As Thanksgiving approaches, and we all head into turkey-and-stuffing mode, it's important to think about all the people in our lives that we are thankful for.
Our children's teachers should top that list as they not only help our children with their academic growth, but they also help inspire and shape our boys and girls into the citizens they will become in the world.
Teachers are often overlooked as we bake pies for our loved ones and send cards to those we can't be with this holiday. But our educators are likely the most influential people in our kids' lives aside from family because they are with our children on a daily basis, helping them to find success in school and an inherent joy in learning.
LASD teachers are to be thanked as our children come home with stories of all the amazing adventures they took through their subjects each day. Whether they are discovering California's history through hands-on projects like Ohlone Days, Mission creations and gold-mining practices, or uncovering the mysteries behind mathematics, district teachers take a unique approach to each curriculum standard so that each child can feel a sense of accomplishment through each unit.
For example, fourth grade Loyola teacher Lily Alberts was so inspired by all the staff development technology classes she completed over the past two summers, she decided to incorporate new educational programs in her daily classroom experience. Parents follow the class each day on Twitter, students each have Google accounts for documents, and complete virtual posters for many assignments on a program called Glogster.
Meanwhile teachers throughout the district are using Chrome books, i-books, laptop carts and cutting edge technology, such as Khan Academy, to further offer innovative ways to help students find success both in the classroom and at home for after-school reports and projects.
And a teacher's job never seems to end as educators prepare lessons at home and then offer a seamless transition from topic to topic, subject to subject, activity to activity. While the Los Altos Education Fund and Parent Teacher Associations help support teachers with supplies and program funding, teachers often supplement materials themselves in the spirit of innovation.
One of the things that makes LASD teachers unique is their collaboration over best practices and their commitment to revolutionizing learning for all students. Grade level teachers throughout the district come together on a regular basis and discuss innovative strategies they are adopting for classroom lessons. They inspire each other and often create assignments based on new technology and new techniques they have learned together.
To collaborate and assist each other, teachers throughout the district swap student writing assignments so that feedback given to students through a shared rubric is truly objective and therefore, more helpful to students.
And so as we go off to stuff ourselves with a heap of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, let's remember to keep our teachers in our hearts. After all, we owe them the biggest thanks for helping our children look at the world with curious eyes and become independent learners who are not afraid to find solutions to any given situation.