Letter To The Editor: A Teacher Evaluation From The Real World

By ROBERTA SORENSON
Los Alamos
 
It is disheartening to see outstanding teachers discouraged by soulless state evaluations. 
 
How about a review from someone who is eminently qualified to have an opinion on the ability of Los Alamos teachers to teach. That would be me since I have had over 90 combined years in Los Alamos schools as as parent of eight and guardian for a time of two nieces. 
 
The results that  I have observed are the ones that ultimately matter: 
  • Do the kids learn and learn how to learn outside of the academic setting? 
  • Do they learn habits of discipline and the joy of continued study? 
  • Are they inspired to be productive citizens contributing back to the community?
All six of my grown children have finished college degrees and have obtained good jobs (including returning as a teacher in LAPS!). They were well prepared to enter the world of work with the help of so many qualified teachers pushing them along to achieve their goals. Over the years I have witnessed so many above and beyond hours of sacrifice that I have seen poured into my children’s lives by the exceptional Los Alamos teachers. Things like after school help and field trips or little things like going home and boiling an egg during lunch since I forgot to do that for a first grade project.
When my niece came to me in her eighth grade year she had huge gaps in her education. Her grade point average was D-. By ninth grade she was solidly B average. Teachers who saw her potential deserve that credit. She in an ironic way was able to give back to the teaching community by rescuing Mrs. Neresen from the Alzhiemers ward to clear thinking and social activity, in her own home as cared for by Rose. Jean Neresen  taught in Los Alamos for 50 years including two of my kids. She represented LA’s finest. 
To the teachers in this community, I would give most of you an A+. Do not be be affected by the asinine ratings of the state. All that labor under the state radar has been profitable in the lives of your students. Think about the teachers who you remember. I can remember the kindness of teachers from over 50 years ago. The real rating that matters is that your students have learned from you and society is so much better off because you taught them. THANK YOU!
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