Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Visit With Retired AE Teachers

After teaching for 20 or 30 years, retired teachers wonder what life will have in store for them. It's time to enjoy life and have adventures sometimes in a completely new direction. The following are examples of life continuing to be well lived.

Margo Zanzinger
As a retired person, my family has opened a frozen yogurt shop, Top-A-Lot Yogurt, 738 Water Street, Santa Cruz, CA. Our shop was voted the BEST frozen yogurt shop in Santa Cruz by the people of Santa Cruz in the Good Times news paper for 2011. I have become a Practioner at Innerlight Ministeries in Soquel, CA. I live in a retirement community, right on the ocean. I love to hear from all my teacher friends, so give me a call.

Rita McBride
I have been square dancing for the past 8 years. My dog, Bagel, and I are part of the Ohlone Humane Society's Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

Bagel and I visit 2 nursing homes in Fremont as visitors to seniors and we go to the Fremont Library for the Read To A Dog program each month. I also go to Logan graduation ceremonies to see students I had in my kindergarten class years ago.
William Legaspi and Tim Alarcon 2011 Logan Grads with Rita.

ManYee Desandies
ManYee has been semi-retired for the first year of her retirement. She has worked with students three hours a day at Alvarado on the Leveled Literacy Intervention program. Taking walks around the lake with her dog has allowed her to expand her nature photography hobby to include magnificent photos of birds which are published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She continues to explore the joys of technology with her ipad and even gives free ipad lessons to her friends. Her handsome grandson, Jinyao, is the joy of her life.

Joan Logue
Joan lives in a Sun City retirement community and loves it. She loves the golf, the Mac group, and even has her own set of Bocce balls. She is also thrilled with her grandson, Jamie. For the last 8 years she has been the leader of the bereavement group.

Mary Ogden
Mary lives in the beautiful city of Discovery Bay with the wind and the water to enjoy. She lives close to her daughter and her grandchildren and spends a lot of time with them.

Sharon Chambers
I spend my time working on my garden patio, getting my house in order, and writing this blog and a few other blogs. I still love using technology. I also love to spend time with my two lovely granddaughters. Last year we had an adventure with the girls in Nevada City helping their Uncle Josh with his gold mine and swimming in the river.
We also spent a holiday vacation taking care of the girls in Texas while mom and dad were at work. When done, we were exhausted.

Marty Brown
Marty is still Best Friends Forever (BFF) with Debbie Fryman, who is now at Eastin. She often goes over to help Debbie with her classroom.

Wonder Women -Teacher And Staff 2011

Two remarkable Wonder Women have been honored for their service to staff and students at Alvarado Elementary. Although this award is for 2011, it is their long and diligent service over a period of years that is recognized. Maureen Tecson is the 2011 Teacher of the Year and Betty Silva is the Classified Staff Person of the Year.

Maureen Tecson, a second grade teacher, is a member of the ILT the Instructional Leadership Team. She is a skilled, collaborative, dedicated, hardworking teacher warrior who cares greatly about every one of her students. In this time of great economic need she has provided direction for many teachers on grants and possible financial resources. She also teaches an after school dance class. She has received grants from the New Haven Schools foundation for her dance class and grants from DonorsChoose for her own classroom. At the end of each year she teaches the staff a dance which is performed in front of the entire school. This event is greatly loved by the students. She is also in charge of the Facebook page for the Alvarado Elementary Parent Teachers Club. Maureen epitomizes the term school spirit by uplifting parents, staff, and students. Congratulations Maureen for Teacher of the Year 2011.

Maureen Tecson

Betty Silva has been a part of the Alvarado family for over 20 years. She has been an aide in almost every grade. During the last few years, Betty began working with special needs students including those with autism. She brings her many years of experience and skill to those students who need it most. She is kind, hardworking, and fun loving. When something needs to be done, Miss Silva offers to help. She has provided after school and before school reading intervention classes and homework help for students. Congratulations Betty on this well deserved award.

The Fun Faces of Betty Silva

Monday, May 2, 2011

Staff Photo 2010-2011

Staff Photo 2010-2011
Pam Ruley, Dave Martell, and Kim Pratt not shown
Click on the photo to enlarge

Bust This Test

It's that time of year, testing time. Testing is a stressful time for both students and teachers. It used to be called the STAR test and some still use that name. STAR stands for Standardize Test for Achievement in Reading. However, now students are tested for Reading, Math and Science. Officially it's called the CST, California Standardized Test. Teachers have been getting their students test ready with a variety of strategies. At Alvarado the phrase BUST THIS TEST is used to motivate students to focus and try their best. Students use practice tests and strategies for choosing multiple choice questions.

Go to bed early
Be on time to school
Focus on the test
Read the title first
Read the questions first then read the passage
When you are done, go back and check your answers

Teachers Keith Guernsey, Jeff Pickering, and David Trier produce a video to reduce student test stress and use it in an assembly to motivate students. Go to the Alvarado Elementary School website to view by clicking on view the movie on the left.

California uses five performance levels to report student achievement on the CSTs:
  • Advanced: This category represents a superior performance. Students demonstrate a comprehensive and complex understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by this assessment, at this grade, in this content area.
  • Proficient: This category represents a solid performance. Students demonstrate a competent and adequate understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by this assessment, at this grade, in this content area.
  • Basic: This category represents a limited performance. Students demonstrate a partial and rudimentary understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by this assessment, at this grade, in this content area.
  • Far Below / Below Basic: This category represents a serious lack of performance. Students demonstrate little or a flawed understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by this assessment, at this grade, in this content area.