Julia E. Torres

“As a current ELA teacher and librarian, my goal is to support students, authors, and educators in seeing and actively participating in the intersections. I believe we are most empowered and free when we are of service to one another. I also believe we are most able to actively disrupt systems of oppression when we step into the creator, learner, and teacher within each of us, encouraging others to do the same.”

Biography

Julia E. Torres is a secondary librarian and Language arts teacher focusing on developing literacy programs for 6-12 readers. She is currently a teacher-librarian for five schools on the Montbello Campus within the Far Northeast region of Denver Public Schools.

Within DPS, Julia was chosen to be a member of the steering committee for the Superintendent’s African-American Equity Task Force ongoing work that continues to seek improved schooling and work conditions for African-American students and teachers.  She has also cooperated with the DPS Imaginarium and the Culture Equity Leadership Team as a school leader working to spread the adoption of culturally responsive teaching practices throughout the district, and country.

Over the last sixteen years, Julia has taught in small, medium, and large districts, throughout the Western United States. Her ELA teaching career has included teaching every grade from 7th grade English up through advanced courses including World Literature and AP English Literacy and Composition as well as beginning writing instruction at local community colleges. Julia has also taught Creative Writing, Ethnic Studies, and African-American Literature through University of Colorado Denver’s Upward Bound pre-collegiate summer academic institute.

Julia has also served Colorado language arts teachers as the Vice-President and President of the regional NCTE affiliate–The Colorado Language Arts Society, she is the current NCTE Secondary Representative-at-Large.  In her work as a member of Educolor’s Working Group, Julia frequently collaborates with the collective by participating in online chats as well as local community organizing and the creation of school and classroom resources that promote educational equity, student agency, and the advancement of teacher pedagogy with respect to anti-bias/anti-racist educational curriculum development, and practices, as well as educational progressivism.

Julia is a co-founder of DisruptTexts.org, as such, she co-edits a quarterly column for NCTE’s English Journal, facilitates discussions about disrupting the literary canon, and writes curriculum guides to support teachers looking to engage in the work.

In 2020, Julia became the host and creative director for the BookLove Foundation Podcast. Through her work as a BookLove Foundation board member, Julia supports teachers and librarians as we adapt to the changing role of school libraries and the intersection between traditional and digital literacy. Julia also regularly hosts conversations pertaining to the formation of reading identities among secondary education students in all environments, particularly under-resourced urban school districts.

These days Julia is often found in and around the many national parks, trails, and walkways local to Denver and her beloved Rocky Mountains. She loves spending time on the couch with her dog Shorty, cat Maisie, one of her two children or dropping everything to read the latest Advanced (or Digital) Reader’s Copy of a new title from one of her favorite authors.

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