Organizers Announce that the Summit Will Be Held Annually to Support Teacher Growth and Collaboration
Fullerton, CA (July 29, 2016) — Thousands of California teachers came together on Friday at 38 locations across the state for the second annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit, a one-of-a-kind day of learning led by teachers, for teachers. The Summit is designed to build a powerful statewide network of peers and enable teachers to share strategies for implementing the new California Standards in their classrooms.
The Summit featured keynote addresses by teacher and author Kelly Gallagher, who spoke about the importance of integrating writing across curriculums, and actor Ernie Hudson, who shared his inspiring story of rising out of poverty to launch a successful career in Hollywood, with the help of his teachers.
At California State University, Sacramento, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson emphasized the importance of connecting teachers and learning from one another. “This Summit is a great opportunity to draw on teachers’ expertise and lessons learned in classrooms across the state,” Torlakson said. “Together, we can ensure our students are well-prepared for 21st century careers and college.” Torlakson, who served as Acting California Governor earlier in the week, declared July 26, 2016 as “Change Lives – Be a Teacher” day to encourage more people to become teachers.
At each site, local teachers presented TED-style EdTalks highlighting their success stories, challenges, and innovative ideas to help kids learn. During Edcamp discussions, teachers selected topics such as the California Standards in English/Language Arts and Math, and the Next Generation Science Standards, and exchanged ideas with colleagues throughout their region.
A unique partnership between the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), the California State University (CSU), and New Teacher Center formed to host this free statewide day of learning.
“At the California Teachers Summit, teachers are the experts and the students,” said Kristen Soares, President of AICCU. “Teachers are lifelong learners, and AICCU is committed to supporting teacher growth and collaboration.”
All participants received a free resource guide, which includes new teacher-vetted resources and concrete tools that are already working in classrooms across the state. The resource guide will be expanded throughout the year to help teachers put what they learned at the Summit into practice.
“The California Teachers Summit empowers teachers to engage in their own learning by identifying the resources available to grow and develop their teaching practice,” said Loren Blanchard, executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at CSU. “CSU is proud to support professional collaborations like this because we know that an investment in teachers is an investment in students.”
On Friday, organizers announced that the Summit will be held annually in July in the years to come. There will also be online and offline events throughout the year to keep this growing network of teachers connected, starting with two Twitter chats in August.
“We look forward to keeping the momentum going and building a community that will last far beyond today’s Summit,” said Ellen Moir, Founder and CEO of New Teacher Center. “In the years ahead, we are committed to expanding and strengthening this unprecedented network of California teachers.”
The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities represents 75 private nonprofit colleges and universities in California who collectively enroll 320,000 students and is the largest preparer of California’s advanced workforce. The core mission of AICCU institutions is to improve lives through higher education. AICCU institutions are committed to the public good and are incredibly diverse – ranging from large to small traditional liberal arts institutions, including nationally ranked research universities; colleges offering faith-based, performing and visual arts, and “non-traditional” programs of study; as well as professional schools that specialize in business, law, medicine, and more. In addition to providing creative and intellectual higher education resources to assure California’s future societal and economic vitality, AICCU institutions are major contributors to the economies of the regions they serve.
The California State University is the largest comprehensive university in the country, serving 474,600 students at 23 campuses. For more than 100 years, the university has been the vortex of teacher training. The CSU is known as the “people’s university,” serving the most academically, ethnically, and economically diverse students in the nation. The university is known for providing quality degree programs and preparing job-ready graduates for success. With 1 in 10 employees in California, and 1 in 20 Americans who hold a university degree in the United States as a CSU alumnus, the university has the largest alumni base of any public university in the country with 3 million living alumni.
New Teacher Center is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving student learning by guiding a new generation of educators. Founded by teachers in 1998, NTC works in conjunction with school districts, state policy makers, and educators across the country to increase the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders at all levels. These programs are built upon research-based principles for teacher onboarding, mentoring, and ongoing coaching, and proven to accelerate teacher effectiveness, reduce teacher churn, and improve student achievement. NTC has made it their mission to overcome challenges students and teachers face by providing all educators with the support and resources necessary to succeed from their first day to their last. NTC now supports over 8,500 mentors or coaches and 31,600 teachers, and is improving the learning of over 2.2 million students across the country.