Abby Butler followed her dreams to become an educator, attending Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College to earn her B.S. in Elementary Education and Child Studies, and her M.Ed. in English Language Learners. Abby taught 2nd and 4th graders in Nashville, TN; Cary, NC; and Durham, NC before transitioning to her role as a Teaching and Learning Coach in Durham Public Schools. Abby currently works as a Literacy Coach with NC State’s Wolfpack WORKS program. Through experiences such as Metro. Nashville Public Schools’ Teacher Leadership Institute and the North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network (NCDLCN), she built her coaching philosophy to center building instructional capacity within teachers and students, personalizing learning through innovative practices, and fostering independent learners through culturally responsive pedagogy.
Getting Past the Buzzwords to Close the Opportunity Gap
Imagine for a moment that your school has a culture of powerful teaching and learning, where every student is collaborating in an environment that routinely makes interdisciplinary connections to real problems that are engaging and relevant to the things they care about. A school where the work students do is facilitated by teachers, leaders, and coaches who are passionate about equipping young people with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world, especially students who have historically been furthest from opportunity. A school where every stakeholder understands the unique purpose of its learning community has deep trust and mutual respect for others and is constantly sharing ideas to make the STEAM learning environment more relevant and inclusive for all. This is not some abstract ideal – it’s happening now in schools around the world. This session will allow participants to not only see the ingredients that enabled these schools to move away from chasing buzzword strategies that have fleeting success, but will also provide tools to allow similar cultures of authentic learner-centered innovation to be built and sustained in their own schools.