The thing that most impressed me about Jeff’s coaching is how he tailored his support to our needs and interests. He has a wealth of knowledge at his fingertips and was able to provide us with ideas and strategies on almost any educational topic. In just a 10-day engagement, Jeff helped us with classroom management, instructional practice, planning, assessment, and technology integration. He shared materials, and when he didn’t have a resource we needed, he made it for us. I’ve been to some amazing workshops, but usually felt overwhelmed when I came back to my classroom and tried to implement everything I had learned. Working with Jeff was different -- instead of telling us what to do, he taught by example and made me feel comfortable and confident implementing what I’d learned. He took the time to get to know each of our personalities and teaching styles - it always felt like Jeff was supporting us, rather than judging our teaching. Whenever I tried something he had shown us, Jeff jumped in without missing a beat if I needed help. He noticed some on-going personality conflicts among my students and helped me create more effective groupings. He also introduced strategies to help me support my students in improving their communication and collaboration skills.
Jeff’s passion for teaching, as well as his knowledge and experience, is evident through his ability to coach his counterparts. He puts teachers and their instructional needs at the forefront, and has inspired me to create a technologically enriched environment for my students. He helped me to integrate Khan Academy into my curriculum, which allowed my students to take ownership of their own learning. This important shift helped me to gain access to student data, which enabled me to plan effectively and better meet the needs of my students.
With the introduction of Gamification in my son's Math class, learning became an entirely new experience. My son used come home with worksheets filled with repetitive math algorithms, and studying for tests was becoming more and more tedious. However, in Jeff’s class, I found he was working more independently and learning through exploration. It helped him to really understand concepts, as opposed to memorizing math facts that he would eventually forget. I also loved how he learned to work with his peers in groups. The small group activities further strengthened his problem solving skills as well as his communication skills. Between the personalized learning on Khan Academy and project-based activities, like making videos to demonstrate visual models, my son really embraced math. This approach helped him to fully understand the meaning of numbers.
Jeff not only has a vision for 21st century schools, but he understands the realities of the classroom. I’ve seen his passion and ingenuity first-hand, when he was introducing differentiated and collaborative learning in his own classes, and while we implemented a school-wide blended learning initiative. Jeff uses technology, not as an end in itself, but as a way to put students at the center of their learning. His experience in the business world is evident in his ability to develop innovative programs and to drive collaboration among teachers.