At a time when teacher performance has come under greater scrutiny and unions have become entrenched in district budget battles, it may be easy to forget that in the midst of it all, there are educators who continue to perform admirably.
Meet Roxanne O'Rourke of Mann Elementary School, who was chosen this year as Glendale Unified's teacher of the year. As a kindergarten teacher, she uses fun and pop-culture spoofs — turning "Who Let the Dogs Out" into a more educational "Who Let the Letters Out" — to get the point across in a way that shows it's more about relating to students than following strict progress measures.
These sorts of success stories set the tone for learning early on, and that can only encourage the youngsters as they graduate into more challenging classroom environments.
May O'Rourke's ingenuity and obvious passion for her all-important job serve as a model for her peers, and a reminder to the community that there's more to education than union battles and teacher evaluations.