NU Hosts More Than 500 San Diego Teachers at California Teachers Summit

CA Teachers Summit in San Diego
National University hosted hundreds of San Diego teachers at the second-annual Better Together: CA Teachers Summit.

National University’s Sanford College of Education was thrilled to co-host the second annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit on July 29, 2016 at the Town and Country Convention Center in San Diego.

The Summit was a free statewide day of learning and networking that was open to all California PreK-12 teachers, teacher candidates, school administrators, and other educators. National University - which held one of the largest of the statewide events last year - invited San Diego area teachers to share ideas, join a teacher network, and learn effective strategies for implementing the new California Standards in their classrooms.

Last year’s inaugural Better Together Summit brought together nearly 15,000 teachers at 33 locations. This year’s Summit expanded to nearly 40 locations statewide, including the one hosted by National University, which is among the largest private, nonprofit universities in the state. Teachers are a driving force of innovation, and as we face a critical time where the California teacher shortage is at a ten-year low, it is important to bring educators together to celebrate, empower, and support the profession.

A San Diego teacher adds her inspirational quote to the #WhyITeach board.

This teacher-led event featured keynote addresses by Ernie Hudson, best known for his role in Ghostbusters, who shared the story of how one of his teachers helped him rise out of poverty and into a successful Hollywood career. Kelly Gallagher, an award-winning California English teacher and author, spoke about the importance of integrating writing across all curricula. Attendees were also able to collaborate and share best practices with other teachers in Edcamp discussions on timely topics, such as the California Standards in English/Language Arts and Math, and the next-generation science standards.

For ideas on new ways to inspire students in the upcoming school year, two TED-style EdTalks were presented by local teachers. One of the presenters, Alicia Johal, earned her Master’s in Education from National University and is currently an eighth-grade science teacher in Imperial Beach. She shared her passion for building up STEM/STEAM programs in the local schools and communities. The second EdTalk was led by Tim Calver, who teaches curriculum design and classroom management at National University. Tim also teaches literature, journalism, and other subjects in the Poway Unified School District.

Kamilah Jones and Jennifer Bloom
Kamilah Jones and Jennifer Bloom of the New Teacher Center with Dr. Judy Mantle, Dean, Sanford College of Education.

“One of our biggest priorities as a University with a College of Education is to empower and support teachers to create meaningful learning experiences for their students,” said Dr. Judy Mantle, Dean of the Sanford College of Education at National University. “We are so proud to be part of this initiative because it ties back to what we believe in as educators: collaboration and inspiring teaching.”

The Sanford College of Education at National University—which was named after philanthropist and entrepreneur, T. Denny Sanford, and is among the top ten largest schools of education in the country—hosted the largest gathering of the four San Diego-Imperial County Summit locations. The other locations included: CSU San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene University, and San Diego State University, Imperial Valley. National University was thrilled to see many of its faculty members, students, and alumni participate in the summit.

A unique partnership between the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), the California State University (CSU), and New Teacher Center formed to host this free statewide day of learning. Through their strong and distinct networks, the organizers aimed to reach educators at every stage in their development: new and veteran teachers, current teaching students, and alumni. The Summit will be held annually every July. There will also be online and offline events throughout the year to keep this growing network of teachers connected, starting with two Twitter chats in August.