California Teachers Association

August 2014

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Page 9 of 73

editor's Note Watch out for "Four-fi ngered Louie"! There's so much to learn as the school year starts — like not to snicker when Mr. Oien pointed at someone with his middle finger. I almost always giggled about that. And I learned that he was actually a nice guy, not nearly as scary as I first thought. I admit to feeling overwhelmed when I moved here from K ansas nearly three years ago and plunged into redesigning t h i s m a ga z i n e . S o m u c h to l e a r n a b o u t California public schools, the political climate, and CTA's advocacy and member benefits. Your comments and feedback made a difference, and continue to make a difference. You realize this magazine is available online, right? To access your digital Educator on your computer, iPad or tablet, go to You can still review the archives at or scan the QR code below. I'm walking through the massive halls of Patrick Henry Junior High School, head down, deciphering my new class schedule and worrying about upperclass- men's warning to watch out for "Four-fi ngered Louie," when — WHAM! — I run into the principal, Mr. Oien. He's balding and gruff, but he gives me directions to the next class. I ask if he's heard of "Four-fi ngered Louie" and should I really be afraid of him? He raises his hand, and I see four digits. He's missing his index fi nger. Frankly, I don't remember what he said, just the embar- rassment of making such a major faux pas on my fi rst day of school. I want to thank you for your support and participation in the redesign process and in the summer contests. Mary Lai- uppa won the caption contest (page 5). Jennifer Low, Lisa Dabel, Arlynn Ward and Margaret Rourke won the photo con- test (page 57). We want you to have a successful year and a successful career. The success of educators and students has always been a p r i o r i t y f o r CTA . T h a t ' s o u r r e a s o n for being, as you can see in our Strate- g i c P l a n ( /our future ) . S i n ce t h a t was adopted last year, we've been doing t h i n g s a l i t t l e d i f f e re n t ly. Fo r ex a m p l e , I've put a new member's guide to your CTA i n t h e b a c k o f t h i s i s s u e . Ye s , t h e back pages are upside down. Trust me, t h e r e a r e s o m a n y C TA b e n e f i t s a n d r e s o u r c e s t o h e l p y o u p e r s o n a l l y a n d professionally. You'll be surprised. S p e a k i n g o f n e w m e m b e r s , o n p a ge 44 you'll meet charter school educators who are organizing new CTA chapters. They have a refreshing take on unioniza- tion and the value of CTA membership. A n d o n p a ge 5 0 , c o l l e a g u e s s h a re w hy they stay members. Common Core m eets common sense in C alifornia Common Core Rum s equi t iurit Cynthia Menzel E D I T O R I N C H I E F I come from a family of educators, and my sister Linda, a middle school coun- selor, just retired last year. She says she's relieved about not having to prepare for a new year on the one hand, and she misses her kiddos on the other. Our feature on p a ge 9 c h ro n i c l e s t h e wo r l d o f s c h o o l counselors, including an entertaining story about how discussions in the bathroom can solve conflicts or finalize class schedules, and how members help students deal with emotional issues such as divorce, drug abuse, violence and bullying. How to start the year and remain stress- free is on page 41. I can see you rolling your eyes. Believe it or not, writer Sherry Po s n i c k - G o o d w i n ' s b l o g t h i s m o n t h describes how visiting an abusive prin- cipal gave her a deeper understanding of teacher stress. As always, this magazine is full of mem- bers' good work. It is a stressful time, and I hope receiving this magazine a little early will give you more time to read. 8

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