In response to “The Dangers of Petting Zoos,” Our Readers Write, Feb. 17: St. George's Preschool follows the practices of the National Association for the Education of Young Children believing children learn best by real-world experiences.
Books and videos are wonderful tools for teaching, but nothing can take the place of seeing, experiencing and interacting with the real thing. Most young children do not realize milk comes from a cow or a goat and rarely are able to milk one.
We took every precaution with regard to health and safety when arranging for this learning opportunity. We did not have a traditional petting zoo where children are in a caged area chasing animals around. Instead we invited a farmer who takes pride in the care of her animals. She came and talked with the children about respect for farm animals, the products they produce and the use of them in our daily lives. We feel the knowledge gained was something the children will not soon forget.
Director of St. George's Preschool
La Cañada Flintridge
Celebrating a memorable teacher
Mrs. Patricia Glaser was a teacher in the La Cañada schools for many years. She passed away last year before her official retirement. Instead of getting to travel the world and visit with her children, she died of cancer, definitely a shocker for all of us.
I have known lots of teachers in this district. For me, Mrs. Glaser was different. She was sharp, intelligent and efficient. And she seemed to have an innate understanding of children. Oh, and she liked the kids, too.
My daughter Emily was relatively new to La Cañada schools, so when she found out her 5th-grade teacher was Mrs. Glaser, she was neither happy nor sad. Mrs. Glaser was just a name to us. Just another teacher, or so we thought.
Emily was lucky enough to have Mrs. Glaser for two years and she excelled under her watchful eye and care. Mrs. Glaser taught English, was particularly adept at it, and she helped my daughter overcome her shyness and realize she was smart and capable.
When Mrs. Glaser asked for help in the classroom, I jumped at it. I considered myself lucky. We did art, field trips and my husband even found himself in the middle of Virginia on a trip with 60 5th graders. I don’t remember Mrs. Glaser ever yelling, but I do remember several glares at some of the unruly kids who might be testing her. It only took a few glances. After that, the troublemakers knew it was probably smart to stop aggravating Mrs. Glaser in the classroom.
Though she passed away last year, I kept looking at a photo I’ve had of my daughter with Mrs. Glaser that was taken seven years ago. It seemed to be speaking to me. It seemed that Mrs. Glaser deserved more of a sendoff at least from this parent in the La Cañada school system.
Mrs. Glaser was particularly fond of Jelly Belly jelly beans, so every time I went by the school, even years after she taught my daughter, I would find her cubby in the office and leave some Jelly Belly candies. She often laughed and thanked me for thinking of her.
I am still thinking of her and every time I see some jelly beans, I want to get them for her, but I remember she is no longer with us. However, she is [with us] in spirit and she will be remembered as a great teacher and someone who cared. Her impact on children’s lives will live on and I‘m thankful for that.
La Cañada Flintridge
In praise of real-world experiences
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.