Good evening, I am Edgar Díaz, Vice President of the Temecula Valley Educators Association. I am honored to present the March TVEA Spotlight on behalf of our 1,325 Teacher and Specialist members.
First, a couple of initiatives TVEA has endeavored.
The first, in our efforts to develop a culture of stakeholder feedback, TVEA members contributed to a survey that recognizes Site Administration Teams for their ability to provide supports such as respect for educator’s time and professional judgement. While this year was a learning curve for all, at many different levels, it could not have happened without conversation, collaboration and empowerment to take risks. We look forward to recognizing exemplary site admin teams later this spring.
Secondly, Members of the TVEA and TVUSD cabinets also held the first Joint Executive Cabinet meeting on January 25th to open another avenue for leaders of both organizations to work in a collaborative setting. We hope to conduct another such meeting with TVUSD later this spring.
While the season is familiar for the anticipation of spring with its end of year rituals, and anticipation and promise of what the future holds, we now have the opening of classrooms to look forward to in March for elementary and April for secondary as long as conditions stay steady and continue to improve, respectively.
It’s been a long windy road since we last left classrooms one year ago. Plotting and planning conditions for a variety of scenarios in collaboration with TVUSD and succumbing to obstacles, set-backs, and the latest political winds throwing our plans off course. I want to take a moment to thank our TVEA Bargaining Team that has resolutely spent many days, afternoons and vacation days to ensure that the students of TVUSD will return to an environment that allows educators to teach in conditions that will maximize the learning impact.
While online learning is not ideal, this year has also left much to desire. TVEA members, students, and families maximized the opportunities to adapt and persevere in a pandemic, where many developed an appreciation for the structures we have in Public Education and how it is central in the life of students and in the community. Now we have the first of many steps discussed in bargaining to execute.
I was wondering how this will play out, I returned to my 8th grade social studies classroom at Gardner Middle School to visualize how the movement of students and implementation of sound teaching methodology will manifest. And it will be a challenge.
I hope you exercised your due diligence as a TVUSD Board Trustee to visit an online classroom in each of the grade spans and speak to the specialists serving our students to recognize the super hero efforts made to plan, implement, execute, and communicate with students and parents in this online environment. If you did, you may have noticed the clicking between layers of windows and multiple screens to catch student interaction while setting up the next item to share to participants and troubleshooting an individual’s issues with a device or software. I hope you explored it firsthand instead of depending on a third person account.
Now that tight-wire execution will increase in complexity by simultaneously delivering instruction with students who are online and in-person. Looking at faces to hear them through masks and simultaneously monitoring and interacting on chat with students whose online connectivity and immediate household environment limits their ability to participate visually and auditory.
In closing, I call for you to raise the Board of Trustee’s level of engagement in the community. Be active members of the seat the public has entrusted you with. You are elected to seats with geographical areas and should be visible and recognizable by the TVEA members, families, and students of your trustee area. Make it a point to understand how the policy in the boardroom reflects in the classrooms and gatherings at each school site by reaching out and listening to each stakeholder group. To engage in uncomfortable conversations and wrestle with the situations of individuals is how community is built.
Our present condition is not a constraint, but an opportunity to reach individuals wherever they are. Trust me, TVEA members have done it all year.