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Teacher Appreciation Week Series: Educators who Inspire Educators

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This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week! For those readers who are teachers - thank you for all you do every day. Thank you for throwing extra boxes of granola bars in your cart at the grocery store for your students who are hungry during class. Thank you for coming to school on a Saturday to prepare your classroom for next week's activities. Thank you for staying at school hours past "clock out time" to call families, tutor students, grade papers, set up labs, coach sports, collaborate with colleagues. Thank you for choosing this profession and sticking with it.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I am honoring my colleagues with a week-long series called "Educators who Inspire Educators." I reached out to my PLN and asked them to spotlight an amazing teacher. Thanks to the enthusiastic responses, each day this week we'll be learning more about educators from around the world who are creating #EduWins in their classrooms everyday.  

First up, we have a high school teacher from Illinois:

Frank Holthouse, Franklin Park, IL USA

Teaches: Introduction to Engineering 9-12

Twitter handle: @fholthouse

Website: https://sites.google.com/a/leyden212.org/mr-holthouse/

Inpires: Jason Markey

Why Jason is inspired by Frank: "When we consider what teaching and learning should be like in our schools, too often the focus is on one dimension. At Leyden, we pride ourselves in providing our students with the opportunities to find and pursue their passions no matter where they lie. We understand that our students' futures could lead them down different paths and that each of these paths can be a successful one. Mr. Holthouse understands this more than anyone. Mr. Holthouse is a teacher and department chair in our Industrial Technology Department, which includes classes like autos, woods, manufacturing, and engineering. Students in these courses range from students who are interested in attending competitive four year universities to major in Engineering as well as students who are already working in local manufacturing shops and will pursue a successful career in the trades.

Mr. Holthouse inspires me because he is constantly stretching his students' confidence in themselves and what they can accomplish. Just a week ago during my classroom walkthroughs, I found Mr. Holthouse's Engineering class using Google Hangouts to video conference with student partners from a high school in California, working on a project to develop a new product. The students work together for weeks on everything from the original idea for the product, through development and prototyping, all they way to presenting the final product. Just as important as the core skills in engineering they are learning, Mr. Holthouse works with students to build their "soft skills" as well. Students work on project management and collaborative norms to ensure efficiency and clear communication throughout their collaboration. In the end, no matter which next step these students take beyond high school, Mr. Holthouse has prepared our students to step with confidence and skill into their futures."

Connect with Frank on Twitter and learn more about his work and students! Come back tomorrow as we learn more about an amazing e-Learning teacher from Melbourne, Australia!

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