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By Julian Peeples

Hundreds of educators spent nearly a week of their hard-earned summer break honing their skills, learning new ones and networking with fellow members at the 2022 CTA Summer Institute, held at University of California Los Angeles.

Participating in one of 11 subject-specific strands, including Essential Bargaining Skills, School Finance, Economic Justice and Communications, CTA educators returned in-person to UCLA for the first time since 2019 – Summer Institute was held virtually for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toby Boyd welcomed attendees to his last Summer Institute as CTA president during the institute’s opening session. He thanked educators for all their efforts over the past two difficult years and underscored the importance of our work for the schools all students deserve.

“You are heroes! Heroes to your students, their families and your colleagues,” Boyd said. “We have to continue to fight. We have to continue to be that voice for our students.”

This year’s Instruction and Professional Development Strand featured guest speakers including education researcher Andy Hargreaves, National Youth Poet Laureate Alexandra Huynh and Sacramento County Office of Education social-emotional learning advocate Channa Cook-Harvey, as well as a session helping educators navigate National Board Certification. New this year to Summer Institute: a Community Schools strand where select educators learned about the transformative power of community schools and the tools needed to successfully build them in school districts.

Award-winning educator and social media icon Nicholas Ferroni traveled from his native New Jersey to join educators in the Communications Strand, where he shared tips and stories about being an educator on social media, building an audience and utilizing the platforms to effect change.

“I like to provide spaces on my platform for teachers to learn and share, because we feel so alone,” Ferroni told educators.

A number of state and local elected officials joined educators at UCLA, including California Secretary of State Shirley Weber and Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who also delivered Summer Institute’s closing keynote speech, sharing a personal story about how educators supported and helped him through difficult times as a youth.

State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Garvey Education Association member/CalSTRS Board Member Ken Tang.

“These teachers saved my life,” Lara shared. “Thank you for the support you have given me throughout my career. My partner in justice is always going to be CTA.”


The Discussion 1 comment Post a Comment

  1. Judee Martinez says...

    It was an incredible five days! I attended the Community Schools Strand and I left feeling supported, energized and empowered in the knowledge that our work will transform education. And that only together will we be able to make the transformational change and equity that all our students deserve!

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