California Educator

April/May 2023

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Page 7 of 61

M Y B R I G H T E R O U T L O O K on life, now that spring's longer, sunnier days are here, is tempered by the fact that my daughter leaves for college in a few months. I will miss her terribly, of course. But my primary thought is the same as when her sister left a few years ago: How can this child possibly be ready to take on adulthood? And yet she is. As much as I'd like to claim credit as a parent, a great deal of my kids' confidence, maturity and sheer knowledge have been instilled by their teachers and other educators over the years: Inspiring profes- sionals who have opened worlds for them, coached and guided them, believed in them, helped them back up when they've fallen. I see examples of educators' dedication to their students in most every story we run in the Educator — this issue being no exception. Allison Medlin became a teacher after a career in high-tech sales and man- agement. "It means everything," she says of being an educator in "Finding eir Calling" (page 18). "You live for the magic moment when your kid suddenly gets that 'I get it!' look. It means the little things you do every day make a difference somewhere in their life." Even after teaching special education for 21 years, Riju Krishna loves her work and her students. "Every day, I wake up excited about what I'm going to do," she says. "e passion has helped me grow and stay curious … the only way I can be my best for students." Carol Peek, CTA's Education Support Professional of the Year (page 17), is known for her rapport with students. "She treats the kids with love, respect and dis- cipline, and they treat her like a mother — one who will listen and help guide them," says one of Peek's colleagues. Nalik Davis Jr., a 2023 Human Rights Award winner (page 26), is a role model with purpose. "Students will always reflect their leadership, so if my leadership in the classroom is showing kids that I care by putting all I can into my work, giving full effort and showing my best to them — that will reflect in them. ey will start to care, they will start putting in the effort." It's educators like these who have given my kids and students everywhere a solid foundation in academics, as well as an understanding of the importance of doing their best, treating others with grace and dignity and making positive contributions to their communities. So that when I and countless other parents and guardians eventually watch their children go off in the world, we rest assured that they have the skills and abilities to han- dle whatever comes their way. ank you, educators, for this gift. What a wonderful job you have done with our children, and continue to do every day. Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F for the Gift! Thanks 6 E D I T O R ' S N O T E

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