by Ms. Cocca, 7th grade teacher in CA. Read all of the LPS teacher blog posts here.
Great teachers are the ones that reveal the magic in learning. They use education to stimulate curiosity. I believe that deep down everyone is curious about something, and once we, as teachers, spark that interest, we can generate life-long learners. Thus, my daily performances require students to explore. Answers are sought out, not given, and I act as a facilitator, helping students reach their full potential. My lessons are less about teacher direction and more about class discussion and inquiry. Much of my philosophy mirrors progressive methods because I see the value in the process rather than just the product. In science, the world is constantly changing, so by creating the opportunity to experiment and problem solve, my students can be more successful in life. I also see the value in raising responsible, participatory, and ethical citizens. I want to develop not only individuals who want to contribute to our scientific discoveries, but also leaders who might one day protect those who cannot defend themselves. The LPS program has helped all my students see this future. As a differentiated opportunity, it has allowed my students to make a real connection with, potentially, their future, motivating them to continue this adventure of “taking chances, making mistakes, and getting messy”!