Educator of the week

Urvi Bhatia 
Belvedere Middle School

Los Angeles Unified School District
Favorite Teaching Subjects: Science, especially Astronomy! A true STEM Champion and education enthusiast, Mrs. Urvi Bhatia is constantly searching for new, innovative and exhilarating project ideas to infuse with her classroom curriculum in order to motivate her students towards a brighter future. As an educator for the past 16 years, Urvi understands that one of the most successful ways to inspire a student is through the use of hands-on projects and activities that not only educate, but provide creative outlets for her science classes. Originally from India, Mrs. Bhatia recognized her passion for education at a young age. It was during her middle school years that Urvi was inspired by her 7th grade teacher, Mrs. John, to pursue a career in education. Mrs. John's teaching techniques sparked excitement in her class, triggering a curiosity in science that has carried on with Urvi throughout her career. Not only was Urvi inspired in the classroom, but she also found a role model and her biggest inspiration at home in her mother, who dedicated 29 years to teaching in India. This lasting impression from her former teacher paired with the continuous inspiration from her mother fueled Mrs. Bhatia's goal of becoming an educator in the classroom. Ultimately, she accomplished her goal and completed her undergraduate career in Biochemistry at Gujarat University, followed by her Gifted Certificate and Teachers Credential from California State University, Fullerton. Mrs. Bhatia has taught 8th grade science at Belvedere Middle School in Boyle Heights for the past 10 years. Nestled just east of Downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights is home to a community committed to hard work and perseverance. Mrs. Bhatia strives to match that same commitment and work ethic with the students in her classroom. As a humble educator, her proudest moments originate from student success: "I am most proud of my students achievements, small or big.....they always make me proud, especially when my students visit me after a couple of years and they tell me how they still remember that one lesson or project that we did or how something that I said has been motivation for them." Urvi has been a champion and ambassador of Great Minds in STEMTM for the past 5 years. She recognizes the myth surrounding STEM careers as being only viable options for certain people and she understands the need for STEM awareness at Belvedere Middle School. Mrs. Bhatia goes above and beyond to overturn that myth, recognizing her students full potential to succeed in those fields and ensuring that her students take every opportunity to establish futures in STEM. "I want my students and parents to get STEM ready and STEM strong for a rewarding, successful and bright future." This will be Urvi's 5th year attending the K-12 Educators Institute at our annual HENAAC Conference. At last year’s HENAAC conference, Mrs. Bhatia was awarded for her commitment and dedication towards bringing STEM awareness to Belvedere’s campus. During her spare time, Mrs. Bhatia enjoys reading a good book, meeting new people, creating floral arrangements, and developing new projects from recycled materials.

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