What is your role on the TEam?
I am super excited to be Instructional Coach for the upcoming school year! Prior to joining Teaching Excellence, I taught middle school math at both Stevenson MS and Pilgrim Academy in Houston ISD.
Where did you study? List all that apply.
I studied English and Italian Studies at the University of Georgia. As an Italian major, I was fortunate enough to study abroad and live with a host-family in Tuscany through Siena College in Siena, Italy.
Why are you passionate about education and teacher development?
I truly believe that all children can learn, and the first step in achieving this would be an effective teacher in every classroom. I felt a strong bond with my mentor during my first year of teaching, and it really helped me to develop, knowing that I had a rock-steady expert to rely on. I want to provide this same stability to all of the new teachers to help them blossom into amazing educators who feel as strongly about helping students succeed as I do.
Describe a successful teaching strategy that you used in the classroom or that you frequently recommend to your teachers.
As a teacher, I always used a classroom economy to invest my students in their learning. It helped me to excite them about our learning goals because they saw the connections between academic and behavioral successes and monetary gains. Plus, I really liked doling out “scholar dollars” whenever my students did something awesome in class!
If you had to describe your work on the TEam in three words, what would they be?
Empowering. Uplifting. Fulfilling.
What advice would you have for an educator that aspires to become an instructional leader?
My uncle always told me to “follow your dreams” when I was growing up, and I honestly believe it’s still apt advice to this day. If you set your mind to becoming a leader, then you can make it happen. Start examining the best practices that you already use in your classroom and begin acquiring new skills from those around you. This ability to pass on your advice to others is what makes an instructional leader exceptional.
When you are not working on closing the achievement gap, what do you enjoy doing?
First and foremost, I consider myself a foodie. Whether I’m exploring a new restaurant, cooking a new recipe, or just trying unfamiliar foods, I really enjoy culinary adventures. Aside from that, I enjoy playing tennis, running, going to concerts, and reading fiction. Though I’m no expert, I like playing chess and started a chess club for students at my previous campus. I’m also an avid sports fan, and, just in case this wasn’t clear, my favorite team is the Georgia Bulldogs—go Dawgs!
Which TE-shirt is your favorite and why?
I really like the shirt with the slogan: Team > Individual. This particularly resonates with me, because it shows our strength as a whole. We can achieve great outcomes by ourselves; however, if we work as a team, then we are collectively greater than the sum of our individual parts. Instead of simply “great” things, teams create transformational outcomes.