For the 5th year, Parenting OC, with support from SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, has solicited nominations for selection to the top 25 teachers of Orange County. This year, over 150 principals and administrators submitted nomination essays. Lisa Tarkoff, selected as a "Top 25 Orange County Teacher" for 2018, is a middle school teacher at Red Hill Lutheran School in Tustin and a UCI Writing Project Fellow.
From Parenting OC (March 2018)
As a middle school language arts teacher, Lisa Tarkoff expects her students to write arguments based on strong evidence and logical reasoning, addressing alternate points of view and presenting the facts clearly. After reading Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", her eighth graders held a Mock Trial to use all of the skills they learned in studying argumentation, crafting their cases and presenting the trial to a jury of fifth grade students. Through these lessons, students have designed and presented science lab remodel proposals, raised funds for an Automatic External Defibrillators, and created Public Service Announcements that raised over $3,000 for the Orange County Rescue Mission.
"One of the primary ways that I continue to develop myself as an educator if through my fellowship with the UCI Writing Project. Through this, I am continually able to study research-based teaching methodology and apply my knowledge to the classroom," said Tarkoff. "Additionally, I am able to bring my knowledge to other teachers at my school so that they can apply proven methods to their classrooms. At the root of this is my desire to provide my students with the best, most engaging classroom environment possible, nurturing the same growth mindset in them that I strive to foster in myself."