California Educator


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taught for five years. Ziegler, a United Educators of San Francisco member, believes that students need reasons to learn and incentives to do well in school. “Relevancy in curriculum is missing and can also be an expla- nation for the existence of an achievement gap. Students are given very few choices about their learning. With the virtual elimi- nation of the practical arts classes, such as woodshop and auto re- pair, many students find little in their day that motivates them.” “The desire to learn was heavily influenced by the best master teacher I had — my mother,” continues Ziegler. “My mom taught public school for over 30 years, and most of her career was focused on working with deaf students. She went above and beyond what is re- quired of a teacher. I have mem- ories of buying hearing aid bat- teries for students and driving kids to meetings and appoint- ments. I strive every day to be the teacher I know my mother would want me to be.” Superintendent O’Connell says, “I am extremely proud of all teachers, here in California as well as across the nation, who in the past year have had to en- dure devastating cutbacks in funding and programs, as well as layoff notices and elimination of positions. It is more impor- tant than ever to honor people who chose to become teachers and to celebrate this most noble of professions.” Created in 1972 to pay tribute to the state’s teachers, the California Teacher of the Year competition is open to educators who teach pre-kindergarten through grade 12. To learn more about the selection process, visit the California Department of Education at Grab a spoon and serve up some reading — it’s Read Across America! that Read Across America (RAA) is in the air. This year’s spotlighted book, Armadilly Chili by Helen Ketteman, is the “basic stock” for California’s 2010 RAA theme, “Serve Up a Good Book.” The story is about an armadillo who asks her friends to help her make some chili and discovers that her chili tastes better when it’s I magine a pot of bubbly goodness and the aroma of spices on the stove. It’s a hint shared with friends. Launched by NEA in 1997, Read Across America has be- come a reading celebration that has grown annually with thousands of creative events hosted across the nation. It’s celebrated each year on or near March 2, the birthday of chil- dren’s author Dr. Seuss. This year’s honorary Cali- fornia co-chairs are Armadilly Chili’s book illustrator Will Ter- ry and Los Angeles chef and ca- terer Paul McCullough. Will Terry has illustrated 20 chil- dren’s books and teaches illus- tration part time at his local community college in Utah. McCullough has been a guest chef on “Extra” and the Fine Living Network and appeared in Season 3 of “The Next Food Network Star.” CTA members can access RAA art and materials through the CTA website (www.c t a.o r g/ c ommuni t y / Read+Across+ America). In addi t io n, books, plush, stickers, pencils, chili mugs, rubber stamps and RAA T-shirts will be available for purchase at upcoming CTA conferences, as well as at our new CTA Read Across America Online Store at www.ctareadacrossamerica. com. CTA welcomes the Los An- • • • • Here’s Your Shopping List! Remind your principal about the event and refer him or her to the CTA or NEA website ( for additional information and ideas. If March 2 conflicts with your school calendar, arrange your celebration for another day that week or even the week before or after. Consult your school librarian, who may have event ideas and resources to offer. Invite “guest readers” to visit your school and read to students. Visits from police officers, firefighters, radio/television personalities, athletes, political figures and other community members can make a big impression on young people. Ask your guests to tell your students why reading is important in their lives and what their favorite books were when they were children. Share your plans with your colleagues. Pledge to participate on the NEA website and keep your local association office informed of what you’re doing at your school. Let your local media outlets and education reporters know about your event. geles County Fire Department to our family of partners! Re- turning partners include the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Barnes & Noble, the California Library Association, the California School Library Association, California Profes- sional Firefighters, the Los An- geles Dodgers Dream Founda- tion, First Financial Credit Union, Scholastic, See’s Can- dies, and Will Terry. sHeri miyamoto december 2009 • january 2010 | 29 Illustration © 2009 by Will Terry

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