About Mrs. Lasser

My name is Joyce Lasser and this is my 17th year teaching at Burroughs Community School. I am originally from New York and although I consider myself a midwesterner after living here for many years, II still have a touch of that eastern accent. I taught  four years in the Bronx right after receiving my Bachelors Degree from Cornell University and my Master’s degrees from New York University.  My first teaching job was at a school in North Minneapolis where I taught for sixteen years. I worked very hard to be a stable, loving person in their lives and received a great deal of satisfaction, knowing that I had positively impacted their development. During that  time , I began the difficult process of obtaining my National Board Certification. I spent a year writing a collection of essays which covered different areas of teaching, as well as reflecting on myself as a teacher, and video taping many lessons. This journey ended with a very rigorous exam. Four months later when I received the letter that began with the words “We are very pleased to tell you” of course I was thrilled.  I teach my children from the first day in first grade that we never stop learning and that is the philosophy I always have for myself. Years later a parent nominated me to be a candidate for the “Teacher of the Year” Competition and I say with much pride that after arduous preparation, I became a semi-finalist. 

I have three wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren, all of them ten years old and younger. My daughter, and son and their families live in Minneapolis and my oldest son lives in Santa Monica with his ten year old child. We all make it a priority to have the entire family together at least four times a year. I’d say I’m a lucky grandma!

My seventeen years at Burroughs have been magical. Each year, I am proud to say that my students, their parents and I become a family, all working together to reach common goals. People often ask me why I don’t retire. It is those relationships that I have formed over the years that have a special place in my heart and give me the energy to keep on going.  

When I reflect on my philosophy of teaching, I am immediately reminded of a book that I read many years ago, All I Really Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten. The following consist of some knowledge I have accrued after teaching first grade for many years:

I learned that when you teach children to create, they create, when you teach children to listen, they listen and when you teacher children to accept differences in others, they accept.

I learned that when you set clear expectations and insist that children behave, they will.

I learned that when you teach children to reach for the stars,  they understand it’s within reach.

I learned that when you engage children in creative, challenging projects, learning reaches new heights and everlasting memories are made. 

I learned that the phrase “one size fits all” does not have a place in the classroom and for all children to succeed, learning has to be differentiated.

I learned that when parents are my partners in the education process, everyone benefits.

I have three wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren, all of them ten years old and younger. My daughter, and son and their families live in Minneapolis and my oldest son lives in Santa Monica with his ten year old child. We all make it a priority to have the entire family together at least four times a year. I’d say I’m a lucky grandma!

When II’m not in school, I love spending time with my family and friends. I try to exercise at least five times a week, whether it be at the gym of taking a long walk. I love cuddling up with a fabulous book and I also enjoy baking and sharing my treats with others. (the staff loves that as well)

So there it is...a snapshot of Joyce Lasser. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me.