WWYD: Four Brilliant Teachers and 30 Minutes?

This week I’m headed to New Orleans for the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) Fall Learning Fest.  The first iPD convening was just a year ago in Philadelphia when we launched the work in earnest.  I’ve been asked to moderate a 30-minute panel of four distinguished teachers, two from Louisiana, one from Colorado, and one from our own state of Washington.  Here’s a shout out to a set of teacher leaders I’m anxious to meet:

  • Denny Bain, a high school social studies at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colo.  Denny is a literacy trainer and works with his wife as part of a nonprofit organization called Loving Haiti, which supports an orphanage, school, sewing center and church in Pignon, Haiti For the past two years, Denny has been part of a cross-state study looking at how teacher collaboration can help support the development and use of high-quality classroom lessons.
  • Shelia Banks, a school support specialist for Jefferson Parish Public Schools in Louisiana, who specializes in supporting teachers in implementing the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC). She works with teachers in her district and as a LDC trainer for the Louisiana Department of Education. She authored an exemplary LDC module entitled “Building Bridges.”
  • Katie Brown, an ELL specialist, instructional coach, and the 2014 Washington State Teacher of the Year. Katie has been teaching for 11 years at Shuksan Middle School in Bellingham, where she has taught language arts, social studies, AVID, and ELL. Her work around job-embedded PD and shared leadership has become a model for her district and region.
  • Carla Jackson has been teaching 3rd grade at Bains Elementary in St. Francisville, Louisiana for 12 years. She is the 2014 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year and serves on the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as an Educator Effectiveness Committee member. She is also a mentor for new teachers in her district.

What would you ask them? My big questions: How would you grade your district’s PD?  If you were PD czar for the day, what would change/keep in your district?  What professional communities are you a part of and what keeps you coming back to that community?  What’s the best coaching advice you ever got and what was the context in which you got it?ECET2_Green-BlueJust before the Fall iPD Ideas Fest is another teacher gathering called Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching.  ECET2 is another exciting opportunity for teachers from across the country to learn from each other. They plan and lead the workshops and continue to support each other after the events are over.  We have been holding a national conference and teachers have been organizing regional ones.


Both the iPD Ideas Fest and ECET2 are great opportunities for the foundation to make good on its promise to put teachers at the center of our work.  For more information and to join the live streaming at ECET2  CLICK HERE.

– C.