California Educator

August 2016

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Here are a few ideas from colleagues that might inspire you, too. SHERRI PRENDERGAST (with BECKY STEPHAN) Paraprofessional, El Rincon Elementary School Association of Classified Employees, Culver City 97 Begin the year with a clear understanding of the class- room rules and find out whether the teacher wants a support professional to be independent or follow exact directions. When expectations are clear, support profes- sionals and teachers can bounce ideas off one another and be partners. Prendergast also has this advice: "Make sure to tell the kids how smart they are. They will start to believe it if someone tells them it is true." For links to NEA ESP conferences, trainings and other programs, see STEVE ABERLE Spanish teacher, Computech Middle School Fresno Teachers Association 98 On Aberle's blackboard every day are the large block letters BTEOTLYSBAT. It stands for: By the end of this les- son, you should be able to… What follows changes daily, based on the lesson announced at the beginning of each class. The acronym, like a roadmap, helps stu- dents understand exactly what they are expected to know and do once the bell rings. It also reminds Aberle to align daily curriculum with learning objectives, and serves as a guideline to make sure he stays on track. JAMAL COOKS Professor, secondary education, San Francisco State University California Faculty Association 99 Cooks urges future teachers to find balance in their lives when they enter the classroom, and to build "quality of life" outside of school to avoid burnout. This includes exercising on a regular basis and creating time and activ- ities with family and friends. He says it helps to find a core group of people who work in community services (teachers, social workers, coaches, etc.) who can relate to teachers' daily experiences. "It's more important than ever to stay grounded," says Cooks. TIFFANY SAMORA English language arts and AVID teacher, Muscatel Middle School Rosemead Teachers Association 100 Samora says AVID (Advancement via Individual Determi- nation, a college readiness program) has "truly revolutionized the way in which I approach teaching." She particularly likes its Middle Level Writing and English Language Learners curriculum for engaging lessons and strategies that can be utilized in all subject areas. To generate thought-provoking conversations and essays, books she assigns include "The Outsiders" and "The Freedom Writers Diary." She screens movies such as Homeless to Harvard and We Are Marshall because of their themes that teach tolerance and connect to teens. Among her favorite literacy websites:,, RAY GALELA Music teacher, El Camino High School South San Francisco Classroom Teachers Association 101 The book Principles of Classroom Management by James Levin and James F. Nolan proved invaluable during Galela's first two years of teaching. He still refers to it from time to time, as he does The Dreamkeepers: Suc- cessful Teachers of African American Children by Gloria Ladson-Billings, where the experiences of eight success- ful teachers who dealt with cultural differences, behavior and financial issues in class are tied into research about education and teaching. "Stories told by the teachers still inspire me to be a better teacher," Galela says. Words of Wisdom Back-to -school nuggets from members Inquiring Minds Want to Know We want your input: What do you think of the Educator? What do you like, what do you want to see more of? What don't you like and don't need? Tell us in our online survey at Reply by Sept. 25 and you'll be entered to win an iPad. 56 CTA & you

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