California’s Educators Respond During Pandemic With Virtual Teaching & Innovations, Solidarity
Contact Gabriella Landeros at 323-406-3270 or Claudia Briggs at 916-296-4087
BURLINGAME – In the past few weeks, California’s educators and the California Teachers Association (CTA) have responded and adapted to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic with innovations and heartfelt dedication to their public education students.
As they embrace the new, temporary environment of virtual teaching, educators are using creative ways to safely connect and inspire their students and communities. While there have been challenges due to the lack of technology and access for some of California’s six million students, educators in every community across the state have done everything in their power to reach their students and meet them where they are in terms of resources.
“Educators throughout the state, who are balancing the impact of COVID-19 on their own lives and families, continue to innovate, educate and advocate for their students during this crisis. “I’m moved by the resolve and dedication that’s driven by deep affection and care.”
E. Toby Boyd, President of the 310,000-member California Teachers Association.
Since schools physically closed in March, CTA has prepared and hosted teacher-led webinar trainings to help educators transition to the new temporary teaching and learning conditions. Topics include classroom management in a digital setting, online math assessments and teaching specialized populations. A schedule of upcoming virtual member trainings and a video about best practices are here.
With Gov. Gavin Newsom announcing that schools will remain closed this academic year due to the spread of the coronavirus, but that distance learning will continue, four educators from around the state joined Gov. Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Seibel Newsom for a candid conversation. Details here.
CTA developed a comprehensive CTA toolkit for educators which includes answers to frequently asked questions.
Other resources for media are recent CTA California Educator articles, including:
- How California’s teachers are showing ingenuity and compassion during the global crisis.
- Snapshots about how educators are helping students cope with school closures and adjusting to virtual teaching. “I’m sending hopeful messages to keep things as normal as possible, while knowing that this situation is completely abnormal,” says educator Jessica Pagan, who teaches first grade in Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento.
- Tips on virtual teaching best practices from a California Virtual Academies educator and CTA member Nicole Piper in San Diego, who is holding a series of webinars to help educators without classrooms adjust. “Educators are some of the most important people in their students’ lives,” Piper says, “and their students will be so grateful to continue that relationship, even if it is in a new way.”
Educators around the state are making headlines for the many ways they are connecting to their students and communities during these uncertain times. A few examples:
FRESNO: Featuring local band “40 Watt Hype,” the Fresno Teachers Association (FTA) hosted a virtual concert with no audience March 28 to benefit their community and help feed families in need during the pandemic. Viewers donated online during the hourlong event. The FTA donated $10,000. “There are people that are obviously missing out and we, as educators, just know the impact of that and we want to make sure that we can fill whatever void we can,” FTA President Manuel Bonilla told KFSN-TV. Watch here.
OAKLAND: Keeping up an ongoing fight to protect students, Oakland Education Association members held a virtual “Hour of Power” online video protest March 24 to oppose their district’s efforts to close and merge more schools. Read here.
SAN MARCOS: Teachers from San Marcos Unified School District in San Diego County organized a 50-car parade through local neighborhoods March 27 to connect with their students, who stood outside their homes waving and smiling. Social distancing was practiced. Read here.