California Educator

December/January 2019

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A L R A B A N E R A is a little busy. e high school math teacher and Fullerton Sec- ondary Teachers Organization (FSTO) member has a 6-month-old baby at home while still working full time in his class- room. Not only that, he and his North Orange County colleagues have spent the past four years building a thriving teacher professional network. With a goal of strengthening and diver- sifying the profession, they have grown the network out of the teachers-teach- ing-teachers model supported by CTA's Instructional Leadership Corps (ILC). Rabanera says he and other ILC teacher leaders felt strongly that educators knew best about educator needs. "We said, 'If we really want to take back the profes- sion, what are we going to do? Let's put action to those words.'" T h e i r n e tw o rk , c a l l e d C u l t iv a t i n g Teacher Leaders (CTL), now offers reg- ul ar c onferen c e s and w ork sh ops for experienced educators, and mentoring programs for new teachers and those aspiring to be teachers in college and high school. Using FSTO as a base, the network has forged key partnerships with CSU Fullerton's College of Education, as well as with community organizations and businesses. It has secured funding from, among others, NEA, which awarded an initial grant of $250,000 that was followed by a grant of $500,000 earlier this year. Th e re su lt , a c c o rdi n g t o a n O c t o - b e r 2 0 1 9 r e p o r t f r o m t h e L e a r n i n g Policy Institute (LPI), is that Cultivating Teacher Leaders is "making significant contributions to the profession along its continuum [and is in essence] striving to build and to widen a pipeline for pro- fessionals — from potential to aspiring, emerging, professional, accomplished, and finally, teacher leader." The network is one of the major suc- cesses of ILC, the multiyear, statewide initiative that has teachers training teach- ers in instructional shifts in new state standards, providing opportunities for professional development and leadership. ILC benefits educators and students ILC, a partnership of CTA, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Educa- tion and the National Board Resource Center at Stanford University, was formed after California shifted to the Common Core State Standards and new assess- ments in 2014. (ILC now also addresses the Next Generation Science Standards.) It is, as LPI president and president of the California State Board of Education Linda Darling-Hammond says, changing the paradigm for teacher learning. Instead of outside consultants who parachute in to conduct one-time workshops, ILC taps into the expertise and experience of local educators who lead ongoing professional development for their peers. "Through ILC, CTA is helping teach- ers acquire the skills they need to give students a quality education," says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. "ILC also allows train ers to gain v alu abl e l ea d ership experience. It's is a win for students and educators at all levels." Left to right, network members Al Rabanera, Aimee Nelson, Debbie Chiong, Joan Ke, Jes Bracken, Robert Bassett, Allison Carey, Jenny Hitchcock, Nathan Dawson, Myra Deister. Cultivating Teacher Leaders Professional network strengthens educator pipeline, from student to leader 44 Teaching & Learning

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