Rebecca has over 13 years’ experience in the field of early childhood education. From providing training and technical assistance to Head Start Programs throughout the State of Florida to serving as the Associate Director of Early Learning Programs at Nova Southeastern University, Rebecca loves working to build and enhance quality programming for young children and families. Prior to moving to Florida, Rebecca and her husband served as Peace Corps volunteers in the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific where she taught young children and worked with community development agencies to support early education. In her free time Rebecca enjoys adventuring with her three kids – Lucy, Matilda and Oliver, their new puppy Noodle -- and going to see live music with her husband Justin.
Rebecca holds a BA from Tufts University and a MS in Early Intervention from Nova Southeastern University with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Kopp, 6th grade
When I first started working at Teachstone, I had the pleasure of supporting a group of MyTeachingPartner coaches working in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Now, let me tell you, this was no ordinary group of coaches and I knew it as soon as I was greeted at the airport. Within the first ten minutes of meeting Paula Polito, my suspicion was confirmed.
Effective coaches support different teachers in different ways. One way coaches individualize their support is by differing their coaching based on teachers’ readiness to change. Research suggests that it is a combination of a teacher’s subject knowledge and receptivity to feedback that contribute to this ‘readiness.’ So how do we know where our teachers are on this readiness continuum and how do we react to that knowledge?
“Nearly half of all beginning teachers will leave their classrooms within five years, only to be replaced by another fresh-faced educator.”
Teacher turnover is a huge problem with costly effects. There are many reasons why retaining teachers is tough: low wages, lack of time and support to plan and individualize instruction, and a growing need for ongoing professional development (just to name a few). As the former director of a large university-based early child care center and a consultant to Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout the Southeast United States, I had the opportunity to observe this revolving door of early childhood educators one too many times. I saw teachers enter their classrooms with the best of intentions and a high need for support.