Amy Symons offers various services and contracts with Individuals, Groups, and Schools:
- Differentiated Instruction
- Curriculum Design and Development
- Formal Observations, Debriefs and Action Plans
- Mentoring New Teachers
- Teacher Coaching
- Professional Development Trainings
In the schools many of us grew up in, things were predictable: vocab quizzes were on Fridays, and you knew who in class was smart. Gratefully, educational theory and methodology that guides good teaching has broadened, and Differentiated Instruction (DI) epitomizes that shift.
By considering affect, learning styles, students’ interests and levels of readiness to digest a concept, DI uses different entry points to engage learners. With frequent assessment and varied methodology, students are funneled into their “learning zone”.
Effective differentiated teaching is intuitive (yes! All my students should be challenged in just the right ways) and simultaneously overwhelming (how am I going to possibly accomplish this?)
With Amy’s help, teachers consider methodology to reach different learning styles, design curricula imbued with choice and formative assessment—building in support and extensions for students who need them—and expand the possibilities for final assessment. DI helps kids make deep connections to content because it’s presented in ways that make sense.
- MA Mills College, Education; BA Brown University, Women’s Studies
- Consultant and Faculty Coach for Differentiated Instruction, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Oakland, CA
- Instructor for Curriculum and Instruction, Mills College School of Education, Oakland, CA
- Consultant for Cooperating Teachers, Mills College School of Education, Oakland, CA
- Classroom Management Coach, Oakland Unified School District
- Classroom teacher in large public and small private schools in the East Bay
- Published Author, currently drafting The New Teacher’s Handbook
Being an effective classroom practitioner is about as hard as it gets—each day, teachers make more decisions and witness more of the Stuff of Life than just about anyone. Making time to reflect upon students’ passions, skill-sets and learning predilections allows teachers to design meaningful curricula and improve student outcomes.
These principles will guide our collegial work:
- Meeting students where they’re at and holding high expectations for all learners
- Differentiating instruction to put all students in the Zone of Proximal Development or “learning zone”
- Recognizing and honoring the many facets of teachers and their practice
- Positive reinforcement
- Remaining current with research on teaching and learning