It’s never too late in the year to teach the value of a safe, inclusive and affirming classroom and school — for LGBTQ+ and all students. Check out GLSEN (glsen.org/educate/resources) for lesson plans and resources. From “Be an Ally, Not a Bystander” to “Unheard Voices,” all grade levels are served.
Beyond celebrating Pride Month in June, there’s a big need. A recent Equality California Institute survey (safesupportiveschools.org) finds that school districts are inconsistently implementing state laws designed to protect LGBTQ+ students. While the report gives relatively high marks to schools for anti-bullying and suicide prevention efforts, it notes that curricula, staff diversity training, and policies involving transgender and gender-nonconforming students could be considerably improved.
Summertime, and the Reading is Easy
Make sure your students know how important — and fun — it is to read during their summer break. Here are a few teacher-recommended books that will be sure to captivate; for more, go to cta.org/californiareads.
In Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson (grades 1-2), CJ sees his friend Colby leave church in a car with his dad. Why must he and his grandmother wait in the rain for the bus ride across town? Why don’t they don’t own a car? Why doesn’t he have an iPod like other boys? Why? Nana’s answers spark his imagination and help him see the beauty in the world around them.
A Night Divided, by Jennifer Nielsen (grades 6-8), finds Gerta’s family suddenly divided by the rise of the Berlin Wall after her father and brother go west in search of work. East German soldiers closely watch Gerta, her mother and other brother Fritz, as well as the rest of the community. One day she spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, and figures out that he wants her and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall. The consequences if they are caught will be deadly. Can she and her family do it?
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sánchez (grades 9-12), tells the tale of smart, rebellious teen Julia Reyes, who lives with her parents and “perfect” older sister Olga. After Olga dies in an accident, Julia discovers that she may not have been as saintly as everyone believed. She also finds out why her parents are so fearful of Julia building a different life for herself.
NEA Human Rights Award Winner Eddy Zheng
The 2019 NEA Human and Civil Rights Award winners will be feted July 3 in Houston during NEA’s Representative Assembly. The annual event honors leaders in racial justice, social justice, and human and civil rights.
Winner of the Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Award is youth counselor and activist Eddy Zheng. Zheng emigrated with his family from China to Oakland when he was 12. A latchkey kid who spoke no English, he was an outsider who soon fell in with criminal activity. Zheng ended up spending 20 years in San Quentin State Prison, where he turned his life around. His story is a testament to second chances, the transformative power of education, and immigrant communities’ positive contributions to American society.
For the full list of winners, go to nea.org/grants/HCRAwards.html.
PBL World 2019
June 18–20 Conference
American Canyon High School, Napa Valley. PBL World, sponsored by the nonprofit Buck Institute for Education, is the premier conference for Project Based Learning.
ISTE 2019 Conference & Expo
June 23–26 Conference
Philadelphia. More than 16,000 educators will attend the nonprofit International Society for Technology in Education’s annual convention, which offers over 1,000 professional development opportunities and edtech exhibits.
ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence
June 25–27 Conference
Orlando, Florida. “Building Resilient Schools.” Hear top-tier experts present essential trauma-informed practices and concrete ways to instill self-worth and a tenacious, optimistic mindset for every student. Discover innovative, creative strategies that bring results for even the most challenged student.
NEA Conference on Racial and Social Justice
June 30–July 2 Conference
Houston. “Plug In, Connect, Recharge” is the theme of NEA’s 2019 Conference on Racial and Social Justice. Workshops, panels and plenaries will give you information and resources to plan, strategize and engage on issues that impact educational opportunities for communities of color, LGBTQ+ and women.
NEA Representative Assembly
July 2–7 Convention
Houston. With about 8,000 delegates, the RA is the world’s largest democratic deliberative body. CTA members will help set policy and chart the direction of NEA business.
July 18–21 Conference
Fairmont Hotel, San Jose. This training is geared for local chapter leaders. New and second-year presidents and new community college chapter presidents begin on Thursday with specially tailored core training; others join them Friday for electives and workshops to enhance leadership skills. Hotel cut-off: June 25.
NSTA 8th Annual STEM Forum & Expo
July 24–26 Conference
Moscone Center West, San Francisco. Hosted by the National Science Teachers Association, this event brings together educators and exhibitors, and provides tools and resources for successful STEM education, outreach programs, partnerships, schools and curricula. Keynote speaker is Bernard A. Harris Jr., CEO of the National Math + Science Initiative, which aims to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in STEM education across the country. The first African American to walk in space, Harris is a medical doctor and former NASA scientist.
July 28–Aug. 1 Conference
UCLA Conference Center, Los Angeles. CTA’s premier training workshop offers six concurrent full-week strands that will prepare you to accomplish your leadership role in your chapter and meet your professional development goals. For example, the Instruction and Professional Development strand explores how the brain impacts student learning, encompassing brain science, trauma-informed practices and more. Registration deadline: July 14.
CA MTSS Professional Learning Institute
July 29–31 Conference
Long Beach Convention Center. “All Means All — Know My Name, Face and Story.” The California Multi-Tiered System of Support gathering offers immersive learning on creating equitable and inclusive school conditions for all.