January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Leaning In and Leading by Example

Posted: Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

by Laura Henriques

The retirement of Phil Lafontaine from the California Department of Education has me thinking again about leadership in science education, particularly in California. In addition to hiring Phil’s replacement, CDE’s STEM Office was also hiring. As I think about science educators around the state who might apply for these positions I fear we are not doing a good enough job of helping foster our future leaders. I recognize that lean budgets and multiple years of teacher lay-offs contribute to an environment that is not conducive to building leadership. However, times are changing and there is a renewed focus and energy around STEM education. As a community, we need to take advantage of this opportunity and help develop a pipeline of science education leaders.

Those of you who read this column regularly know that this is not the first time I have encouraged you to get involved beyond your classroom. In my first column as President of CSTA, I wrote of my desire to see more CSTA members take steps towards becoming leaders in science education. I urged you to get involved at your school site, to become more active in CSTA, and to mentor colleagues to help them become engaged. The processes during which the state adopted the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards provided multiple opportunities to make your voices heard. In the months and years ahead there will be more chances to do so.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, wrote a popular book entitled Lean In. Sandberg focused on the lack of women in leadership positions and provided suggestions on how to empower women to achieve their potential. While her book addresses the problem of too few women in leadership positions, the lessons and suggestions are valuable for everyone regardless of gender. The title of the book encourages us to refrain from the habit of sitting back and withholding ideas and opinions. While Sandberg writes about women who hold back and don’t lean in, I think it is safe to say that almost all of us have moments where we sit back and watch instead of getting actively involved. I want to take space in this column to give a shout out to those of you who have leaned in (you know who you are) and encourage the rest of us to do what we can to make moves towards leadership positions and more engagement with the science education community.

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Share Your Classroom Expertise. Many of you have written for California Classroom Science (CCS) this past year. While your CSTA Board members have great things to share, we also know that our members have a wealth of expertise and experience. To that end, each board member has invited at least one colleague to write an article for CCS this year. This is something we will continue in the future, but know that any member can write for CCS…you don’t need to wait for an invitation! For example, consider writing about a great lesson or lab, a teaching strategy that worked well, results of action research that could be helpful to others, or resources you think other teachers would find useful. You probably also know of colleagues who are doing really wonderful things in their classrooms…ask them to write an article. One of the suggestions Sandberg writes about is the importance of mentoring and encouraging people to get involved. Maybe you can help someone on their professional path by asking them to write for CCS. Click here for CCS themes, deadlines, and author guidelines.

State Level Opportunities to Lean In. With the adoption of NGSS and CCSS there have been multiple ways for science teachers to lean in and lead. Already acknowledged are the numerous CSTA members who contributed to the Science Framework Focus Groups and the regional focus groups that provided feedback about the ELA/ELD Framework to the Instructional Quality Commission. The work of those individuals and groups will affect all of us. The feedback from the science framework focus groups has provided direction to the IQC for the science framework. Meanwhile, the ELA review teams provided more than 40 pages of input about the ELA Framework that have strengthened and shaped the final draft of that document. I know that 171 of you applied to serve on the Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Commission, and the IQC and SBE will be selecting as many as 20 to serve on that commission soon. Thank you for taking the time to apply to serve and for those of you selected, we are indebted to the time and effort you will devote to the task.

Districts Lean In. The S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation has teamed up with WestEd to support a handful of districts (K-8) who will be early implementers of NGSS. The districts will serve as models for the rest of the state, sharing lessons on building capacity, implementation, and strategies for success. Lessons from these fast-start adopters will provide guidance for the rest of the state. It is exciting to know we’ll have schools and districts paving the way and sharing their results to help ease the implementation for the rest of us. In a few instances, it has been a CSTA member who urged their district to apply for this opportunity. Talk about science teachers making a difference and helping shape their destiny! Way to go!

Serve CSTA. Beyond writing for CSTA’s newsletter, CCS, you can also serve on a working committee. Initial appointments for CSTA’s committees will be made at the June 14, 2014 board meeting. If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please contact me. The committees that need your energy, expertise, and innovations are the NGSS, publications, membership, legislative oversight, and conference committees. The committees do most of their work electronically and via conference calls.

CSTA members have already received ballots to vote for new CSTA Board Members. Our entire organization will benefit from the work the soon-to-be elected board members will do on our behalf. I am thrilled that we have such strong candidates on the ballot and I truly appreciate them stepping up to serve. I am saddened, however, that in a state of our size we don’t have numerous CSTA members applying to run for the various board positions. Please vote; balloting closes on May 15.

Mentor the Next Generation. For you more seasoned veterans out there, do what you can to support your colleagues’ professional development. Sandberg speaks of the importance of having a mentor; perhaps you can serve that role. We can all look around and find at least one science educator who has potential. Find that person and make it your goal to help them reach their potential. Encourage them to apply for opportunities and be available to guide them as they take steps towards leadership.

We need to have a pipeline of strong science education advocates who will lead us forward. Lean in. Support your colleagues and encourage them to get involved. Do something together. CSTA needs you; California needs you.

Written by Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques

Laura Henriques is a professor of science education at CSU Long Beach and a past-president of CSTA.

One Response

  1. Laura,
    Thank you for your well-written, inspiring article. As a past president of CSTA, it is safe to say that it is a continual, long-term process to “grow” new leaders in science education. Readers of this newsletter may be interested to know there is a national organization devoted to building leadership expertise for current and emerging science leaders… the National Science Education Leadership Association (nsela.org). I am currently on the board of NSELA and encourage science educators to consider the opportunities NSELA offers. Thank you for your service to CSTA and for your inspiring us to mentor new leaders!
    Deborah Tucker

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LATEST POST

California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.