California Educator

August / September 2017

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"When you learn, teach. When you get, give." a y a A n g e l o u's l e s s o n f r o m h e r g r a n d m o t h e r i s s u r e l y embedded in the soul of every edu cator. How el se to e xpl ain th eir infinite capacity to share of their knowl- edge and of themselves? ey do this not only with their students, but with their colleagues, day in and day out. This generosity of spirit is the hall- mark of our Back to School Issue. On these pages, educators from all over the state share their best advice, tips, ideas, resources and wisdom to help you be a better, smarter, savvier edu- cator. " D i g i t a l L e ss o n - S h a r i n g " ( p a ge 20), for example, looks at how Open Educational Resources (OER) — openly licensed digital assets for classroom use — are flourishing. Teachers who would pass their lesson plans to colleagues down the hall now share them on OER sites where educators around the coun- try can adapt and use them. Our story explores the great boon that is OER, as well as its challenges and caveats. In " The Reimagined Classroom" ( p a g e 3 6 ) , e d u c a t o r s s h o w a n d t e l l h ow th e y 'v e re c onf i gured sp a c e s or modified instruction to meet 21st cen- tur y student needs. Now that teacher B r y n n Hu t c h i s o n h a s l o w e re d s t u - dent desks and brought in yoga balls, she says "the kids are more engaged , there's more participation." There's something for everyone in "Tips From the Pros" (page 40). Erinn Brennan welcomes students w ith a cro ssw ord puzzl e featur - ing their names to show them "we are a cl a ssro om u nit a n d n e e d to w ork together." For Back to School Night, Pat Estarziau has children create clues for a scavenger hunt for parents. Christine Hester offers up what's in her "survival" tote bag, her go-to teacher shoes, and an easy, no-fail dinner recipe. An d G l enn D um a s st ar t s cl a ss by asking w hich of hi s high school stu- dents need a boost, then telling them by name "Coach D loves you!" before i n t r o d u c i n g t h e d ay 's l e s s o n . " It i s amazing the number of students going through tri al s and tri bul ations w ho n eed som e on e, any on e, to t el l th em they are loved," he says. N e w t e a c h e r s w i l l w a n t t o r e a d "Reflections on the First Year" (page 26), w here new educators speak out on what they learned — in class and at CTA's New Educator Weekend — and its impact on how they teach. "Making the Grade" (page 28) is also geared for new teachers, with expert tips from col- leagues for passing probation. Ne w bi e s and vets ali ke w i l l enjoy insights from the California Teachers of the Year in "Great Expectations" (page 23). ese all-star educators have a common refrain: unwavering belief in students' individual ability and growth, and boundless empathy. S o ci al i s o l ation and ri gi d cli qu e s during school lunchtime can have dev- astating consequences. But as "Curing th e Lunchtim e Lon elies" ( page 32) describes, educators are helping stu- dents connect to one another and to school. Paraeducator Farah Ali started a lunchtime humanitarian club after her campus was rocked by incidents of rac- ism. e club, she says, aims to create an environment "where people feel confi- dent and develop a sense of self-esteem." S o cial conn ections are impor tant for educators, too, as well as caring for themselves — a message conveyed throughout this issue. One simple way to get a lift is to update your look; check out "Marvelous Makeovers" (page 48) to see how member and cosmetology instructor Cheryl McDonald freshened up a few colleagues, with general tips that you can follow, too. Welcome back! Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F Generosity of Spirit Paraeducator Farah Ali's lunchtime club helps students feel included. All Year Long With this issue, the Educator begins publishing every other month year-round. The schedule, along with the increased page count, will allow us to provide you with news, resources, ideas and engaging stories throughout the year. We're excited about the change. Let us know how we're doing at M 7 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 017 E D I T O R ' S N O T E

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