California Educator

August/September 2021

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school sites became impossible. e time demands of completing her dissertation and working full time as a sixth grade teacher in distance learning proved to be too much, and Jaco took an educational leave of absence to focus on her doctorate. "It was a hard decision to make," says Jaco, a member of San Jose Teachers Association and the CTA Board of Directors. "But for me, it was about modeling to my students about what it means to persevere." Jaco says the pandemic spurred a shift in public education, where the focus was placed on the social-emotional health of students, and "things that don't matter" were given less time and attention. As students return to physical classrooms this fall, she hopes the attention to the whole child continues with educators leading the charge to reimagine schools. " We as educators need to have a mindset shift and recognize the power we have to advocate for students and what they need," Jaco says. "We have the power to transform public education." instructor, who walked the cohort through how she was changing their syllabus as a result of the pandemic. "She showed us such grace but still held us to high standards," Manzanedo says. "She reaffirmed that over a computer you can hold your students to high stan- dards while remaining flexible — and it reminds me to approach my students the same way." Amezcua, soon to be a member of Escondido Secondary Teachers Asso- ciation, is looking forward to creating a culture and building relationships in her own classroom this fall in a new environ- ment: a moderate/severe special day class at Escondido High School. Manzanedo hopes she can recreate the relationships she was able to build with her first-year class as she and they went through the strangest year ever together. " There was a way we got close to each other," she says. "I'm excited for next year, but I'm also kind of scared because I'll feel like a first-year teacher again." "My experience taking the certification reminded me how important it is to really know students and find out what their lives are like." —STEPHEN GORGONE, Santa Ana Educators Association 47 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 21 Continued from page 45 JOIN THE OVER 180,000 NU ALUMNI AND BE SURE TO MENTION CALIFORNIA TEACHERS ASSOCIATION. TUITION REDUCTION SCHOLARSHIP FOR CALIFORNIA EDUCATION PARTNER EMPLOYEES © 2021 National University NU21-4215 National University is proud to offer K-12 Partners a Tuition Reduction Scholarship to employees! This is a great opportunity for personnel looking to expand their knowledge and skills for professional and personal growth that also need a schedule that can accommodate their busy lives. or call (619) 457-2622 CONTACT US TO LEARN MORE

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