California Educator

November 2014

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CTA & You H A T C T A ' S Strategic Plan is more than a notebook was evident at the October State Council meeting when every committee participated in a creative pro- cess that will ultimately drive CTA's actions. T Communication is key State Council delegates get out the vote, provide feedback on CTA Strategic Plan There are 25 committees that meet during State Council, vetting and researching issues from teacher evaluation to school funding to local chapter communications proj- ects. In their committee meetings at Council, delegates participated in an "appreciative inquiry" process, which is a researched-based practice that explores past and present strengths and passions in order to focus on a future out- come. In this case, delegates gave feedback on the future of CTA. Delegates paired up and discussed questions based on the plan's key focus areas. For example, participants who selected "transforming our profession" discussed how CTA has been a "positive force for change," and how the union "responded to CTA member interests in its effort to improve the teaching/education profession." As part of this process, delegates were asked to write "provocative propositions" that challenge the status quo and suggest new possibilities for CTA and its members. This "appreciative inquiry" process will occur with CTA members, leaders and staff through local chapter, Service Center and regional meetings. Feedback will be analyzed, and a preliminary report will be shared at State Council in April. Clay Walker, a first-time delegate from Norwalk-La Mirada, said he enjoyed the committee work. "Sounds funny, I know. My 'aha!' moment was the true enjoyment I had when interacting with colleagues and rolling up my sleeves to get busy with problem solving. This was the essence of State Council for me," he said. Executive Director Joe Nuñez thanked delegates for their good work. "Your feedback is critical to the suc- cess of moving our culture and structures to being more responsive to the needs of our members." State Council There were 119 first-timers at State Council, and they sometimes find it all overwhelming. Here's what two of them learned from their first meeting. "I discovered State Council is a platform for our voices to be heard by the governing body of CTA. State Council offers a unique opportunity to dialogue with colleagues statewide about issues that concern educators throughout California and nationwide. And it offers a unique opportunity to propose solutions and address issues inherent in education through the New Business Item development process." CLAY WALKER, Teachers Association of the Norwalk-La Mirada Area (TANLA), represents TANLA and Paramount. "The Sunday morning session was memorable. There were four microphones available for delegates. It was great to hear that our members have a place to share their opinions. I appreciated that there was a process to ensure that people had an opportunity to share their opinions (Robert's Rules of Order)." MIGUEL RIVERA, Arvin Teachers Association, represents 21 local chapters in central California. "As a single mom, I appreciate CTA providing child care at meetings like this. It'd be difficult to do this work without this. I wish schools would provide child care for new moms. I'm glad CTA tries to accommodate those with young families." SALINA JOINER, Asociación de Maestros Unidos, shown here with 12-month-old Brooklyn. 54

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