The Virginia Hansen Speaker Series Kicks-Off Spring Semester at Cal State San Marcos


On January 14, 2020, teacher candidates from the Multiple Subject, Middle Level, Single Subject, Integrated Credential, and Concurrent credential programs participated in a day of professional development at Cal State San Marcos.  Sponsored by the Virginia Hansen Endowment Fund, teacher candidates were inspired by Alex Kajitani and Steve Bruecker who taught effective classroom management and how to build community in the classroom. This professional development opportunity is part of the Spring 2020 Virginia Hansen Speaker Series and was the second event of the school year.

Alex Kajitani – Teacher, Author, and Speaker, engaged with the audience and shared his own teaching experiences focused on “classroom management strategies” that can be implemented in the classroom. He described how his strategies instantly impact the lives of his students. For example, Alex presented a video he created to teach students about math fundamentals. The catchy, comical rap-song that he wrote kept his audience in stitches but the lyrics were also memorable.

“It was so funny and it really worked,” said one student. “I can’t stop the tune playing in my head so I’m sure to remember that lesson about decimals.”

IMG_6288Alex Kajitani – Teacher, Author, and Speaker


Steve Bruecker, Lecturer in the School of Education at Cal State San Marcos, took the stage after lunch and through a variety of activities, he demonstrated how teacher candidates could “build community” with their students. The entire audience participated in his activities and they quickly learned skills and first-hand strategies that could be implemented in their classrooms, such as how to add movement to literacy, math, science, and social studies curricula.  The activities he demonstrated were focused on cooperative groups, communication skills, problem-solving, and social skills, and were not only helpful in teaching, but they were also new and refreshing. One activity was a cup-stacking game whereas another activity required teamwork in solving a magic rope trick.

IMG_6433Steve Bruecker, Lecturer in the School of Education at Cal State San Marcos
IMG_6460IMG_6576IMG_6454IMG_6528IMG_6526IMG_6502Christianne Wood, Professor in the School of Education at Cal State San Marcos

“It was an amazing day of learning and experiencing first-hand innovative educational practices,” said Professor Christianne Wood. “We look forward to our next Hansen event that will be the Innovation Day scheduled for April 23, 2020, at the Double-Peak School in San Marcos.”

This series is sponsored by the Virginia Hansen Endowment Fund and was organized by The Virginia Hansen Curriculum Committee and the Committee Chair, Professor Wood. 

To view more photos of this event, please see the slideshow on our blogsite.

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Marilyn Huerta
Public Affairs Communication Specialist II
College of Education, Health & Human Services


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