Landing in a new position

Here is how I became an assistant professor after a long stay in the US.

They say it’s important to write about your experiences and share what they mean to you. Luckily those experiences will resonate in others and some sort of contribution will be made.

From Palo Alto to Macul

Less than a month ago, I was leaving California for good. More than 8 years before, I began a journey of learning and discovery to become someone who could contribute to the world of education. From early in my career I became passionate about teaching and learning. I started to notice that as a teacher I could affect the lives of so many, for good or bad. I decided it needed to be for good and started looking at how I could do it. Besides teaching in a school, I was teaching other teachers and that seemed the best place to make my contribution. I was also very interested in how digital technologies could help in the process of teaching teachers.

In my doctoral program at the University of Michigan I had the wonderful guidance of educators who helped me see and notice, supported my discovery and fed my curiosity about how people learn, but especially about how teachers learn. Later in my postdoc at Stanford that interest in teacher education became more specific and focused on professional development for teachers.

In my work as a doctoral student first, and as a postdoc later, I was able to try ideas, collaborate with people and learn the craft of conducting research in the education field. I was always thinking about what was next and how I would confront such reality. In the cozy and manicured environment of the Stanford campus I felt detached from that reality for a long time, growing in anxiety for what seemed so unpredictable.

Today, I am seating in my office at Universidad Católica in Macul and this position became suddenly clearer. At the beginning it was the welcoming faces that made me feel comfortable and then the realization that I can shape my story and be in charge of the future as an academic. There is a lot in front of me but there will always be.

Florencia Gómez Zaccarelli
Assistant Professor

My research interests include teacher education, professional development, and facilitation of classroom discourse in science.