SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS 13) – More than 13,000 teachers came  together across the state on Friday for a day of learning.  The 2016 California Teacher’s Summit at Sacramento State included more than 200 teachers from the area who learned lessons they can take back to the classroom.

“The thing about teaching is it’s completely isolated you know, we’re with kids all day but we don’t see each other unless we go to the staff room,” said Heidi Witter, who has been teaching for the last 22 years. “This is a gift.”

It’s comradery that these teachers don’t get every day.  They came from all over the education spectrum to sharing their best practices and tips on facing tough situations and changing standards.

“I think one of the biggest challenges I face as a teacher, is really forming connections between the school, our parents, and the community and really bridging that gap,” said Carmelita Gauthier, a special education teacher.

The day featured several speakers in and out of the field, as well as breakout sessions in small groups.  And it wasn’t just about ideas bouncing around the room.  Carmelita Guathier shared her mentality before the textbooks are even opened.

“Before I can teach them that 1 plus 1 is 2, I need to know that I can connect with them so that they can receive what I’m trying to teach them in the first place,” she said.

 New this year, teachers have the opportunity to grab a bubble, fill it in and go to the wall titled #whyITeach.  Some teachers have filled in the entire bubble while others only needed a few words to explain why they teach.

Caroline Turner, Dean of the College of Education at Sacramento State, wrote “I love helping others recognize and develop their unique talents.”

“It is inspiring just to read those,” she said. “I’ve loved doing that over the 30 years in my career.”

 And regardless of their experience level, the teachers said they’re happy to learn a little something different from everyone.

As of Friday. the California Teachers’ Summit will be held across the state each July, but the networking will continue online to keep today’s momentum going throughout the school year.


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