My life has been one ongoing learning journey focused in the area of education starting from my childhood basement classroom to the present day. Now as an independent consultant I would love to help you enhance instructional experiences for your students and staff.
As a young child I had a favorite saying, “Every day the thing to do is learn a little something new.” In all the years since uttering that youthful sentiment, I find I still adhere to it as much now as I did then. But at my current level of maturity and experience, I’d revise my words to something even simpler, “Being an effective educator means continuous learning.” The exciting and boundless truth is that learning is academic and humanitarian, personal and public.
I started my career in education as a classroom teacher. I spent 18 years with 4th and 5th graders. Each day brought new learning and opportunities to reflect and grow as an educator. My passions included teaching readers and writers through a workshop approach, integrating technology, and collaborating with educators near and far. One of my greatest joys today is connecting with former students.
My classroom teaching career led to a career as a school improvement consultant in the areas of literacy and ESL. This path later led to serving as an instructional coach at the elementary and middle school level. The field of instructional coaching took me back to my passion of facilitating learning for both students and adults.
Today I continue to work full time for Northwest AEA in Sioux City, Iowa as well as privately consult with schools and instructional coaches globally.
My most current work includes:
- Co-Author of The Coach Approach to School Leadership: Leading Teachers to Higher Levels of Effectiveness. Tentative publish date: May 2017. Authors: Jessica Johnson, Shira Leibowitz, and Kathy Perret.
- Virtual Coach for Instructional Coaches and School Leaders
- Instructional Coach Trainer
- Adjunct Professor for Morningside College in Sioux City, IA
- Co-Founder and Co-Moderator of #educoach – a Twitter chat devoted to the topic of instructional coaching
- ClassFlow Ambassador
- Virtual Instructional Coach for Sibme
- Guest Blogger
Let’s work together:
I am available for keynote, conference sessions, ongoing site-based training and virtual coaching and training opportunities. Topics can be customized to fit your specific needs. Contact me and we can get fine-tune the particulars. Topics include, but not limited to:
- Leading Teachers to Higher Levels of Effectiveness with a Coaching Hat
- Guiding Instructional Coaches to SHINE
- Introduction to Instructional Coaching
- Digging Deeper with Instructional Coaching
- Leadership Team Development
- Adult Learning and Facilitation Skills
A little more about me:
There is much more to each individual than the work they do. I strive to get to know those I encounter at a personal level. Here is a little about me.
- I am the proud aunt to 4 amazing young adults. I miss their “kid” years, but enjoy watching them make a difference in the world!
- I share my life with a delightful Schnoodle, named Boji. He is a rescue dog but I’m not sure who actually rescued who. His life went from bad to good when he came into my home. The scared, uncared for little underdog is now a certified therapy dog. We love spending time at libraries and schools listening to children read.
- I love spending time with family and friends. One of my favorite places to visit is Lake Okoboji in Iowa. (Notice where I got my dog’s name?) I also enjoy other travel locations – especially coupled with either visiting family and friends or exploring new places during work trips or pleasure.
- I am an avid Iowa State fan (my alma mater). I love Cyclone football and basketball – win or lose. I wear my cardinal and gold with pride.
- I am a bit of a DIY nut. I love strolling though second hand stores to find my next project idea. Creating something from “nothing” is rewarding!
- I love the outdoors whether it be taking a walk with my dog, exploring new places or just sitting on the deck reading a great book.
- I am a life-long learner. One of my current passion is gardening. I planted my first garden in the summer of 2016 and am looking forward to expanding my corp this summer! Just like my garden I am always learning and GROWING!