Faculty in Focus: Terri Lotts
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.John Wooden
Terri Lotts joins the kindergarten teaching team this year and says she wanted to be a teacher ever since she was a little girl. “My grandfather built me a schoolhouse in my backyard equipped with desks and a chalkboard,” she recalls, smiling. “I used to ‘teach’ all of the neighborhood children!”
Terri’s experience extends far beyond those days in the backyard. She joins Los Encinos School after spending the past nineteen years at Turning Point in Culver City where she moved between pre-school, kinder, and first grades. Her undergraduate work was at Cal State Long Beach and she then went to Pepperdine for graduate school.
When asked how teaching has changed since she first started, Terri recalls the early days with, “a ton of paper-pencil worksheet type learning, even in lower elementary classrooms.” Today, she is happy to report that the focus is on process-based learning and the teacher acts more as a facilitator. “Lessons are less teacher-directed and more collaborative or hands-on in nature,” she explains. And, of course, technology has changed so much as well. “Technology presents both pros and cons in the classroom,” Terri says, “and I think in the teaching world we have finally found a healthy balance.”
Terri is the youngest of five children (two older brothers and two older sisters). Her father, a caterer, passed away a little over six years ago and Terri describes her mom as being, “my greatest inspriration, so kind and smart.” At 81, her mom lives in Marina del Rey and remains extremely active. She retired from running a movie special effects company two years ago and continues to work out daily!
Terri’s husband, Andy, is also an educator. They met at Turning Point School in 1999 and have a fifteen-year-old daughter named Emma. “Being a mother is my greatest joy in life,” Terri says. This year, Emma will be a sophomore at Buckley, which is also where Andy teaches P.E. and coaches the middle- and high-schoolers. Rounding out her family is a twelve-year-old labrador, “Gracie.”
Over the recent summer break, the three generations of women took a trip to Boston together, a ritual they do every other year. When she’s not teaching, Terri says she loves pilates and taking long walks. Her favorite book is The Outsiders, and her favorite television show is The Blacklist. When it comes to music, she has an eclectic taste, from New Kids on the Block, to Green Day, and even Barry Manilow.
When asked how she feels about the upcoming new school year, Terri says, “I am beyond excited to join the LES community and look forward to working in collaboration with Bri Miller.”
Welcome, Terri Lotts, to Los Encinos School and our fabulous kindergarten class!
Ms. Lotts’ “Shelfie”