Author Archives: Emily Davis

Give students choice in the classroom

Choice. We all want the freedom and power to choose what and how we learn. Because we know ourselves better than anyone else. The Better Together: California Teachers Summit, a free statewide day of learning, embraces the notion of choice – for teachers and students alike. Nothing is pre-determined beforehand. You choose what topics you […]

Why Teachers Should Be Lifelong Learners

At last year’s Better Together: California Teachers Summit, keynote speaker Dr. Jill Biden told the crowd at Saint Mary’s College of California that she is always the oldest student in her class – and that being a lifelong learner is a sign of a true educator. Dr. Biden’s speech really touched me. I’ve been teaching […]

Beyond all Expectations: Brian McDaniel

Beyond all expectations. Those three words sum up Dr. Brian McDaniel’s teaching philosophy and life motto. A 2018 California Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Nominee, Dr. McDaniel has raised over $1,000,000 through grants, donations, sponsorships and fundraisers to ensure that every child can participate in his award-winning music programs. At […]

There’s no one-size-fits-all to education

When Ryan Kile was in college at CSU Fullerton, the headquarters for the 2018 Better Together: California Teachers Summit, he walked past a campus flyer seeking math tutors at a local high school. Now, 13 years later, he considers becoming a math teacher one of the best decisions of his life. “I always joke with […]

From a One Room Schoolhouse to the California Teachers Summit

Jonna Weidaw is not your typical teacher. For 16 years, she has taught grades seven through twelve in a one-room school house in Mendocino County. Expelled by their local school districts, these at-risk students are often on probation or suffer from substance abuse and mental health issues. “They’re labeled at-risk youth, but I don’t like […]

A Conversation with Yolanda Minor

A facilitator at last year’s Better Together: California Teachers Summit, Yolanda Minor teaches English language arts and English language development to eighth-graders in San Lorenzo, California. She says the Summit is a powerful reminder that teachers need to take time to invest in themselves so that they can continue to help every student reach his […]

“I didn’t choose teaching, teaching chose me.” – Jill Watson

Teaching flows through Jill Watson’s genes. For 14 years, she has followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, mother, aunts, uncle and brothers – all of whom are teachers. “I didn’t choose teaching, teaching chose me,” says Jill. “It’s who I am as a person and in the fiber of my being.” While she initially […]