California Educator

April/May 2021

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engaged — with their chapter's tokens of grat- itude. "I just received this! What a lovely lovely thing to do for us and for our local businesses!" wrote Sarah Frey Lyon on Facebook. "Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and time in putting this together!" Brauning, a middle school teach er w ho is also V TA equity team chair and Redwood Service Center Council chair, says V TA has a line-item budget of $10,000 a year for mem- ber engagement. As well as meeting member needs, the chapter prides itself on the work members do in the community and at school sites. "We have a long history of member engagement," Brauning says. "And we're always looking for new ideas!" e xp an d ed into ful l - blow n edt e ch trainings and a question that went out to all educators: What kind of professional de velopm ent do y ou need right now? " We decided to engage teachers the same way they engage students — asking them what they want," Roberts says. "We're trying to keep up with what they need, which are skills that will help them help their students." And the training isn't limited to distance learning and tech. UTR educators are engaged in race and equity professional development on a weekly basis, with the understanding that inequities existing long before the pandemic have been exposed and exacerbated, requiring deliberate and continuous work to undo. "We're still having conversations about race and equity, because we still have to be on the same page," says Asedo Wilson, educator and UTR member. "If we can't address these issues with each other, how can we help our students?" UNIQUE NEEDS WILL TAKE TIME No matter the approach, when school buildings reopen, students will have a variety of unique needs that educators will have to identify and work to support as we all emerge changed from the pandemic. (See story on school counselors, page 27.) "Teachers and schools are recognizing that we need to assess each student and meet them where they are," says special educator Yesenia Guerrero, a member of Lennox Teachers Association. " We' ll need time to ll the gaps, but the kids are very resilient." Continued from Page 26 55 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 21 What's Growin' On? Props to Specialty Crops A 16-page educational student newspaper for students in 3rd-8th grades highlighting California's vibrant and diverse agricultural industry with current and accurate information. Activities are aligned to California State Standards including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Order a FREE class set of student newspapers and a copy of Extra! Extra! Classroom Extensions. while supplies last! Request FREE Resources at!

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