California Educator

June/July 2019

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Page 8 of 63

I N T H E N E X T D E C A D E , says Jean M. Twenge, a psycholo- gist who studies generational differences, we may see more young people who know the right emoji for a situation, but not the correct facial expression. We don't have to wait! Like their peers, my teen daughters are virtuoso digital communicators, agile fingers tapping out acronyms, animations and emojis at once. e social skills to interact well with adults and speak articulately? Not so much. at may be typical of teens through the ages. But in "Gen- eration Z" (page 21), Twenge, a California Faculty Association member at San Diego State, says that all the time spent online by young people born between 1995 and 2012 goes beyond inappropriate facial expressions. It may also put their well- being at risk. Our report looks at her findings, as well as the Gen Z stu- dents who currently fill our classrooms and the educators who teach them. "For the most part, they are good kids," says Angie Barton, a millennial high school teacher and United Teachers Los Angeles member. "ey are more inclusive, socially con- scious, and care about others." Barton's description could easily apply to educators, whose efforts to engage and nurture students never end. In "Constant Refinement" (page 30), several reveal their best teaching prac- tices, from mindfulness to Minecraft, and how to figure out kids' passions. Among them is Alisal Teachers Association's Angela Der Ramos, who says it's vital to students' learning to raise multi- cultural awareness. "If you teach children who do not look like you, it is important to understand the impact of racial narra- tives that affect all of us. Children learn from what they see." ey also learn from what they feel — in a very tactile sense, as our story on therapy dogs shows ("Happy Tails," page 34). Petting, playing with and even reading to a specially trained dog can ease students' stress and promote a happier environ- ment. Davis Teachers Association member Cori Schneider brings poodle Dorothy to her middle school special ed class, and notes the unique connection between kids and dog. "e way Dorothy looks at students makes them feel seen, wanted and loved, which is what you want for all students." We want this for ourselves as well, and often the CTA family goes to great lengths to demonstrate love for each other. Dawn Marsh tells of her El Monte Elementary Teachers Association colleagues in "A Precious Gift" (page 55): Alexandria Fabbro and Shirley Chan are special ed teachers at the same school, and when Fabbro found out Chan was in desperate need of a kidney, she didn't hesitate to donate hers. "This sacrifice and genuine love and compassion for another person speaks volumes of [Fabbro's] character, and is yet another example of educators' giving spirit," Marsh writes. We couldn't agree more. Send off your students for the sum- mer with a few teacher-recommended books to read (page 8), take advantage of a little professional development (page 9), check out the best new photo apps (page 45), and enjoy the break. See you in August. Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F Rise of a New Cohort break. See you in August. Ava Kinzler on her phone before class starts at Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies. Get in the Educator! We'd love to hear from you. Send feedback, opinion pieces and first- person essays (limit 650 words) to and include your name, chapter and contact info. We publish freelance articles on occasion, but prefer that you contact us first. 7 J U N E / J U L Y 2 019 E D I T O R ' S N O T E

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