California Educator

August 2016

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Page 8 of 59

Ready for School editor's note M y kids say summers are short, and it's true. Just when we all get used to a slightly slower pace — one not driven by school bells, class time and homework — it's time to gear up for a new year, and this year, for new schools. ey're excited, and a little apprehensive, too. Educators may feel the same. To help ease back-to-school jitters, our August issue offers 101 tips on everything from a fun way to learn about your students (page 10) to how to take stock of your teaching style (page 24) to communicating with parents (page 45). Most tips are classroom- and student-based and drawn directly from educator experience; San Ramon Valley Education Association member Dan Fruzzetti (above), for instance, records lessons on the cellphone in his shirt pocket so he can assess himself and figure out how to improve. Tips are numbered throughout the magazine in the yellow sunbursts. Some tips recognize a constantly changing world. Teaching an increas- ingly diverse student population, for example, requires sensitivity and knowledge; the tips for Culturally Responsive Classroom Management (page 31) are but starting points for deeper exploration of the issue. "Kids are so different now, and lessons that engaged them five years ago are not going to engage them today," notes Linda Guthrie in our story on reflective teaching. Tips on teaching with emojis (page 16) and Instagram (page 17) can reach kids where they live, at least right now. In addition to the pithy advice, our issue looks at how educators are seizing opportunities to innovate and improve. At Utt Middle School in Tustin, educators found that changing up the usual first-day-of-school routine pays dividends throughout the year in terms of connecting with students (page 22). Sixth-grade teacher Ron Boren at Tuolumne Elemen- tary spearheaded a school music concert with LCAP funds (page 42) to show parents and the community what students are learning and doing. e uptick in community spirit and joy was the big payoff. And the Association of Placentia-Linda Educators (APLE) discovered that their unique workshops for student educators strengthen both stu- dents' skills and their bonds with APLE, leading some to seek jobs in APLE's district upon graduation (page 46). e common theme running through all of our stories and tips is this: Educators are doing amazing things with and for students, and their learnings can help fellow educators as well. We hope you find this issue useful. Welcome back! Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F 7 August 2016 Got a Minute? Take our survey and you'll be eligible to win! We've changed a few things in the Educator to make it easier for you to navigate and access relevant information about what's happening at CTA now, and what CTA offers for you. For example, "#WeAreCTA" on page 1 tells you about valuable services and programs from Member Benefits and upcoming professional development opportunities, as well as what's trending on social media. Our "In the Know" sec- tion starting on page 8 contains a mix of short articles to give you ideas and inspi- ration, along with news, dates and details affecting teaching life today. More changes are coming, but we need your feedback. Take our online sur- vey at to let us know what you think of the issue, what works for you and what doesn't. Partici- pants who complete the survey by Sept. 25 will be eligible to win an iPad.

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