What is “good teaching”? In this issue readers will engage with authors who have approached this important question through a variety of topics and perspectives. A number of educators and an internationally known author share effective classroom practices and their perspectives on what good teaching requires. A school district superintendent reports on strategies for supporting A-G completion and celebrates progress made by students and educators working toward this goal in her district. A university administrator remembers Mrs. Levine, his 5th grade teacher who understood that good teaching is about lighting fires, not filling buckets, and whose continuing influence now helps shape his leadership of a school of education. A community college instructor connects the history, content, and impact of ethnic studies with key components for good teaching specific to this field, and a graduate student reflects on what might have been, had she known at the time that the odds of completing an undergraduate degree were stacked against her as a first-generation college student. Two members of Educators Doing Justice, a Ventura County coalition of P12, college, university, and community educators, suggest that a core element of effective teaching is helping students be ready to learn; they make a case for incorporating classroom-appropriate yoga to teach self-regulation strategies for all students, particularly for youth in trauma.
A4E seeks to connect teachers, parents, students, administrators, professors, elected officials, and other community members in important conversations about education. We hope these brief, accessible works will be useful for promoting text-based discussions in classrooms, boardrooms, and around the dinner table.