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Excellence in Teaching Award

Theresa Lownds

Excellence in Teaching
Exemplary classroom practices and impact on student learning.

On the principle of using multiple methodologies to promote & maximize students learning –

  • Theresa Lownds integrates music, drama, movement, film, visual art, and design into her Advanced ESL curriculum to reach students through their unique learning styles
  • In order to promote ownership of the learning experience and strengthen confidence in the learning environment, Ms. Lownds uses the students’ own personal and cultural background, incorporating what they already know.
  • She enhances creativity via collaboration and problem solving, allowing students to gain insights into their own and others’ learning process. 

On the principle of student-driven learning environments are the most productive

  • Ms. Lownds has found abundant motivation for learning through self-expression in the ‘community’ created in each class. Some examples of her student – driven collaborative activities are:
  • As a learning device, the classroom is developed into a miniature urban community
  • Ms. Lownds and her students create an “Our World, Our Words” cookbook made up of their personal & family favorite recipes, accompanied by writings about their histories.
  • When the cookbook is complete, copies are made every student. Copies are proudly presented to school administration. 
  • Similar collaborative projects are done by students who develop and share personal, illustrated storybooks about their unique immigration to America and English learning process.

Significant Contribution to School & AE Community
Life-Long Learning

  • In one of her first classes, a favorite student impressed upon her the meaning of life-long learner. At the time the student was an 84 year old great, great grandmother. After caring for generations of her family, she had come to Ms. Lownds’ ESL class after deciding it was finally her turn to learn to read and write - and she did. 
  • Theresa Lownds first felt the powerful draw toward adult education more than 19 years ago, during her first year teaching at Belmont Community Adult School. Since then, she has taught all levels of ESL
  • Since 2012, Ms. Lownds has taught at Evans Service Center as an Advanced ESL instructor.
  • She has served on the Shared Decision-Making Council and recently was elected ESL Department Chair.
  • Ms. Lownds has organized upper-level ESL, ABE and ASE instructors to meet regularly to support ESL students transitioning to the high school program. 
  • Additionally, she has joined with upper-level ESL teachers to pilot a computer-assisted reading comprehension program that helps her advanced ESL students reach a 9th grade reading level.
  • Ms. Lownds has become a valued and integral part of the ESL leadership team. 
  • Theresa has been an active member and supporter of CCAE since 1998, regularly attending its conferences.