Reggio inspired PYP teacher with over twenty years experience in international schools in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Using technology to support children’s inquiry. Involving parents in children’s learning. Early Childhood Coordinator. PYP coordinator and workshop leader. Literacy Coordinator. Student Council. Outdoors Education.
TEACHING AND ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE:
The International School of Azerbaijan Aug 2007 – June 2009
United Nations International School Hanoi, Vietnam Aug 2002 – June 2004
British International School Cairo, Egypt Aug 1998 – June 2002
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 coordinator
Berlin Brandenburg International School, Germany Aug 1994 – June 1998
Grade 2 teacher, Language coordinator
St John’s Primary School, England Sep 1993 – June 1994
Head of Nursery
Kuwait English School, Kuwait Aug 1991 – June 1993 Reception Teacher
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
I have a strong back ground in early childhood education and have been involved in teaching in learning in the early years far beyond the classroom. My philosophy has been greatly influenced by the work of the pre-schools in Reggio Emilia. I believe in the teacher as researcher, embracing curiosity and uncertainty to push forward beyond the comfort zone; I believe in the child as competent communicator and constructor of theories; I believe in involving children, as primary stake-holders and instigators, in decisions about their learning. I document children’s learning in order to make their thinking visible for themselves and for others and welcome parents as partners in their children’s learning journeys. Over the last several years I have been exploring ways of using technology to support children’s “hundred languages” of expression. In 2013 I was part of a small group working with the IBPYP curriculum development team in reviewing the curriculum framework for 3-5 year olds in the PYP.
I believe that a Student Council contributes towards a positive school climate by giving students a voice and involving them in decision making at an appropriate level. Student Council is a powerful way of developing a sense of citizenship, community and responsibility. I have set up and run Elementary School Student Councils in two schools. You can see more about our student council here.
Children seem to have fewer and fewer opportunities to get outdoors and interact with nature. I have been heavily involved with Duke of Edinburgh International Award groups and initiated and run Elementary School Camping Clubs at three schools in an effort to give children opportunities to experience the wonder of living in nature to push out of their comfort zones and to discover the resourcefulness and creativity within them. You can see more about the Elementary School Camping Club here.
I have been heavily involved in curriculum development in each school I have been at. I held the roles of Language Coordinator, PYP Coordinator and Early Childhood Coordinator multiple times.I have worked with teachers to explore ways of using Writers’ Workshop and First Steps resources and have developed and implemented long term plans to develop teachers’ collective understanding of the roles of concepts and inquiry in teaching and learning. I believe in life long learning and am a regular contributor to online curriculum sites and forums. I have offered information sessions and workshops for parents and have chaired committees for IB and ECIS self study and evaluation visits. You can find our literacy wiki here.
PYP Workshop Leader/ Site Visitor:
As a PYP workshop leader and school site visitor, I have had opportunities to visit other schools to support teachers in developing and implementing inquiry based, conceptually driven curriculums in line with the PYP framework. These school visits have enabled me to share my knowledge and experiences with others while at the same time providing me with rich professional development which has helped me to grow as an educator and leader.
- PTC Summer Institute
- School-based training with Bambi Betts
- School-based training with Bill and Ochen Powell
In-school and weekend workshops on a Reggio Emilia perspective with visiting presenters including Tina Bruce, Jan Millikan and Lella Gandini
Regional Job-Alikes, on-going in-school peer coaching and discussion on implementation of the principals of practice at the schools in Reggio Emilia.
Strong on-line PLN through #Kinderchat and #ECEchat
Inquiry and conceptual learning:
- School based PD Kath Murdoch, Kathy Short, Tania Lattanzio
- Regional Workshop Lynne Erickson
- Making Thinking Visible -Building Understanding Through Creative Thinking Harvard Graduate School/ WIDE World
- Creating a Culture of thinking Ron Ritchhart
Integrating Technology and Web 2.0 Tools:
Weekend workshops with visiting presenters including Alan November, Julie Lindsay, Chris Betcher, Kim Cofino, Andrew Churches on Networked Educators,Flat Classrooms,Web 2.0 Tools, Digital Citizenship, Blooms Digital Taxonomy
- Flat Classroom on-line course with Judy Lindsey
In-school peer coaching and regional Job-Alikes
Ongoing on-line PLN through Twitter, blogging, global online chats and forums
Language and Literacy:
Weekend workshops with visiting presenters including Kathy Short, Kerry Handly, and Maggie Moon on Reading and Writing Through Inquiry, Writers’ Workshop, Digital Story telling, First Steps, ESL in the Mainstream
Regional Job-Alikes as Literacy Coordinator, ongoing in-school professional development as co-chair of literacy committee.
- Math Common Core State Standards Michelle Parks
- Math Training Institute Erma Anderson
- Mathematics and inquiry weekend workshops with visiting presenters Michael Ymer and Ellen Asquith
- Strategies for Classroom Assessment Natalie Bolton
- Authentic Assessment and Digital Media Andrew Churches
- Assessment Through Multiple Intelligences David Lazear