California Educator

December 2018 / January 2019

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Ann Jensen with students in Western High School's Link Crew. H O W D O Y O U foster a spirit of innovation in teaching and learning? Fo r st a r t e r s , w e l c o m e i t , a n d g iv e i t t h e resources to grow. At the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) in L.A., educators are actively encouraged to try new and creative ways of teaching. "If we have an idea, nobody says we can't. ey say, 'How can we help you,'" says Johanna Petrich, GALA's ath- letic director and a PE teacher. "If I want to do something, there is a team here that will help me do it." As showcased in our fourth annual Innovation Issue, the nurturing environment at GALA, the only non-charter, all-girls public school in California ("Set Up to Excel," page 34), allows teachers and students to thrive. Innovation that supports and enriches student learning is also the common denominator of the educators profiled in our special Innovation section (beginning on page 21). Virginia Marshall makes sure African-American student scholars get the public recognition and encouragement they deserve. Jesse Barnett has students inter- view and film others about their tumultuous lives as a way to better understand themselves. Dan Frank's students manufacture parts that transport experiments to the International Space Station. Jessica Husselstein embraces and uses mariachi music to connect with her young charges and their families. In truth, all educators — all of you — are innovators for your stu- dents. While your passion to help them learn is overarching, for many of you the desire to make the world a better place is equally strong. D ave D ein pion e ered on e of th e nation's f irst c omm erci al truck-driving schools at Patterson High School, because he saw a need to be met in long-haul trucking: skilled students able to enter well-paying careers in an industry where a shortage of trained driv- ers looms ("Faith for the Long Haul," page 48). Stephanie Pio is a role model for body image and inner/outer strength, making sure students understand that "the smallest version of you is not the best version of you" ("A Strong Woman," page 16). Ingenious, Fearless, Brilliant Even the risk or actuality of failure is part of the pro- cess. "I tell them to be fearless in the face of failure," says Brandy Peters, educator at Eisenhower Elementary in Garden Grove and a 2018 innovator. " We train them to turn a negative situation into a positive, growth mindset," says Monique Flores of the students in the Link Crew program she and Ann Jensen founded at Western High School in Anaheim. The pair, among our 2018 innovators, developed the program to help freshmen make a successful transi- tion to high school. And innovative educators find truly novel ways to bring to light students' individual talents and contri- butions. Middle school teacher Trish Hyun and other English Language Arts educators in Fullerton School District — also among our 2018 innovators — introduced an immersive, collaborative game to their classrooms that hones multiple skills. "Every child feels included, because they brought their individual strengths to the table," Hyun says. "And students understand that there can be more than one way to solve a problem." Hat tip to you, our fearless, ingenious educators. Happy New Year! Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F 7 D E C E M B E R 2 018 / J A N U A R Y 2 019 E D I T O R ' S N O T E

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