California Educator

June/July 2022

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A T T H E E N D of the school year, educators may get thank you notes and gifts from students. Antelope High School in Placer County has a tradition that goes a little deeper : Graduating seniors from its student government class write thank you letters to a former teacher who made a difference in their lives. They surprise the teacher in their classroom and read the letter, in full cap and gown, while the younger students look on. The result is incredibly powerful and moving for all. "I am so grateful for how helpful and kind you always were to me in your class, you always believed in me even when I didn't think I would be able to do something," read Tavia Verwuest to her middle school science teacher Lisa Dushane, a member of Dry Creek Teachers Asso- ciation. Verwuest intends to pursue civil engineering, an interest that sparked during her time with Dushane. "I am so thankful that it all started with such an amazing and inspiring teacher." O th er lett ers are equally appreciative, oft en recalling light er moments. "You left a crazy impact on my life, so much so that you prob- ably don't realize it," wrote Ben Tutupoly to middle school PE teacher Jason Walker, also a Dry Creek TA member. "You dened workout drip for me, [teaching] me that those ALL NEON OUTFITS are most de- nitely not the way to go." Of course, educators inside and out of the classroom have an impact on students' lives, during all phases and in all facets. It's this whole- child approach that informs community schools, for example, and is why educators involved in transitioning their campuses to community schools feel so strongly about the work. Read what some of them are doing in "A Transformative Journey" (page 26). Recognizing educators' crucial roles in students' lives is also behind several teacher residency programs in California ("Preparing the Above: Tavia Verwuest thanks middle school teacher Lisa Dushane; left, Ben Tutupoly holds the letter he wrote to his middle school teacher Jason Walker. Educators of Tomorrow," page 20). e programs focus on supporting residents through strong relationships and professional networks, as well as through trainings centered in equity so they become the teachers their students need. " Th e residents really get to know w ho th eir stu- d e n t s a re a n d w h a t g e t s t h e m g o i n g ," s ay s Ju l i e t Wahleithner of Fresno State University 's program. Equity gures prominently in several other stories in this issue. A popular professional development webinar series for educators highlights technology, but with an eye toward social emotional learning and engagement for all students ("Training on Demand," page 42). "It's about access and equity for our kids," says Teresa Mag- payo Castro, who leads the webinars with fellow TOSA Ricardo Recinos. Teacher Ryan Brazil and her fourth- grade class recently published "Anti-Bias ABC's," where each student was responsible for an anti-bias-related word for each letter of the alphabet ("Inspiring Love, Empathy and Compassion," page 38). "If we have a little empathy and see things from a dif- ferent perspective, I think the world would be a better place," Brazil says. "And we have to start young." Indeed. ank you, educators. Katharine Fong E D I T O R I N C H I E F Feeling Thankful 6 E D I T O R ' S N O T E

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