Melanie Allen, 6th - 8th ELA Grade Teacher, Hernández K-8 School
I have been lucky enough to learn alongside Jess Madden-Fuoco on and off for several years. She designs classes that give teachers more than information. Because she focuses on application and sharing knowledge among the teachers in the class, we actually have the time to create plans that we use the next day, week, or year. When COVID struck, the way Jess moved our latest Restorative Justice class online gave me immediate concrete ideas for how to plan my own remote learning classes. Jess brings in the work of other people from whom I want to learn, from researchers to leaders in racial and educational justice to colleagues in my own district whose brilliance I didn't yet know. The most important challenge facing teachers in 2020 is creating online learning experiences that meet the needs of all our children, especially those who are marginalized and who have been most negatively affected by the dual attacks from COVID and systemic racism. I'm so glad I have the opportunity to tackle this challenge alongside Jess.