This year’s National Teacher Appreciation Week takes place Monday, May 7 – Friday, May 11. To celebrate, we’re highlighting dedicated educators at some of our partner schools. 

Tammy Bird is the lead Science teacher at the Environmental Science, Engineering, and Technology pathway at Carson High School. She began teaching on September 1984.

Ms. Bird was fresh out of college when she began her career. While an undergraduate student at Occidental College, she worked on a marine research vessel and had plans to attend vet school. However, she postponed applying and became a part of a Los Angeles Unified School District intern program.

During the program, Ms. Bird fell in love with teaching and has been in the classroom for 33 years. She loves working with the students. They are the reason she has not gone further into administration. Ms. Bird describes herself as a “science nerd” and loves sharing that passion with her high school students.

Ms. Bird with her students at the Southern California AQMD Clean Air Awards. ESET was awarded Clean Air Educational Outreach.

At Carson High School, she brings science to life. She runs a school garden and implemented the program “Food for the Hood” which has expanded internationally. As Ms. Bird puts it, “I was doing Linked Learning before Linked Learning even existed.”

Linked Learning has been a part of Ms. Bird’s proudest career milestones. She has enjoyed building the ESET pathway and collaborating with other teachers to create a space where students can take complete ownership of their education. She loves the movement to bring real and relevant work and linking lessons from the classroom into the real world.

While Ms. Bird has been part of the large systemic shift of Linked Learning, she believes there are many more growth opportunities for public schools. One of the shifts she would like to see is a change in standardized testing. Ms. Bird believes that standardized testing does not show a basis of knowledge. She would like to see projects or portfolio presentations take place of testing.