Teaching alumni to speak on campus during California Teachers Summit

More than 600 Sacramento-area educators – many of them Sacramento State alums – will come to the University this Friday for the third annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit, held concurrently at dozens of sites up and down the states.

At each of those sites, local teachers will dispense their wisdom to attendees in the form of “EdTalks,” named after the popular online TED Talks through which academics and others speak on their areas of expertise. And Sacramento State’s EdTalks will be truly Made at Sac State: Both of the day’s speakers are Hornet alumni.

“I taught for 34 years, and there weren’t a lot of conferences around like the Teachers Summit,” says Vanessa Dauterive ’82 (Liberal Studies), MA ’89 (Education), a kindergarten teacher who recently retired from the Natomas Unified School District. “It’s pretty exciting. To me, if you walk into a room and you take one thing away, you’ve taken something into your tool belt and back to the classroom that makes you a stronger teacher. It empowers you.”

Dauterive will give the summit’s afternoon EdTalk session on “Teaching with Unlimited Perspective.” “For me, it means that every child can learn when there are no preconceived notions or limitations based on race or gender,” she says.

Clay Dagler, Credential ’02, who teaches high school computer science in south Sacramento, will speak in the morning on the importance of including his subject in high school curricula. “Computer science is a huge field today,” he says. “There are a lot of jobs available, and most high schools don’t offer computer science classes.”

Dagler says Sacramento State provided him not just with practical skills to use in the classroom like lesson planning, but also the relational and communications skills essential to working as an educator.

“I’m from a really small town that’s not as diverse as Sacramento,” he says. “Sac State taught me how to connect with the parents and the students. Definitely the nuts and bolts, but also the relationship piece.”

For Dauterive, it was the relationships she built while a student on campus, and the lessons that stemmed from those relationships, that were most helpful once she began her career.

“I had two teachers who were a guiding light for me,” she says. “Sac State and those two teachers made me a stronger teacher and a more confident teacher, and helped me to know what my value was in the classroom and what I could bring to the classroom.”

To learn more about the California Teachers Summit, visit cateacherssummit.com.