Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amazing, Dedicated, Talented Teachers

Two years ago when my oldest daughters started second grade, I wrote a post on this blog (Teachers Excel; District Fails) about their first day of school at Pathfinder K-8 and the two wonderful teachers (Lisa DeBurle and Missa Marmalstein) they met that day.

Since today marks the last day Emma and Claire will be in their classes, I want to share my daughters' thoughts on what these two years have meant to them.

· It's a Spider's World by Claire

· My Thanks to Lisa by Emma

While I obviously think Lisa and Missa are exceptional teachers, I also believe there are many, many amazing, dedicated, talented teachers in Seattle Public Schools. They deserve our support and help as they struggle with the challenge of how to meet accountability requirements while keeping joy and creativity in the teaching and learning process.

Anyone else have teacher kudos to call out?


Anonymous said...

Yes, I would like to say a public thank you to my daughter's kindergarten teacher (3 years ago). Ms. Ford at Dunlap is an amazing woman who kept her students ALL interested and engaged, whether they were advanced learners, immigrant children with no English skills, kids with rough home lives and everyone in between.

From science to beginning reading to art to culturally aware social studies, Ms. Ford made every day of school special, all the while challenging them to be their best.

When my daughter's papers came back with "You can do better" it was true. When they said, "This is good work," it was. She gave her extra challenge work instead of following a set plan, and worked on the most basic skills with a young girl who had only recently arrived in the country, and so young she often fell asleep in class.

She did it without ever resorting to yelling or letting the class get out of control. And she had tears in her eyes on the last day of school as the kids waved goodbye.

We still go back and visit this amazing teacher and hold her up as the standard by which we judge other teachers our daughter has had.

This is Ms. Ford's second career, but I hope she puts in many more years launching children into their school years. Any who cross her path will benefit.

It is teachers like this that give me hope for both the Seattle School District and the south end schools, neither of which get the credit they sometimes deserve.


Sue said...

I would like to thank Ms. Maddeford at Whittier - what a truly wonderful teacher - we have had our greatest year with her!

Also Ms. McKee at Ballard High School - it is so great to have a young and enthusiastic teacher. Actually all the teachers at Ballard - a great bunch.

Maureen said...

I hesitate to single out anyone--my kids have had lots of great teachers, but I have to say: "Amazing, Dedicated, Talented Teachers" truly describes Dan Bloedel and Lori Eickelberg at TOPS--fantastic middle school teachers who push and push (and advocate for and support) every single kid. And Leslie Hazlewood Spurr is great too -- you try teaching 30 nine year olds at the range of learning levels she covers as gracefully as she is able to!

Unknown said...

I don't know if this blog is even live anymore BUT. Maureen - I 100% agree with your assessment. Dan and Lori were the two most influential teachers in my entire academic career, that include college. I was a student at tops 1994-96, I was always in trouble and never had good grades but my test scores were always in the top 98% in the nation. I don't know if Lori and Dan recognized that and my troubled childhood but I do know they never gave me an inch and always encouraged me to learn independently outside of the classroom and strive to be great and the only path to success was hard work, especially for someone in my circumstances. I will never forget those two. If anyone has contact info for them I would love to get back in contact. I hope someone gets to read this.