from Community Works Journal—ONLINE MAGAZINE for Educators
Imagining the Possible, Then Making it Happen
Paula Cohen is a multi-grade teacher in Los Angeles Unified School District, and a faculty member of Community Works Institute. Her current projects include working on a school garden project that combines a thirty-eight plot community garden with a student garden through shared spaces.
Most of my teaching career, I have defied the book. I’ve strived to put learning in context, connect students to issues in the community and make learning as relevant a process as I can. Meanwhile I work hard at helping students reach mastery and upholding the great standards. I signed a contract after all. It is always a great juggling act and way more work than following the “book” or program. The accomplishments do feel great, but there is always this sense that there wasn’t enough time or fluidity in the project. It could have been so much more if it didn’t have to have such a premature ending.
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