The November KBAY Teacher of the Month is Kasturi Basu who received a grant to take his take her students to NASA-Ames Exploration Encounter.
Grant lets students see high tech science up close
Kasturi Basu received a Wells Fargo Teacher Innovation Classroom Grant from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) to take her students on a field trip to NASA-Ames Exploration Encounter.
“Science learning is not just memorizing theories and reading text books for students. It is through application, through hands on experience and making connection to their everyday lives! The SVEF grant provided the perfect opportunity for that.”
“I want my students to think like scientists, be exposed to hands on science, and to consider a career in science, technology and engineering. Especially our underrepresented minority student population will have an opportunity to foster a positive approach to science and embrace STEM education in the classroom. This grant will help motivate the students to develop a passion for science, help them think, and do more investigative learning related to science and engineering.”
Russo/McEntee is Located in East San Jose and it is an elementary school in Alum Rock School District. It serves a very low socio-economic population. All students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch program. The student population is 69% Hispanic,16% Asian, and 15% others. More than half of the student population are English Language Learners. The school has a science lab and a science teacher, PE, school band and after school program. All teachers are extremely motivated and dedicated. There is a very capable and supportive administration and the school has met all student subgroup API targets for past several years.
The ongoing classroom challenge
“Many of our students are English Language Learners. These students need constant support with their academic language development. So, there is a constant need to provide a contextualized opportunity for English language development.
The other challenge is to incorporate the 4 C’s of the Common Core: Cooperation, Collaboration, Communication and Critical thinking while making learning fun! I try to achieve the balance by creating a project based, investigative and student led learning environment in my classroom.”
Kasturi received her B.S and MA in Economics and Statistics from Jadavpur University, Kolkata India. After moving to this country, she received her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from SJSU. She has been teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grade at Russo/McEntee school for the last eight years. She has mostly taught fifth grade, and loves to work with the students and parents of the Alum Rock community.
“The best thing about being a teacher is the feeling of gratification of making a difference every day. It is the joy I experience when I see my students explore and investigate new learning, and have those ‘Aha’ moments! Impacting my students’ life, giving them tools to be creative and productive, shaping their outlook and understanding, and molding them to be citizens of the world dispenses a feeling of incomparable satisfaction and achievement!
It is also all about sharing love and understanding. My classroom is also my extended family! The relationship I have with the students and their parents is the ‘soup for my soul’. The warm greetings from my former students who often visit my classroom, in the malls and streets are the best reward I could ever have. I am fortunate that my passion is also my profession!”
“I am fortunate that my passion is also my profession!"
The Teacher of the Month received $1,000 Grant courtesy of Silicon Valley Education Foundation!
There are hundreds of teaching innovation stories in the Silicon Valley; stories of teachers who keep a solid foundation of learning in their classrooms, then go the extra distance to inspire kids in ways that will take with them into the real world. Check out some of the past recipients of $500 Teacher Innovation Grants:
Click here to see more of our past Teachers of the Month!
About Silicon Valley Education Foundation
As a leading non-profit resource and advocate for students, educators and administrators, Silicon Valley Education Foundation is dedicated to elevating scholastic achievement. Since 2006, more than 750 Teacher Innovation Grants have been awarded to local educators to inspire student learning in and outside of classrooms. SVEF’s mission is to make Silicon Valley the leader in academically prepared high school graduates.
How Can I Support Public Education?
Our local community’s vision is a technologically, innovative Silicon Valley where public school investment results in a strong and sustainable economy and a future workforce is created from local talent. Today, nearly 50% of high school graduates in Santa Clara County are not eligible to attend a four-year California university. SVEF is working with schools to reverse this trend by offering critical math and science programs to prepare students for college and career success. Make a difference in the lives of Silicon Valley students by donating to these crucial programs.
The continued improvement of student achievement in public education relies upon the generosity of our donors and partners. To find out more about how you can help SVEF academically prepare more Silicon Valley students for future success, visit www.svefoundation.org.