“Historically, schools can be places of empowerment, but they can also be places of repression and oppression. UVEI focuses on building teachers’ and leaders’ capacity to not only reach their students academically, but to also provide spaces that authentically uplift students’ whole, mulit-faceted identities. As an organization, there is an encouragement to elevate student and family voices, especially those who have been historically silenced or made invisible. This is hard but crucial work, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
Monica has ten years of teaching experience as an elementary teacher and instructional coach. She has focused primarily on multilingual education, including dual language instruction and English language learners, throughout her teaching career. Most recently, Monica served as an instructional coach for the Office of Teaching and Learning in the School District of Philadelphia where she designed and facilitated equity-centered professional development opportunities for school leaders, district coaches, and teachers. “Coaching is one of the most transformational activities educators can engage in. In any given school or district, coaching has the potential to set the stage for a culture of growth, curiosity, equity, intellect, and collaboration, which come together to ensure students are receiving the education they deserve. The multilingual team I coached at Lewis Elkin has left a lasting impression on me and has shaped me into the coach I am today, and for that, I will be forever grateful for them and the ways they pushed me and worked with each other.”
Prior to working in Philadelphia, Monica taught in New Haven Connecticut, where she also served as an English Language Learner Coach through the Training for All Teachers (TAT) Program at Southern Connecticut State University. Through TAT, she provided professional development for area teachers focused on best practices for working with English Language Learners.
“One of the most important lessons I learned as a multilingual teacher and leader was how important–and how fun–it is to create integrated, cross-disciplinary curricula that incorporate the newest research on best practices (for all subject areas but especially literacy and academic oral language development), students’ varying identities, joy, art, and the connection between what students are learning and their own lives. The moment a student’s eyes widened and their mouth opened with the ‘I got it!’ realization kept me motivated even during the toughest moments. And still does.”
Monica earned her Master of Science degree in Bilingual, Multicultural Education, and TESOL from Southern Connecticut State University. She holds Vermont teacher licenses in Elementary Education, English Language Learners, and Bilingual Education. Monica resides in Vermont with her partner, his son, and their two cats.