.

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