Nelsen and Stingers UpPresident Robert S. Nelsen gives the educators gathered for the Better Together: California Teachers Summit a classic Sac State lesson: “Today, it’s TEACHERS are No. 1! Stingers Up!” (Sacramento State/Jayla Lee) More photos

Preview story: Sacramento teachers will gather at Sacramento State on Friday, July 29 for the second annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit, a free statewide day of learning and networking open to all California PreK-12 teachers, teacher candidates, school administrators and other educators.

One of 38 locations across the state, Sac State invites the region’s teachers to share ideas, join a teacher network, and learn effective strategies for implementing the new California Standards in their classrooms. Running from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the summit will take place at the Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center, 6000 J St. And for the second year in a row, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will provide opening remarks to the sold-out Sac State crowd of more than 300.

“Last year, teachers described the summit as a powerful day of learning that made them proud of what they do and reminded them what an important difference they make in the lives of their students,” said Dr. Caroline Turner, administrator-in-charge of Sac State’s College of Education. “We’re thrilled to invite Sacramento-area educators to our campus again to join this growing network of teachers.”

The summit will feature keynote addresses by education leaders, TED-style EdTalks presented by local teachers, and Edcamp discussions on timely topics such as the California Standards in English/Language Arts and Math, and the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers will come away with access to new resources and concrete tools that already are working in classrooms across the state. In addition to Sacramento State, summit locations in the Central Valley include:

  • Brandman University, Modesto
  • Stanislaus State

“I am so pleased that the California Department of Education is a co-sponsor of this event and that I can also take part,” Torlakson said. “This is a wonderful day of professional learning that brings teachers together from throughout the state to hear from inspiring speakers, but most importantly to learn from each other. I am constantly in awe of the dedication, creativity, and talent of California teachers.”

A unique partnership was formed among the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), the California State University (CSU), and New Teacher Center to host this free statewide day of learning. Through their strong and distinct networks, the organizers will reach educators at every stage in their development: new and veteran teachers, current teaching students, and alumni.

“As California embraces new ways of teaching and learning, teachers want more opportunities to connect with and learn from their peers,” said Ellen Moir, founder and CEO of New Teacher Center. “New Teacher Center supports new and veteran teachers. We’re thrilled summit attendees will join a growing network of teachers teaching teachers.”

During EdCamp sessions, teachers will pick topics – ranging from employing technology in the classroom to improving literacy in early education, to boosting science, technology, engineering, and math education – and exchange ideas with colleagues throughout their region.

“CSU is pleased to be an organizing partner of Better Together. Led by teachers for teachers, the summit recognizes the expertise of thousands of outstanding classroom teachers,” said Dr. Loren Blanchard, executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. “It enhances the prestige of the profession and contributes to retaining excellent teachers, helping to address teacher shortages.”

The TED-style EdTalks will feature local teachers sharing strategies and classroom victories in implementing the California Standards.

“In light of California’s teacher shortage, we must do more to celebrate and support teachers,” said Kristen Soares, president of AICCU. “Teaching is a uniquely challenging yet rewarding profession that requires teachers to be lifelong learners. AICCU’s innovative and leading Teacher Education Programs are proud to continue to serve our teachers. The summit is a unique opportunity for teachers, teaching, and teacher education to come together to collaborate and re-energize ahead of the new school year.”

More information, a list of event locations, and online registration is available at Follow #CATeachersSummit for up-to-date information. – Elisa Smith

In the media:

"California teachers come to Sacramento for day of learning," CBS 13