Some Ascension Parish schools featured in national spotlight

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Some teachers and students in Ascension Parish will be part of a national video that spotlights teacher and student achievement. A national group that promotes classroom excellence picked four schools to participate.

A camera production crew spent one week shooting lessons inside classrooms across the parish.

On Tuesday, Lowery Middle School teacher, Samantha Young, prepared her class for the day's lesson. On this day, they are the subjects in a multi-camera shoot, complete with directors and a production crew.

The cameras were also on sixth grade teacher Amy Crain and her students. She said being in the spotlight was a bit intense, but after a few minutes it is almost as if the crew was not even there.

"They are really focused on their computers, their work, on me, and one another," Crain said.

The teachers used popular movies and music to get the students talking about the subject at hand.

"We revisited a conflict in a short story that we've already read. We actually watched a clip from Frozen so that they could see how we could transfer some of those things into movies that we watch," Crain explained.

The teachers are following what is known as TAP, a model for teacher and student advancement. The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) has chosen Lowery Middle School and three other Ascension Parish Schools as examples for the rest of the country.

NIET Director of Training, Teddy Broussard, said the lessons captured in the classrooms will be posted online and will be shown at national conferences as learning tools for other teachers.

"We see a lot of effective best practice happening here, and also when we look back at the growth schools in Ascension have made the last several years, we are excited about the results we are getting," Broussard said.

While the teachers are at the head of the class, they admitted they could not do it without a dedicated cast of students.

"It's an incredible honor. I know that as teachers we work so hard. I'm absolutely proud of my students and the opportunity they were able to give me to showcase them," Crain said.

Lowery Elementary, Gonzales Primary, and Donaldsonville High School were also selected to participate in the video.

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