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By Julian Peeples

Students, parents, school districts and communities across the state celebrated some of society’s most benevolent people yesterday, as part of California Day of the Teacher and National School Nurse Day observances.

As Californians paid thanks to educators for all their efforts to build a brighter tomorrow, this year’s Day of the Teacher theme focused on their critical roles in nurturing and inspiring students, as well as new and rising members of the profession: “Planting Seeds, Inspiring Students and Future Educators.”

“Today, we honor and pay tribute to California educators and school nurses in our neighborhood public schools and colleges for their extraordinary work with students across the state, and for their vital role in growing and mentoring the next generation of educators,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “As California struggles with a teacher shortage crisis, thousands of educators are forging ahead, inspiring students, planting seeds, modeling both excellence and a love of teaching, and encouraging their students to enter this vital profession.”

This week (May 8-12) is also National Teacher Appreciation Week, while next week CTA celebrates Education Support Professionals Day on May 16.

In conjunction with Day of Teacher, CTA launched a series of television ads today spotlighting California’s nation-leading efforts in building community schools and the importance of the shared leadership and decision-making that helps create transformative opportunities for students and local communities.

CTA’s new ad campaign showcases the transformative power of community schools.

Many of the hard-working educators we honor on Day of the Teacher have led California’s community schools movement. With the support of the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom and a $4 billion investment, California is leading the way nationally in the development and expansion of community schools.

“As we honor educators and nurses today, we call out the critical role they also play in community schools and in providing students with the wide-ranging opportunities and supports they need and deserve,” said Boyd. “Share our ads with your local educators, parents and families. Join CTA in reimagining public education and meeting the needs of students, one community at a time.”

Many school districts are already well along the path to successful implementation of this thriving shared-leadership model featured in the new ads, which includes parents, educators, students and community members working together to better meet the needs of students and families. In others, educators are challenging and fighting back against administrative roadblocks that undermine the promise of community schools.

“Educators, parents and students are reimagining public education in their local communities through community schools,” said CTA Vice President David Goldberg. “And while many school districts like Richmond, Montebello, Los Angeles, Anaheim and others are embracing the power that lies in shared decision-making, some like the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) – where educators are on strike in support of community schools – are putting up roadblocks that negatively impact students. We call on OUSD to bargain in good faith to support educators, students and families.”

CTA Board Member Shelly Gupton and state Sen. Susan Rubio, who introduced the resolution observing California Day of the Teacher.

California Day of the Teacher is modeled after “El Día del Maestro” which is observed in Mexico and Latin-American countries. California Day of the Teacher arose out of legislation co-sponsored by CTA and the Association of Mexican American Educators in 1982. Today, State Senator Susan Rubio introduced a resolution on the State Senate floor celebrating and supporting the Day of the Teacher.

Oakland-based artist and social justice activist Favianna Rodriguez created CTA’s 2023 Day of the Teacher poster – download it here.


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