"The lessons I am learning every week from CTP are that possibilities are endless in the imagination of children and for teachers who listen, believe and question. My mentor is my teacher who also listens, models, supports, challenges old practices and hones my skills to, in turn, listen to the ideas of children. PILA provides our children’s first steps in a journey to become leaders with compassion and imagination."

LAUSD TK teacher, second-year CTP partner

  "CTP has allowed me to create an environment where children are fully engaged in every aspect of their learning process. They are academically motivated, have great stamina for problem-solving, and have grown tremendously in their language and social/emotional development. For me, being able to work and reflect with a mentor for the past two years has made me grow tremendously  as an educator."

LAUSD TK teacher, second-year CTP partner



"At Short Avenue Elementary School we are in our second year of participation in the Collaborative Teacher Project, CTP. We began this work in our TK classroom and saw so much success that we expanded the program into our Kindergarten classrooms as well. The play-based approach involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. The teacher encourages children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that have stretched our students’ thinking to higher levels. We are thrilled with the results we are seeing in all three of our CTP classrooms.  Our students are thriving, our teachers are inspired and our families are excited to see their children developing a life-long love of learning."

Karen Mora Reynolds

Principal, Short Avenue Elementary School

"Working with the CTP has been a transformative experience. I have found a network of teachers and a mentor who share a teaching philosophy with me. Parents, not only of students in my class but members of the community, are in awe of the classroom setting and the work the children are doing.  My students are thriving.  Joining the CTP has not only given me the opportunity to grow as an educator but as a person. I have reflected on my own practices and beliefs to better understand who I am." 

Tyler Geuvjehizian 

Kindergarten Teacher, Short Avenue Elementary

"The greatest joy that fills my heart is walking into a classroom with young minds excited to think critically and solve meaningful problems and to see their teachers equally excited to engage in the journey of learning. Working with the PILA over the last year has flipped our perception that children need to be instilled with knowledge.  In reality, they come to school with knowledge, sophisticated critical thinking abilities, and a desire to make sense of the world. Instead of forcing the children to learn decontextualized content in unnatural ways, the Pedagogical Institute has exposed us to a dynamic process that allows our teachers to harness our children's innate abilities. This work has changed the nature of the conversation at our school, which, in turn, has changed our approach to teaching and learning."  

Emilio Garza

Principal, Elysian Heights Elementary