Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

6 min readJun 26, 2021


Our teachers have had one heck of a school year. From miraculously managing hybrid synchronous instruction to making the most out of distance learning to literally risking their lives to show up in-person for students, teachers have been one of the only constants for youth adapting to a world turned upside down by COVID-19.


As teachers, parents, and students ourselves, we are awed by the incredible resilience, generosity, and creativity we‘ve witnessed in teachers through every phase of this pandemic. We appreciate your dedication to the next generation and celebrate your amazing adaptability during an unprecedented global crisis.

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, we’d love to share a few highlights with you from the fantastic teachers in our foundry10 community.

High School Automotive Teacher Bryan Robbins Kept his Students Learning From Home

Bryan Robbins assembling automotive kits for students to take home

When Meadowdale High School automotive teacher Bryan Robbins realized his auto shop students would be learning from home for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, he quickly pivoted his curriculum plan for the following school year and connected with foundry10 for support. Learn more about his this innovative plan to keep automotive students in Lynwood,WA zooming into fall from home.

Digital Audio Teacher Chelsi Gorzelsky Taught Podcasting Under Quarantine

Chelsi Gorzelsky working digital audio before the pandemic

“I learned so much about myself as an educator and as a human during this program, but I think the most important thing I learned about myself is how to wield my natural adaptability. Nothing about this program was “normal.” This wasn’t just remote education, this was education in a time when the world outside our windows seemed to be falling apart. Everything was outside of our comfort zone, unfamiliar, and unknown. We were determined though and we took each day as it came, constantly adapting our schedule and strategy to accommodate working and learning in quarantine conditions. This was a true test of how to be an adaptable educator and help my students shift to a new educational environment.” Read more about how Chelsi adapted to remote teaching.

Alisan Giesy: Science Teacher/Hip Hop Dance coach Extraordinaire!

Meet the amazing Alisan Giesy! Alisan is a science teacher and dance coach for The Shorewood High School Dance Team. Hear how she learned to make space for student leadership to evolve and bloom.

8 Teacher Insights on Connecting with Students at Home

Research demonstrates that the best learning happens in the context of supportive, caring relationships. But how do we promote social-emotional learning (SEL) from behind a cold computer screen? We asked teachers and foundry10 educators what they learned about fostering meaningful connection to and between students as they learned from home during the spring COVID-19 school shutdown. Here’s how 8 amazing teachers built connections with students during quarantine.

UW Distinguished Teaching Award Winning Marine Biology Professor Dr. José Guzmán

Dr. José Guzmán

“Interacting with students is the engine of my daily life at work! I love it! I spend most of my time trying to come up with challenges for my students, with opportunities and questions to make them think and make them apply whatever we are dealing with that day. I use “active learning” in my classroom, which is based on the idea that students learn better by doing: being engaged in conversations, talking to each other, explaining stuff to their peers — rather than sitting there just listening.” — Dr. José Guzmán. Read the full interview.

Robotics and Marine Science Program Developer Colin Katagiri

Colin Katagiri graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography and minor in Marine Biology focusing on marine microbes and ocean technology. His myriad, but deep, passions span the natural environment and our technological world. These collective passions, combined with his intention to augment education and improve accessibility, are the driving force behind his work with foundry10! Colin previously worked at Zipline International where he designed, manufactured, and tested drone systems and lithium-ion batteries with the mission of providing every human on Earth with instant access to vital medical supplies. Outside of work, he can be found in the Cascades with skiers and climbers, SCUBA diving in Puget Sound, or tinkering on cars.

Comic Artist and Educator Taylor Dow

Zoom Whiteboard creation: Taylor Dow and students

Comic artist and educator Taylor Dow has been running youth arts programs for 13–18 year-olds over Zoom since the pandemic ended in-person after-school programs in the spring. During a recent Creative Virtual Teaching Solutions workshop at foundry10, Taylor shared good, bad, and beautifully awkward stories from teaching in the virtual classroom.

5 Marine Science Educators Made Masked Learning Fun

Photo: Environmental Science Center

While the open air may be one of the safest spaces for teaching amidst this pandemic, often the logistics of access and transportation outweigh the benefits of learning outside. We connected with dedicated educators at Salish Sea Sciences, the Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Marine Research and more in the Puget Sound region who are meeting the challenge head-on with innovative programming.