California Educator

February 2016

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What's Your Story? M U C H O F W H A T educators do is help students find their voice. That is, you go beyond instilling received wisdom to help develop students' sense of self and draw out their ability to observe, assess, and express their own thoughts and opinions. You help them tell their story, and undoubtedly derive great satisfaction in the process. But what of your voice? Educators are often so selfless and busy that in the nonstop daily hustle of teaching and paperwork and grading — and having a personal life! — their own expression gets buried. Your thoughts and opinions, your stories, take a back seat to other demands. e Educator wants to change that. Tell us stories about your expe- rience — your classes, your students, your life. Our new section, aptly titled "Your Voice," debuts on page 18 with a gem of an essay detailing how one high school English teacher finally fostered a love of reading in a class of tough customers (see box). Also in this issue are several features that will brighten any winter day. In "Forever Young" (page 20), veteran educators reveal secrets to staying fresh and vital year after year. "Every day I decide I'm going to be happy," says Darla Dreesen, who has been teaching art for almost four decades. "I'm in charge of my own happiness. I have even told a few students that nothing is going to make me mad, and my goal is to stay happy and joyful." Our story "Making Movies" (page 24) spotlights the one and only James Franco, who has teamed up with Esther Wojcicki, his celebrated high school journalism teacher, to lead a filmmaking workshop for teens. Franco extols the virtues of project-based learning, which he first experienced under Wojcicki. Don't miss "Is Trauma a Disability?" (page 40), which looks at how grow- ing up in a violent, disruptive environment can traumatize students and affect their learning and behavior. Several educators have joined a federal class-action lawsuit against Compton Unified School District to demand that traumatized students be provided the same services and protections given to other students with disabilities. And keyboarding makes a comeback! "Not All umbs" (page 43) explains why knowing how to type has become essential. Students take online assess- ments to measure knowledge of the Common Core State Standards; tests include essay questions and tasks that are harder for those who lack key- boarding skills. Finally, we hail the 2016 California Teachers of the Year (page 52) for their innovative work and the way they connect with students. We loved hearing their stories. Now we want to hear yours. Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F Your Voice Have something to say about your students, and the art and science of teaching? Tell us a story that illustrates your experience or opin- ion, and it could be published in "Your Voice." See our first entry on page 18: Educator Matt Biers-Ariel tells of a student named Victor who, aer being told he had a D, "raised his arms and hollered, 'Yes!' A D is a pass, and that was good enough." "Victor is in a class with lots of Victors," Biers-Ariel continues. "Think Lord of the Flies. This particular class is rowdier than my others in the same proportion that the football team is rowdier than the chess club." Send no more than 650 words to, with "Your Voice" in the subject line. Submissions are subject to edit- ing for clarity and space. editor's note 7 February 2016

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