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California Casualty Awardees Candice Lansford: Scientist for the Day

Great educators have great stories. This series gives a glimpse of the ideas, practices, and experiences of the recipients of the NEA Foundation’s California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence. Today, we’re sharing the words of Candice Lansford, a science educator at Mountain View Middle School in Alamogordo, N.M.

I love to show students things they have never seen before.

Once, I learned that a student in my class did not know that beans were a plant and could grow. Recognizing an opportunity to unlock my student’s curiosity, I designed an experiment to conduct in class.

My student became a scientist that day. It brought so much joy to me to watch my student grow. The student became a leader, teaching others about all they had learned.

When I can connect to what a student sees every day, I know that I am raising their curiosity, which in turn promotes a greater interest in what they are learning. My hope is for students to share with family what they have learned. I know this happens because often, during parent-teacher conferences, the first words out of a parent’s mouth are “my kid loves science!”

Meet more of the 2018 NEA Foundation awardees here. We’ll celebrate them at the 2018 Salute to Excellence in Education gala in February. Hope to see you there!

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