Differentiated Instruction

YouTube video from Sonoma Country Day School faculty.

When you read a book, you don’t get smarter.  You have to apply what you know.  So that’s why I want my professional development snack size and weekly.  And that’s Amy. Working with her has been THE key to my success in differentiating several parts of my 2nd grade curriculum. Her time, insight and planful intelligence have been crucial to creating and reflecting on the outcomes of differentiated student work in my classroom. [East Bay Independent Lower School Teacher]

Amy has been instrumental in helping me improve my practice as a 1st grade teacher.  She kindly took me from where I was with differentiated instruction and helped me to grow at a pace that was comfortable for me and productive for my students.  Amy listened carefully to my questions and concerns as a teacher trying something new and provided appropriate and timely feedback on a consistent basis.  Her ideas inspired me. Her kind words of encouragement and appreciation fueled my desire to continue to learn.  And, her professionalism and organization make each of our meetings a worthwhile use of our time.  Amy is absolutely, without a doubt, the best mentor and coach I have ever had in my 13 years as an educator! [East Bay Independent Lower School Teacher]

This has been one the smoothest, most fun starts to the school year and I cannot thank Amy enough for her expertise, support, great chats, ideas, etc.  I have had many visitors in my room so far (including the new Head of School twice!) and all have been blown away by what we’re doing this year. And the parents gave me so many accolades when I talked about my Social Studies curriculum for the year. I couldn’t have done it without her! [SF Independent Lower School Teacher]

Effects on a Faculty

As an administrator, I appreciate Amy’s ability to be an additional set of eyes and ears around the school and help me stay connected, given the enormous job. In addition, her expertise is incredibly helpful in my working with teachers on their individual professional goals. There is a warmth and honesty about Amy that is both refreshing and needed. The staff sees her as an expert in differentiated instruction and hence trusts her feedback. I also think her delivery is differentiated to each staff member’s learning style.  As a result of her work, I see better teaching in my staff and more confidence and willingness to take risks. There is more authentic self-reflection. And so much more! [East Bay Independent School Division Director]

It is rare in teacher support work to find someone like Amy. She uses her deep understanding of the challenges of the teaching profession and skillfully and supportively raises the hard questions that lead to changes in learning opportunities for students. [Mills College Administrator]

Observation and Reflection

One of the reasons I love working with Amy is that I never feel like she’s going to judge me.  Her intention is to make me a better teacher, not to figure out what I’m doing wrong, and not to point fingers at me.  She’s interested in doing what I want—which is to become more effective—and that allows me to be completely frank about what I struggle with. [East Bay Independent Middle School Teacher]

Mentoring New Teachers

In our conversations about teaching, Amy modeled all the qualities of a master teacher, while inspiring me to climb my way there. With regard to the academic success of my students, I hold nothing more sacred than maintaining high standards – because as a coach, Amy did the same for me. She would never let me get away with a lazily-articulated idea, instead pushing me to formulate the thought I was capable of expressing. And I’ve never met someone more skilled at unpacking my reflection, and prompting me to use that tool of my own reflection to its fullest potential. Amy’s guidance, her involvement in my development as a teacher, and the resonating influence from our many discussions have meant more to me than any class I took or any text I read. [Public High School English teacher, Boulder, CO]