Monthly Archives: June 2014

Changing The Paradigm

The idea of getting away from high stakes testing is extremely important.  Testing tied to monies for schools or even grades creates cheating, lying and often little learning.  Our focus needs to be on processing, thinking, creating and solving problems.  What are we teaching in schools and why?  Educators need to answer that for their own sanity as well as for our children’s sake.  Why are we continuing to jump through unnecessary hoops to get students to be the highest students in their courses that lead to what?  What do students need to know and why?  I totally believe in what Sir Ken Robinson believes which was so greatly expressed at the Ted Talks several years back.  This is what we need to consider as teachers and parents.


Changing Education Paradigms – click here to enjoy a new mind set on education.


Please watch and send any thoughts or comments to

Math Teacher Opportunity

If you are looking to earn your Single Subject Foundational-Level Math Credential, please take advantage of this offer. Jon

Jonathan R. Dueck
Director, STEM Education
Fresno County Office of Education

Greetings All Interested CI 161/FLM Course Teachers,

REGISTER NOW for the CI 161/FLM Summer Course!

MSTI is offering CI 161/FLM during June/July 2014 as a Fresno State extension course and will provide a $700 fee scholarship to non-matriculated students (who will pay only $75 a unit). Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

CI 161/FLM – Required 3-unit methods class for individuals who hope to earn a Single Subject Foundational-Level Mathematics (FLM) Credential
– Course #50667
– Instructor of CI 161/FLGS: Dr. Lance Burger (
– Dates/Times: Summer 2014: Monday – Friday, July 16 – August 1, 2014; 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM (time listed on the registration form is NOT the correct time)
– Location: Fresno State’s Science II Building, Room 207 (S2 207)

REGISTRATION Information/Process:

(*Please use Adobe Reader, if possible, when opening up the attached document.)

1. Please completely fill out the registration form.

2. Please make checks or money order payable to Fresno State. The Continuing and Global Education (CGE) office cannot accept check/money order payments made out in any other way. If you wish to make a payment using a credit card or cash, the Continuing and Global Education staff will explain the payment process when participants arrive in their office. Participants may also call the CGE main office for additional information at (559) 278-0333.

3. For your convenience, I can submit your payment and registration forms to the CGE office. In order for me to do this please submit the required items to me by Monday, June 30 to room ED 250 and have the student assistant place it in my “MSTI” box. Otherwise, the registration form and payment deadline, for CI 161 – Methods and Materials in Secondary Teaching is Monday, July 21. The CGE office will accept registration forms/payments after the deadlines but a $10 late fee will apply. Registration forms and payments will NOT be accepted after the conclusion of each course.

4. The CGE office summer office hours will begin on Monday, May 19, 2014. Offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CGE is located in the Education Building on the far lefthand side, first floor in Room 130.

Additional Information:

You will be responsible for purchasing your own parking permit. A summer parking permit is $44 and is valid from 5/19/14 to 8/8/14. You can purchase the summer pass from the Police Department Service Center (campus map link: Here is a direct link to the Fresno State Parking Permit website for more information:

Also, if you haven’t done so already, please fill out the MSTI information form by clicking on this link:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

May Lee
Administrative Assistant and Career Counselor
Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI)
5005 North Maple Avenue, M/S ED2
Fresno, CA 93740-8025
Office: 559-278-1082
Fax: 559-278-0107
MSTI Website:

Why Mentorship Matters

Posted by Ariel Sacks on Thursday, 05/01/2014Center for Teaching Quality CTQ

It’s spring: I feel alternately exhausted from the year that’s moving quickly to a close, and a sense of renewal that takes its cue from the seasonal weather and the end of winter.  It was a perfect time to visit my mentor, Madeleine Ray, who advised me during and beyond my time as a graduate student at Bank Street College. Seeing her teach, and being reminded of her values and sensibilities, always feels a bit like going home. And that makes me want to share some advice, especially meant for beginning teachers who plan to stay in teaching for a substantial amount of time.

Try to find a true mentor, and keep in touch.

There will be many educators who will help you learn things, big and small, deliberately or unknowingly, about teaching.  An eye for picking up on these lessons and techniques when they come your way is very important. But to find a mentor, you have to find someone whose teaching you deeply respect, whose methods help you fulfill the higher purpose you have for being an educator. A mentor inspires and equips you to be the educator you set out to be.

I believe that all teachers want the best for their students, but we do not all value the same things in our students.  Values are a part of teaching and teaching methods derive from a combination of the needs of students, the values of the teacher, and the values and conditions of the larger organizations and systems in which we carry out our work.  If teaching is a calling, then we must take time to understand what we feel called to do and why.

A mentor should be someone who understands why you teach and who helps you connect your teaching methods with this purpose. If you are lucky enough to find someone who helps you do this, talk to this person a much as you can! Keep in touch. It’s okay to take the initiative and let someone know you want to learn from them.  It’s a good skill.

In addition to all of the opportunities you’ll have to learn from colleagues in the teaching field, you’ll also have many pressures that come from outside your classroom and collegial networks. These pressures may or may not move you in the direction of your goals as a teacher; they may or may not be in line with your educational values. If you succumb to every pressure, you surely won’t meet your goals, because these pressures are almost always shifting and competing with one another, for reasons that have little to do with students, and everything to do with the adult world.

When the pressure becomes at odds with your values and goals, as an educator who came to the profession to stay a while, to humble yourself and learn to make a difference for students and their communities–that is when you’ll appreciate the opportunity to talk with someone you consider a mentor.  You’ll appeciate being in the presence of a teacher who has weathered the storms longer than you have, and who has stayed true.

Then you can quote Isaac Newton and say, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

[photo: Madeleine Ray teaching her Children’s Literature course at Bank Street College. She always makes students form a circle, and she always begins class sharing unusually neat books].