OUR NEW PLACE

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Sarah's journey began when she purchased her own iPad. She realized that students loved watching videos she created to begin mini-lessons. Although Sarah only had a projector screen in her classroom she began having students manipulate it like a smartboard while she controlled things from her iPad. She couldn't believe how engaged her students were! She began to "blend" her classroom on her own without even realizing it. 

Now, it has changed her journey as a teacher and allowed her students to demonstrate their own learning, make choices, and work at a pace that is just right for them. She is now helping coach other teachers.

Although Sarah started off self-taught, she has received more formal training through the Highlander Institute. She was part of the first Fuse RI Cohort. After working with school districts in Rhode Island she branched out to other schools, working with ASU Preparatory Schools in Arizona. You can follow ASU Prep's journey on Twitter using the #ASUprepBlends.

When trying to make a change and transform a school, buy-in is key. Each educator's journey must be personalized in a way that makes sense for them. Teachers must understand the "why" behind blended personalized learning. She starts at the beginning working with a Design Team that helps create the school's mission. After this, they focus on four to six chosen Priority Practices that they wish to implement. Then the fun part begins! Sarah works with teachers by modeling lessons, co-teaching, planning, or observing and giving feedback. She conducts walkthrough observations collecting data to move the work forward. The more intense the work with Sarah, the quicker the implementation process. Sarah prides herself on listening to teachers' feedback and creating a plan that makes sense for each of them. Sarah has the ability to see the bigger picture and can assess areas within a school that need improvement. Examples include scheduling, classroom or hallway design, and leadership support. This implementation is explained in Shawn Rubin and Cathy Sanford's book Pathways To Personalization.

Sarah has experience working with teachers kindergarten through twelfth grade. She has the ability to relate to the teachers, having been a teacher for so long herself. She builds strong relationships with them which then allow for them to feel safe taking risks and trying new things.

Mission

In the beginning stages Sarah works with your identified school's Design Team to come up with a mission that makes sense for you. She then will interview and collect data on students and teachers to identify your schools greatest needs. A plan is designed that makes sense for your school and the work begins!

Implementation

This is the fun part! Sarah will create Design Team meetings to help educate your teachers. She then begins the coaching process working with teachers individually. Simultaneously, she collects data to help identify gaps and help move the work forward.

The implementation process Sarah uses is from the Pathways to Personalization book.

Training

  • Sarah offers professional development both in person and virtually. She can design training around any topics to meet the needs of your teachers. 

  • Sarah is capable of designing professional development to support your coaches too.

I have had the privilege of working with Sarah for two years- as a teacher and as an Academic Coach.  Sarah has shared many resources, tech tools, and strategies that have helped me transform my classroom into a more student-centered learning environment. Under her guidance, I have become a better listener, a more effective Academic Coach, and have broadened my personal learning network."

Danielle Serna, Blended Learning Coach

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