Award for Teaching Excellence - 2013

Congratulations to Lauren Beal - 2013 Award Winner for Teaching Excellence

Lauren Beal is a middle school teacher at AMY Northwest Middle School in Philadelphia. She has previously taught 7th and 8th grade and is now a 6th grade teacher in the Philadelphia Area School District. Lauren has been teaching for 12 years teaching. At AMY Northwest, Lauren has expanded her roles to reach outside of classroom. She has been the Student Government advisor and has helped bring in new initiatives to the school such as the The Picasso Project.

Lauren is constantly seeking innovative ways to improve the teaching in her science classroom by looking for what is best for her students. In turn, she has been a model for other educators in making her knowledge and experience public to other teachers. She has shared her curricular work on a multitude of levels. Last year, Lauren presented her work at the first annual PAESTA conference with a presentation titled “Claim, Evidence, Reasoning: Helping Students to Construct Scientific Explanations”. She demonstrated leadership as she was only one of five K-12 teachers who submitted a conference proposal. This summer, Lauren co-authored an article in the peer-reviewed journal through the National Earth Science Teachers Association with a submission titled “Introduction to Using the Claims-Evidence-Reasoning Framework in Middle School Science”. Despite the responsibilities of being a new mom, Lauren enthusiastically agreed to plan for yet another presentation at the this year’s PAESTA conference. Her talk is centered around, "What's Your Evidence?" Pushing Students Toward Stronger Scientific Explanations Using the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Framework”.

Through these efforts, Lauren has demonstrated how she is flexible, open minded, and collaborative in nature. She encourages teachers to be self-reflective and practices this set of mind for her own growth. Pennsylvania Earth Science Teachers Association welcomes Lauren Beal as our 2013 Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Congratulations, Lauren.