Take a moment to reflect on a teacher who made an impact on your learning. What is it about them that helped awakened your mind? Was it their teaching style? Their charisma? Their passion that just bursts in the air whenever you walk into the decorated classroom?
In any case, becoming the teacher who inspires students to learn is not a simple task—yet alone, where to get started is equally challenging.
Student California Teachers Association (SCTA), a student organization established in 2011 at Sacramento State, was implemented to help students pursuing a career in education to teach children. Tania Van Der Walt, SCTA’s Historian, stated that the student organization is a social network to support peers professionally and academically. It allows classmates in the education field to connect with one another as a support group especially when they are taking the same class. Additionally, SCTA is about giving back to the community that values the empowerment and pursuit of continuing one’s education.
Last year, SCTA created a garden at Trajan Elementary School with the goals that the hands on flowers and vegetable harvesting will enhance student learning about biology and nutrition. SCTA officers outreached to the many resources that were available to them in order to fund wood planks, cement, soil, and seeds for the garden from the Associated Student, Inc. Doc Funding, the state-wide California Teachers Association, private donations, and grants from past fundraisers. Although SCTA members did not have the chance to teach the biological curriculum of this project, they finished building the garden during their spring break.
(SCTA members building a garden at Trajan Elementary; March 2016)
SCTA continued to give back to their local community by donating about 40 Sacramento State bags filled with school supplies to Mustard Seed School, a downtown school serving students who have parents that are homeless. School supplies would range from crayons, whiteboard, pencils, and any items that would help a student for academic success in their classrooms.
STCA highly encourages any aspiring college students in the educational field to join their student organization. Alyssa Jenkins, STCA’s secretary states that their are great benefits to what they offer their peers. She notes the organization’s mentorship component is a great opportunity where retired teachers from the California Teachers Association guide college students through the career field. Walt emphasized being part of STCA, a member can enjoy their teacher benefits before becoming a teacher because the student organization fees provide members access to subscriptions of reading materials and professional conferences. STCA also conducts a workshop per semester to help their members set an Edjoin profile (similar to a LinkedIn, but particularly to search for teaching positions).
To learn more about SCTA and getting involved in their community efforts, you can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(SCTA members at Mustard Seed Elementary School; 2016)
Written by: Houa Vang, Leadership Initiative Program Assistant