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Tracy Son Advances Science Education with NWPE Grant
posted by: Cindy Omlin | December 11, 2017, 10:06 PM   

Congratulations to Ms. Tracy Son, sixth grade teacher at Lowell Scott Middle School in the West Ada School District in Idaho,.  Ms. Son was awarded a $500 NWPE classroom grant to purchase resources to help her teach Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) related to Earth Science.  She notes that, “Students in sixth grade are very visual and hands-on. Adding to my classroom resources will aid in the visual and hands-on learning of my students while reinforcing the 3-D teaching methods of NGSS.”

tracy son 2017 snipMs. Son plans to maximize the benefit of her grant to Lowell Scott Middle School by sharing her new resources with other 6th grade science teachers.

Advancing professionalism is important to Ms. Son.  She has found that the way she talks about her employment changes how people view her as a teacher and serves as a good strategy for increasing respect for educators.  “Teachers are living a day-to-day existence under the public microscope. More and more responsibilities are being expected of teachers every year. It is easy to get bogged down and fall into the trap of negativity. As an educator in the second half of my career, I feel that the best way to raise professionalism is to NOT fall into the trap of negativity. When others ask about what I do, I enthusiastically reply, “I TEACH!” The next question is always, “What do you teach?” My favorite response to give is, “Kids!” even though I know that they are technically asking what subjects/grades I teach. I find that responding with that one simple word seems to change people’s perspective. Conversations then lead to me sharing: I teach kids, not subjects. I don’t teach to tests. I teach kids with the resources I have with what they bring with them to the classroom every day. No two days are ever the same. Teaching kids is the greatest gift, and struggle. How this helps the profession is that non-teachers have a better grasp on what true teaching is. While tests can be important and help guide instructions and identify needs, it’s truly all about students.”

A member of NWPE for eight years, Ms. Son’s primary reason for joining was to have liability coverage at an affordable cost.   She shares that she chose to leave the local NEA affiliate quite a few years before that due to the high cost and her disagreement with many positions of the NEA.  “Having a choice was a HUGE relief for me. I know that as long as I do what is expected of me as a public educator, I have the backing of a wonderful organization. Additionally, NWPE and AAE offer a tremendous amount of professional development, which assists educators with knowledge growth and adding to skills repertoires. These trickle down to assisting other staff members and students.”

Congratulations again to Ms. Son on her grant award!  NWPE is proud to award this competent, compassionate and creative educator with additional funds to advance student achievement.

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