Friday, December 16, 2016

Teacher Spotlight on Evan Lee, Summit Rainier (San Jose) teacher

My name is Evan Lee. I mentor a whimsical, witty, and wild group of sophomores. I teach Math III to juniors and AP Statistics to seniors at Summit Rainier in San Jose. We learn how to use math to model the world around us and to draw conclusions about our society. I hope to build each of my student’s capacity to think logically and critically through the complexities of math. I began teaching after attending Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in hopes of becoming a doctor. At Hopkins, my passion for mentoring and giving back to my community flourished. After many inspiring experiences with my mentee and tutees in Baltimore, I decided to become a teacher. I was fortunate enough to return home to the Bay Area and join the Rainier community.

I have loved the opportunity to mentor a diverse group of individuals and strive towards a common goal of college and success in life. Seeing my original mentor group graduate and continuing to cultivate my relationships with them have given me the most happiness out of life so far. Everyday, I look forward to being a part of my current mentees’ high school journeys. I always wish that I had more time for 1-on-1 check-ins on Fridays to work, learn, and laugh alongside my mentees. They are so wonderful to work with, and I am so thankful to the Rainier community for allowing me to build these lifelong relationships.

Outside of teaching and mentoring, I lead a pretty simple life that consists of eating and lifting. I live to eat. I could stand at a taco truck and inhale tacos all night long; eat ten-course meals with my grandparents at our favorite Chinese restaurant; and down In-N-Out burgers after chaperoning school dances. At home, I enjoy watching cooking and eating shows and then honing my skills in the kitchen. To burn off calories, I hit the gym. The sport of powerlifting has been challenging yet rewarding. Just like my mentees and students do at school, I set a goal, make a plan, and work to achieve my lifting goals at the gym.

Cognitive Skills - What Are They?

Cognitive skills are the critical thinking skills that will stay with students long after they’ve forgotten content knowledge. These skills are transferable across all subjects and are vital to ensure success in college, career, and life.   For example, content learned in history isn’t necessarily applicable to science, but if we teach students how to analyze multiple perspectives, students can apply those skills in both history and science. Other cognitive skills include the ability to research, analyze information, problem-solve, develop an argument, and communicate effectively.
At Summit, students spend the majority of their time working on projects that develop their cognitive skills. Across their entire academic career at Summit, students are practicing and progressing across the same cognitive skills. We developed which cognitive skills we focus on and how they are graded in partnership with Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), ensuring alignment of the cognitive skills rubric to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and grade level competencies. If a student can master Summit's cognitive skills, they can adapt and succeed in our ever-changing world!

Summit Recognized as one of Most Innovative Schools in World

Our personalized learning model has been recognized in Business Insider's article on the 14 Most Innovative Schools in the WORLD!  Bill Gates commented that by taking an active role in their education, kids learn responsibility and self-reliance.