leading educators + LEARNERS + artists into the 21st century
While much of my work with supporting new teachers has been focused around mentoring, I have had many opportunities to plan and facilitate various types of professional developments for teachers, mentors, and other educators. From weekly workshops focused around a specific component of teaching, and seminars grounded in a theme with breakout sessions to dig deeper, to presentations around mentoring for management in front of national audiences of teachers and principals, I have planned them all.
As with teaching, knowing one's learners, or teachers, is the most crucial part to a successful learning event. Teachers, like students, don't normally learn best from a lecture. I plan interactive, engaging trainings that focus on the current needs, challenges, and interests of the adult learners in front of me. It's essential that I quickly establish a relationship of trust with my audience and planning time to make this connection happen cannot take away from the learning. I use resources like Google Drive and Edmodo to make sure that participants can replicate and access both the information taught and the resources I used to create the content. For some of my sessions, I have used a hashtag, like #games2learn and #CNTCSpringSem, to model best practices and support ongoing learning for participants. Lastly, I implement the best practice of seeking session evaluation data from my participants. It is a routine for me to use evaluation data while planning future adult learning sessions.
working with wholesome
In January of 2008, at the wake of the first iPhone, my husband, Zack Schneider, and I decided that we wanted to put our loves of music, technology, and making a difference to the test. Surrounded by Chicago musicians and artists, we found ourselves wanting to recreate the fanzines of our youth on the web. It was at that point that WholesomeZine, originally released by our friend, Dave Rucins, in 1987 at Lyons Township High School, became a business. Wholesome (what we we call it for short, but can't afford to purchase yet), is a community of artists who love all things music. We run a radio station, host a web-based zine, and maintain practice spaces and a recording studio.
In addition to DJing for the radio station, and running its teacher talk show, Faculty Lounge, I work with my husband to manage 9 veteran DJs as well as Wholesome Student Radio Project (WSRP) interns. Our success with the radio internship has evolved into full internship program. We invite students in Chicago high schools and colleges across the country the opportunity to develop their skills in radio, art development, writing and blogging, web design, programming, and business. Current and former interns hale from University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign, Columbia College Chicago, Drexel University, Southern Illinois University, Indiana University Bloomington, and DeVry University Chicago. In 2013, we were awarded a partnership with After-School Matters to bring our program into more Chicago high schools.
MAXIMIZING COLLABORATION WITH 21ST CENTURY TOOLS
When working in intense, fast-paced start-up organizations, I have used technology to allow adults to collaborate so that we are able to establish a stable and supportive learning environment for all students. With GoogleDrive, I have created collaborative spreadsheets for vertical alignment, forms to document RTI academic and behavior interventions and interactions, and presentations to coordinate school announcements for students. Shared folders have also played an important part in the clear communication and structure of my mentoring and evaluating. Teachers have instant access to my classroom evidence and our meeting notes which I share as spreadsheets, each meeting its own tab. They share their lesson plans and assessments with me while I share resources, like a folder of Socratic Seminar rubrics, graphic organizers, and question stems, with them.
With teachers and colleagues at Wholesome, we do not always physically meet daily or weekly, so our interactions increased by our use of collaborative technology. By integrating video recording and chatting platforms like Skype, GoogleHangouts, Talent, and SmarterCookie, our work can happen regardless of location. The use of video supports a collaborative environment and can serve as a source of documentation of our growth as a group.