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Switch by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Drive by Daniel H. Pink
21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel
The Trouble With Boys by Peg Tyre
Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain by Zaretta Hammond
My name is Patricia Kawahara and I am delighted to be joining the Sycamore Valley Elementary School community. I have been in education for over 20 years and consider it a great honor to be a part of a child’s educational journey. Prior to joining the Sycamore Valley team, I served as principal at Sequoia Elementary School in Mt. Diablo Unified School District. Before joining the Sequoia family I served as an administrator in Oakland and Richmond, and an instructional coach in Walnut Creek. Prior to jumping into administrative and coaching work I taught grades TK, 3rd, 4th, and 6th. Focusing on the whole child and supporting children across the developmental span of elementary school is a true passion and has guided my work across my career.
I grew up, primarily, in Santa Cruz and graduated from UC Santa Cruz and earned my teaching credential at Dominican University in Marin. After teaching for a few years I pursued masters degrees from San Francisco State and UC Berkeley, earning an administrative credential at Berkeley as well. I loved engaging in educational theory and courses while teaching, as the practical context added meaning to my learning. I am a lifelong learner and continue to seek out opportunities for growth whether through coursework, professional development sessions, collaboration with colleagues or conversations with students and families.
I live in Walnut Creek with my husband, two teenage children and our dog, Caramel. I love hiking in the open space we are all so fortunate to be surrounded by, reading and catching up with friends old and new.
Sycamore Valley's Mission and Core Belief
All students can learn and have the right to a free and accessible learning environment, whereby: individuality, culture and learning styles are embraced and celebrated. Our mission is to instill life-long learning in an academically challenging and stimulating classroom, promote critical thinking skills and examine our students’ growth to inform our instructional practices.
Shark Key Values:
- To support an inclusive learning environment through equitable teaching practices, tolerance and compassion.
- To continue strengthening relationships by nurturing a sense of teamwork, respect and trust with all stakeholders in our learning community.
- Self-reflection to improve, motivate and deliver purposeful instruction to ALL students.
- To assure basic skills, problem solving and encourage life-long learning for our students.