Los Angeles is the second largest city in the nation, making it home to hundreds of thousands of teachers and students. LA is also a hub for innovation and inspiration, and teachers and administrators are constantly pushing forth new ideas on equity, technology, and access. Since Twitter is a common tool for educators to share and network, we’ve rounded up 10 teacher Twitter accounts in the Los Angeles area that are pushing the boundaries of education.
As a math instructor and teacher educator with over 12 years of experience in the classroom, Chase Orton is passionate about helping everyone realize the fun and inspiration in math education.
On his website Undercover Calculus, he details thoughts and support on redefining the role of math in the classroom. Instead of seeing it as an obstacle, Orton wants to help teachers change the conversation around math and what it means to succeed at the subject.
Based in Venice, California, Orton is also an independent consultant, coach, and collaborator offering customized workshops, seminars, and lesson studies for teachers of grades K-12. He is the lead author of MathLinks, a comprehensive middle school math curriculum. Follow him on Twitter for interesting musings on math, equity, and helping students succeed.
Christelle Rocha is a middle school math teacher dedicated to upturning injustices in the education system. She understands that math is often a barrier to success for students of all backgrounds, especially students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. While Rocha is new to teaching, her personal experiences with educational injustices make her well-suited to serve as an educator.
She’s passionate about empowering students through mathematics and holding them to high standards to help them realize their full potential. She is also interested in how to make parts of her classroom more accessible to parents as a means of helping all students succeed.
Stephen Zanotti is an instructional technology facilitator living in Los Angeles. He’s also a professional development affiliate and teacher fellow working with Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science for girls and other underrepresented students in schools.
Code.org creates the leading curriculum for students in grades K-12 in the largest school districts in the country. Zanotti supports this mission with his own teacher education resources, which he maintains at K5coding. He offers a variety of workshops throughout the year on computer science fundamentals, app invention, and computational thinking. Follow Zanotti for more ideas and tips on professional development in educational technology, plus how you can help expand access to tech in schools.
Educator Hilda Maldonado is a bilingual administrator at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). She is a fierce child advocate, championing the rights of immigrant children and families whenever she can, and serving as an important voice for both English and Spanish-speaking families.
Currently, she is the district’s associate superintendent of leadership development and partnerships. In this role, she oversees policy, leadership, and instructional issues that affect how students can escape poverty, attend college, and find success throughout life. Follow Maldonado for an inspirational and value-driven look at the role of immigrant students in schools today.
Ben Feinberg is an eighth grade math and engineering teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park, and was one of the district’s teachers of the year in 2018. He has taught at both public and private schools in Los Angeles, and uses this experience to inform his interest with education data.
Feinberg runs a personal blog titled School Data Nerd, where he explores local education statistics. While this data is important for informing the public and news sources about essential trends in education, he also uses it to teach his students about equity and access. Feinberg uses data for everything from ranking the top schools in LA and taking a look at AP course pass rates to illuminating rates of homeless students in the county.
Allison Jonas is a readiness and instructional technology integration coordinator for LAUSD. With more than 17 years of experience in education, Jonas is particularly skilled at implementing differentiated instruction in the classroom. She also has experience working with at-risk students, gifted learners, and students with disabilities and behavioral disorders. Previously, she has served as an elementary teacher and a physical education coordinator.
On Jonas’ Twitter, she advocates for the use of free educational resources and serves as a voice for modern technology topics, including digital citizenship, creating 21st century coursework, and expanding technology access in schools.
Paige Lahaise is an instructional coach at LAUSD and has been teaching for over 20 years. She is a Google certified innovator and ISTE certified educator, making her well-trained to develop instructional programs. She believes strongly in the power of technology in the classroom and has worked hard to ensure that all students in her school have access to and an understanding of technology.
Her website, Paige’s Prose, features tips for educators on using Google Classroom and connecting to helpful edtech resources. Her Twitter account is filled with resources on conferences, events, and influencers in the technology education space.
Mark Nemetz is an educator who is involved in instructional technology. He’s also certified in Google and Microsoft, making him a well-rounded technology teacher for today’s students.
Nemetz shares a variety of conferences, speakers, and events on his Twitter feed. Notable topics discussed include digital citizenship, virtual collaboration, and how Google and Microsoft can enhance both teaching and learning. He also shares his continuing education endeavors, which include Microsoft and Google courses that help him improve his own teaching while inspiring other educators to continue learning and growing.
Eric Gurna is the president and CEO of LA’s Best, an afterschool program for children ages 5 to 12 in the Los Angeles area. It serves over 25,000 students across 200 schools and has a major influence in the afterschool enrichment of LA kids. LA’s Best engages children from all backgrounds, providing essential creative, emotional, and intellectual development to those most in need.
The program also runs during the summer months, giving area students a safe place to learn and grow. Gurna has deep roots with LA’s Best. He served as staff development director in the 90’s, immersing in the organization’s values, developing staff policies, and learning the company’s values and youth development principles. He also founded Development Without Limits, a professional development resource for educators, and led the organization for 15 years.
Sophia Mendoza is the director of the instructional technology initiative at LAUSD, the second largest school district in the nation. Mendoza is also the winner of the 2019 ISTE Impact Award. This honor is given to educators and administrators who accelerate the use of technology to solve difficult problems, inspire innovation, and make a difference in the world.
Mendoza’s successes were highlighted at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia, which unites educators to discuss how technology in schools can advance teaching, learning, and the world itself. She was also named as a NextGeneration leader by CoSN, a professional association and resource for K-12 edtech leaders, for her work coordinating technology programs across 400 schools in LA. Follow her for an in-depth look at what it means to expand technology equity and access in a digital world.