California Educator

November 2014

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Page 9 of 63

editor's Note Time to be grateful for teachers Ever been asked that question? Well, your colleagues in Weed experienced it. They had 10 minutes or less to evacuate school, and many put their students' safety before their families' (page 9). The photos alone prompt gratitude, which is what your colleagues in Weed wanted to talk about — what they're thankful for, like a successful evacuation plan, or a neighbor who made sure an elderly mom was safe. As always, teachers stepped up and did the right thing. And as usual, this magazine is chock-full of stories about amazing work, caring and volunteerism. The heroes of the Boles Fire can't be thanked enough. Personally, I'm grateful to Darvin Atkeson, a vet who provided us the stunning cover photo. Darvin and those who serve our country were honored on Nov. 11. Many of you participated in "Take a Veteran to School Day," and I hope you share your story on CTA's Facebook page. How was your school and your good work honored during American Edu- cation Week? Remember the American Legion and NEA are responsible for that week of celebration. Honoring your good work in these pages means you'll read about the labor of love of paraeducator Terri Diaz (page 44). And Celia Lamantia, who teaches incarcerated students, helping them develop academic and social skills so they can be successful when they reintegrate into society (page 22). And there's Dennis Danziger, who started a club for kids whose Fire is raging, and you can take only one thing from your home. What do you take? family members are in prison. They have published a book of poems and essays (page 48). Matt Johanson writes about the value of teaching journalism and the great experiences and marketable skills his stu- dents acquire from interviewing people like Marvel Comics guru Stan Lee and Attorney General Kamala Harris (page 50). S o m a n y s t o r i e s a b o u t s o m a n y o f y o u d o i n g s u c h a m a z i n g w o r k . Yo u r s t u d e n t s a n d C TA c a n ' t t h a n k yo u e n o u g h . A n d s o c i e t y c a n ' t t h a n k you enough. Which brings me to one last thought. A rant, really. If I've upset both sides, then I've done my job right. That was my philosophy as a cub news reporter. Of course, that meant talking to both sides when I was writing a story. Even in this magazine, where advocacy for teach- ing and learning issues is the main goal, we attempt to be balanced, to at least explore multiple sides. I learned that from admired reporters and respected publications. So when I read the Nov. 3 Time magazine cover article, "Rot- ten apples: It's nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher," I felt like a respected mentor had admitted to being an ax murderer. From an editor's perspective, it was obvious who paid for the article. "Faux" news like this galls me, and more so in this case, the comments thanking "billion- aires who are stepping up and fixing the [education] system." When Time was an authentic news source, a teacher would have been interviewed. And seriously, it was simply disingenuous to put in a photo and a quote by AFT's Randi Weingarten to insinuate the "other side" had provided input. OK. I'm over it. I'll not be reading that magazine any- more. But I'm glad you read this one. And I thank you for sharing your feedback. Also, it's great that you put your thoughts into action, campaigning and sharing your opinions during this past election. The public listens to you talk about who to vote for and what to support. All of that happened and you prevailed in spite of millions spent against you by those billionaires "fixing" education. Thank you. Cynthia Menzel E D I T O R I N C H I E F 8

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