More than 11,000 teachers participated on July 27 in the fourth annual Better Together: California Teachers Summit, a free day of learning led by teachers, for teachers, at 31 locations across California. Twenty CSU campuses hosted nearly 8,000 educators, many of which were graduates of the CSU, the largest producer of teachers in the state.

This year’s theme was “It’s Personal: Meeting the Needs of Every Student.” The summit enabled teachers to personalize their learning by choosing their own professional development path and sharing strategies that consider different learning styles in their own classrooms. 

Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally-acclaimed expert on creativity and innovation, delivered the keynote address at Cal State Fullerton, which was livestreamed to all 31 sites. Robinson’s TED talk on developing an education system that nurtures creativity holds the illustrious title of “most popular TED talk of all time.”

“Teaching is the centerpiece of education,” said Robinson during his keynote speech. “There is very little that can transform education except the quality of teaching. By fostering creativity and innovation, we can personalize education, and ultimately, transform students’ lives.”  

Following Robinson’s keynote speech, each site featured TED-style “Ed Talks” led by local teachers, who shared strategies they have used in their classrooms to give students a voice and choice in their learning and to increase student engagement. During small group conversations, teachers picked their own topics to discuss, which allowed them to personalize their own learning and benefit from one another. 

The California Teachers Summit is the result of a unique partnership between the CSU, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and the New Teacher Center. 

“As a leader in preparing teachers to serve California’s diverse communities, the CSU is proud to participate in the California Teachers Summit,” said Loren Blanchard, executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs at the CSU. “This one-day training – by and for teachers – allows them to build upon their expertise and develop strategies, tools and a strong support system that will serve them and their students well beyond the summit.”  

Teachers walked away with access to new resources and concrete tools that are already transforming classrooms across the state. Before and after the summit, the Better Together community also hosts a series of online and offline events to deepen the conversation and help teachers stay connected throughout the year. 

The CSU’s nearly 7,000 teaching graduates every year are helping to address California’s teacher shortage and are recognized among the best in the nation. To learn more about teacher preparation at the CSU, visit: https://www2.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/teacher-education.

Watch a compilation of the last four years of inspiring events here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBC3ZygpLm8