California Educator

August/September 2023

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Page 57 of 71

Space Opera Saga Continues High school English teacher and Las Virgenes Education Association member Lance Novak has just published his fifth young adult novel, Miss Sophia Sanchez: Earth Defender — the third installment in a science fiction/space opera series. Sophia Sanchez, the youngest corporal stationed on the starship Excelsior, and her squadron of fighter pilots escort an expeditionary team to planet Gnoman to begin relations with the fump- bushtas, a proud, dwarf-like race of intelligent beings. Meanwhile, a leezhahi force has also ventured to Gnoman. Can Sophia help stop the fumpbushtas from becoming the latest leezhahi conquest? And can she and her colleagues help humans take back Earth, an abandoned planet now colonized by the leezhahi? On Amazon, Barnes & Noble and more. If I Were the Teacher On the first day of school, Max dreams about what he would do if he were the teacher. His ideas are wild, chaotic and downright hilarious. In the end, Max realizes that it's probably good he's not in charge. He's thankful for his teacher and decides that if she's his teacher then he doesn't want to change a thing. If I Were the Teacher, by Cardiff Elementary Teachers Association member John Tiersma and illustrated by art educator Ron Van Der Pol (for younger elementary students), is a read-aloud that helps teachers build a safe and loving community of trust and wonder. The book promotes valuable conversations of imagination and curiosity while deepening the bond of the teach- er-student relationship. On Amazon. Handbook for Virtual Teaching California Virtual Educators United member Dr. Nicholas Baker recently published Virtual K-8 Teaching: A Handbook for Building Productive Teacher-Student Relationships. An edu- cator in the virtual setting for more than two decades, Baker 's book is a deep dive into the ways virtual K-8 teachers build those ever-elusive relationships with virtual students. Research and insights from eight virtual middle-school teachers are included on such topics as student engagement, teacher academic and social presence, the nurturing of student sense of belonging, bridging the transactional distance gap and the importance of the student's educational community. In addition, a useful collection of teacher tips and tricks helps build meaningful, productive relationships with students that foster suc- cess. On Amazon. Continued on Page 55 56 From Within Oen educators' creativity spills over into a book, blog, app or other work. We're happy to showcase members' talents. CTA & You

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