By Bev Vaillancourt
In my travels, I’ve had the great privilege of visiting many Zulama Schools from Florida to Maine and the many states in between. Without question, Zulama Teachers and Administrators stand out as a very special group of educators. At this time of thanksgiving, it seems like an especially perfect opportunity to thank the Zulama Community for all that they do!
Zulama Teachers allow students, at times, to take on the role of teacher within their classrooms. This essential pedagogy comes from a deep understanding that the best way to learn is to teach.
They help students seek answers to questions that may perplex them, as well, recognizing that students thrive when allowed to be critical thinkers and subject matter experts, be that in coding or the core content that goes into making an educational game.
Thank you for creating classrooms that students want to be in.
Zulama Teachers, quite simply, are great teachers who are fostering a most needed paradigm shift in education that will take schools from quiet desks in a row to redesigned learning spaces that encourage communication and design.
Zulama Teachers tell students that it is perfectly acceptable to make mistakes on their journey to success. And, with that, they build a culture of collaboration and creativity in their classrooms one day at a time.
For many students, the Zulama classroom is their home base where they spend their time during lunch or during a free period, and where they hesitate to leave when the bell rings for the next class. I’ve seen this play out over and over again when visiting Zulama classrooms. It is, in every way, inspiring.
Zulama Teachers believe in the agency of youth and in youth’s capacity to problem solve and design. They are lifelong learners, and build the deep joy of discovery in their students.
In essence, Zulama Teachers model what we hope students will be – risk takers, who think beyond the obvious to what might be.
We thank you for inspiring your students to think beyond who they are to who they can be. If you ever wondered otherwise, just take a look at the smiles on the faces of the students in your Zulama class. They are genuine and hold great promise. For this, your students thank you, as well.
Thank you for being advocates.
Zulama Teachers could not do what they do so well without the support of Administrators. So, all of us at Zulama tip our hats to the visionary Administrators who introduce Zulama to their schools.
You are in every way agents of change in education, and quite frankly, at first, sometimes the sole advocate and cheerleader of the Zulama Teacher within the school district. You are champions of that very different dynamic that plays out in Zulama classrooms. Work ethic, focus, a climate of mutual respect of individual talents and skills, a level playing field of self-reliant learners with a focus on project based learning: this is the Zulama classroom.
From everyone at Zulama, thank you Zulama Teachers and Administrators for all that you do for the youth of today as we together build their tomorrows. We wish you the Happiest Thanksgiving and a successful rest of the year!