California Educator

February/March 2020

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W h en O akl an d E du cation A ss o ci ation ended its strike in March 2019 and settled with the district, OEA school nurses were angry. Though they received salary bumps and retention bonuses, they felt their need for more resources and their untenable workloads were unaddressed. As nurse Sarah Nielsen Boyd says in "Never Stop Fighting" (page 41), "We didn't want a bonus. We wanted more resources for our students — a nurse in every school." As of December 2019, there were 1,352 students per school nurse in Oakland — almost double the California Association of School Nurses' recommendation of 750 healthy students per nurse. Oakland Unified had also been particularly slow to fill vacant positions. Our story describes how Boyd and other nurses continued to organize after the strike. In October OEA won a massive settle- ment with $19,000 in guaranteed stipends for each nurse, the establishment of a substitute nurse pool, and additional pay when caseloads exceed 1,350 students per nurse. Collective action may be key to much more personal needs as well. Our feature "Time to Focus on You, Too" ( page 26) details how caring for increasing numbers of traumatized students takes a huge toll on educators and can lead to burn- out and compassion fatigue. While the story offers tips and resources for self-care, it also suggests that organizing for and negotiating educator wellness is as important as your daily meditation. Unicorn Riot Scene during the OEA strike last year. Organizing for Joy "Self-care goes hand in hand with sustainable health and well-being systems and programs supported by school admin- istrators and districts," says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. e goal of fighting for what students and educators need, of course, is so teaching and learning remain a joy. e joy is obvious in Efrain Tovar (" Welcome Home," page 22), who showcases the individual stories and multiple languages of his Newcomer students while teaching them English — and the universal language of coding. at glee — pardon the pun — is also evident in the music teachers who, despite constant efforts to raise funds for classes and activities many see as superfluous, stay totally committed to their work and their students ("Music in Our Schools," page 32). And it's clear in watching educators' excitement on the Humboldt County TV show "Homework Hotline" (page 20). Students' love of learning comes from you and your joy, and we're grateful. Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F The Educator 's Publishing Schedule The California Educator publishes six times a year. Our website,, publishes the same content as well as additional news, updates and stories. We strive to get the print magazine to you in a timely fashion. It's always a balancing act to make sure it con- tains the latest information and still arrives with enough time that it remains useful to you. Please note: * The Educator is mailed out at a nonprofit bulk rate. This means it is delivered at the discretion of local post offices, which put a higher priority on first-class and other mail. You can contact your post office to alert them if your magazine is arriving too late. * We hold the magazine if needed to insert essential member information, such as reports from CTA State Council, important news, etc. Check for the latest, and thanks for reading! 7 F E B R U A R Y / M A R C H 2 0 2 0 E D I T O R ' S N O T E

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