California Educator

August 2015

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president's message T he beginning of school has always been my favorite time of the year — even when I was a student. There was a unique excitement I got walking into school that first morning, seeing friends I hadn't seen all summer, meeting my new teachers, feeling nervous but optimistic about what the year would hold. As an educator and your president, my feelings aren't that different as I look at the beginning of this school year. I'm excited about the year ahead of us and the work we will do to ensure all California students are getting the quality education they deserve. I believe we are on the threshold of real and sustainable change in public education. And I believe with our collective power and engagement, we can be the drivers of the change we want for our students, our profession and our future. How will we do this? We will support and train each other, ensuring the professional development we need to implement new standards is the professional development we get. That's what CTA is doing with the creation of the Instructional Leadership Corps. By partnering with the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Edu- cation (SCOPE) and the National Board Resource Center, CTA is building a statewide network of accomplished classroom teachers and other education leaders laser-focused on improving student learning and professional practice. We will do this by advocating for positive, strength-based and teacher-led innovation that focuses on student learning, as we do now through CTA's Foundation for Teaching and Learning. We will make sure that policymakers understand our students are more than a test score. They are unique individuals with different learning styles, interests and motivations, and our job is to help them reach their full potential, which is not something that can be measured on a high-stakes test. We will build strong local chapters by engaging members on important local issues and by partnering with parents and communities to support and improve neighborhood public schools. We will develop collaborative networks among early childhood, K-12 and higher education in order to provide a more seamless education for our students. And we will explore educational innovations around the globe, by forging relationships with like-minded educator unions and professional organizations in Canada, Finland and other countries. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and a lot to be excited about. So as you begin this new school year, know that our union stands ready to help you create positive changes in your classroom, your school and your campus. After all, no one knows better what your students need than you do. I look forward to serving as your president and representing you in Sac- ramento, in Washington, across California and abroad. And I look forward to working with you to make sure all of our students get the resources and opportunities they need to learn. Together, we are the strongest voice for our students and for the future we want for public education and for California. Eric C. Heins C T A P R E S I D E N T Eric Heins with Janet Eberhardt, United Educators of San Francisco, a community relations specialist and elementary adviser, who is NEA's 2015 ESP of the Year and CTA's 2014 ESP of the Year. Together, we are the strongest voice for our students 5 V O L U M E 2 0 I S S U E 1 Meet Eric Heins, CTA's new president, on page 11.

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