Anne, you were amazing! I received a lot of wonderful feedback from the day and you were a big part of the reason why! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, challenging the group, and making the day a success.
(Sandra,) I wanted to take the time tonight to thank you for being a great inspiration in my teaching career.
I’m the person with the greatest seat in the house today who asked you to comment my mathematics journal at the end of the day. I must tell you that I got all nervous when I talked to you because you are really ‘up there’ for me.
I began the evaluation revolution three years ago and it wasn’t until my first videoconference with you that it all started making sense for me. I’ve progressed a great deal this year and am now looking forward to integrating more triangulation.
You are a true inspiration. I admire you and feel privileged to have participated in your sessions. Have no doubt, you are making a difference in my life, my teaching skills but foremost, the lives of my students. I’ve only gotten good feedback and more engagement from my students on my new/modified initiatives.
Thank you for being the intelligent, common-sensed, funny, and deeply inspirational woman that you are!!!
I learned so much from Dr. Davies – she cemented my beliefs and I learned to question some of my practices – in a good way! I appreciated her willingness to answer any questions. Thanks, Anne!
Brenda’s passion for the profession and her commitment to developing teacher leaders is demonstrated in every aspect of her work among us. She brings a deep wealth of experience that has been forged in the classroom and then weaves in threads of her own new learning gleaned through reading and research into important educational topics. Brenda is a responsive practitioner and always begins with the learner, matching the staff needs to the work. She shares her ideas in easily managed portions, demonstrating her thinking in meaningful ways that encourage a close revisiting of current practice so that we might reflect on our work as educators and raise the bar of our expectations for ourselves and our students. We are the richer for her open-handed sharing of her practice and new understandings as a lifelong learner.
Over the past two years school administrators, teachers, and I have had the opportunity to work with Sandra to further our understanding and enhance our professional practice in assessment and instruction. Wow! The breadth and depth of her expertise in these areas is quite remarkable. She engages us in meaningful conversations based on current research and then seamlessly moves from the philosophical to the specific and practical. She affirms the hard work that we do and both challenges and supports us to move forward. Whether working with a group of 30 or 300, Sandra makes personal connections through her stories, real life experiences and fabulous sense of humour. The feedback from staff is exceptionally positive… we want her back!
Over the past four years, my teachers and I have had the very good fortune to work on a regular basis with Brenda Augusta in her position as Early Year’s consultant in the River East Transcona School Division. Brenda is a genuine and caring person who builds relationships with everyone she works with. She listens well and is able to tailor professional learning to the wants and needs of a school. Over the many months together, Brenda captivated us all with her passion, humorous anecdotes and down to earth approach rooted in current research. She worked with us side by side in our PLC groups, challenging our beliefs and supporting us as we grew with our professional practice. Very importantly, she took the learning into the classrooms where she modeled what we were learning and then, supported us while we worked with our own students. She helped us build a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy with our students. Most profoundly, thanks to her dedication, she helped us to make a difference in the lives of our students. Brenda Augusta is simply, one of a kind, the rarest of gems!
Teachers and students were excited to experience a writing residency with Brenda this spring. Her knowledge of the Regie Routmann writing process, as well as her positive, encouraging demeanor with teachers inspired each of us to expand our knowledge of how students write. Staff had the opportunity to watch Brenda model effective teaching strategies using the OLM each day and then were encouraged to take what they had observed and put it into practice with their students. What a powerful week of equipping teachers to move students forward as writers! Our students were thrilled each time Brenda came into their rooms, as they connected very quickly with her and were encouraged as writers by her warmth, sincerity and humor. As a staff, we plan to continue to move forward on the solid foundation Brenda has helped but into place in our building.
Both my students and I were extremely fortunate to have Brenda come into our classroom for a writing residency this year. Her positive attitude about writing and her amazing ability to inspire even the most reluctant student were evident. Brenda was able to model the writing process in a seemingly effortless style and she made my class feel as if they were born to communicate through the written word. Her authentic style, sense of humour and her genuine love of literacy also shone through. Brenda is a gifted teacher and I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with her. My students all agreed that Mrs. Augusta was able to get them to, ‘…write from their hearts’. What a gift she has given them.
Brenda, I have learned a great deal from watching you teach over the last couple of years. You have pushed my thinking as a leader and I truly appreciate every opportunity I get to work with you.
On behalf of the teachers and administrators in our Writing Project, we would like to thank you for sharing in our learning journey. You have been paramount in supporting this endeavor. With your guidance and expertise, we have explored pedagogy that will strengthen writing instruction in our classrooms. You have encouraged our group to reflect on and evaluate our current practices and demonstrated what excellent writing instruction looks like. Thank you for supporting our professional learning.
Brenda is an exemplary teacher, leader, and facilitator. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and skills that are anchored in both research and best classroom practice. Brenda’s ability to connect with a wide range of adult learners, make them feel safe, and advance their learning is a skill set that few possess. Having had the opportunity to learn from and alongside Brenda, I know firsthand how impactful her messages can be. Brenda’s ability to connect with the classroom and what matters most for students and their learning is second to none.
I am amazed at Anne’s broad knowledge base and her ability to reference other resources that support our learning community’s discussions. Anne’s sessions are organized and she is very clear in the direction to take in order for us to achieve our desired learning. I am always able to take away something that I can immediately apply to practical use.
Our time with Anne was absolutely amazing and life changing! We were blown away by her presentation. Anne was so personal and practical with the students. My students were surprised at how friendly and down-to-earth she was. Over the last twenty plus years I have heard many educators speak on many topics but Anne has that added edge of ‘sparkle’ that captivates her audience! All I can say is WOW! It was not only a ‘homerun’ but she cleared the ‘ball’ out of the ballpark! Simply put… it was a gift to have Anne with us!
As an educational system, we can only hope to make our assessment dreams a reality by sharing this journey among all our stakeholders. Anne Davies’s session showed us how to embed meaningful, effective, and learner-friendly assessment strategies among students, colleagues, parents, and trustees. When we create this common language and become a learning organization, everyone gains clarity. Adults and students alike understand where we are and what our next steps should be.
I engaged Anne in partnership with our Ministry of Education to carry out a series of Assessment for Learning workshops throughout New Zealand. These were so well received that Anne revisited us the following year and carried out further, more specialized workshops. Without exception, both the content and presentation was lauded; Anne is certainly viewed as being at the cutting edge of assessment theory and practice. She is equally at ease working with small and large groups of educators and consistently displays a refined sense of humour; an empathy with and knowledge of learners (teachers are learners, learners are teachers); flexibility; content knowledge par excellence; and a willingness to reflect.
It was so great to have Anne Davies here with us – what a terrific session it was. My criteria for a great presenter:
She has it all!
She is a clear communicator with her feet firmly in the classroom; and, most importantly, she is passionate about the quality of classroom learning…Her presentations were informative, inspiring, firmly rooted in good professional practice, and extremely well received by the teachers. Many of our teachers said that Anne’s visit provided the best professional development that they had ever had.
Anne helped us to build the foundation for other assessment initiatives that have taken place in the division. On a personal level, she is very friendly and approachable. Not only is she knowledgeable when it comes to assessment, as a presenter, she is flexible and can adapt the workshop to meet the level of the participants. One participant commented that Anne’s smooth presentation style makes it look so easy. This is comforting when the audience is apprehensive about their role in assessment that supports learning.
Anne, your impact is greater than you know on so many levels. You reminded me how important it is to respect our learners. You allowed me to not only see and hear what Assessment for Learning looks and sounds like, but more importantly, what it FEELS like! Safe, respectful, self-motivating, reflective.
We sent a team of teachers, administrators, and district staff to Anne’s Leadership Symposium. With the help of Anne and her team of resource people, we were able to develop a comprehensive plan for the implementation of Assessment for Learning in our school district. We subsequently booked Anne to come and work with us during the year. During her first visit, she facilitated the work of teams of teachers and administrators from all 41 schools in our district. Using her excellent resources, particularly the book, Making Classroom Assessment Work, Anne did a masterful job of engaging her audience and encouraging them to commit to work that they would do in the future.
Anne Davies is a consummate professional. She is charismatic and eloquent, always prepared and especially organized. She knows her subject thoroughly, continually studying and advancing its research developments. She knows her audience, dealing directly and fully with their specific professional development needs. She enables educators to invest their teaching with practical application of theory-based strategies to enhance learning.
J’espère que tu vas bien! Je veux te remercier à nouveau pour la journée que tu as animée la semaine dernière à Toronto. Mes collègues et moi avons beaucoup apprécié le rythme, le contenu, la profondeur et les conversations de la journée.
Sandra, I was impressed by:
*** your accomplishments
***your sincerity, your genuineness, your humour, and your positive/pro-active attitude
***most importantly, your “in it for the kids” frame of mind. That’s what it’s all about…making them feel important, successful, loved, cared about…it’s great to know people like you are in difference-making positions…super for the young girls that get to cross your path!
Sandra, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences with my colleagues and I. You have a unique way of engaging an audience. As a teacher beginning my career, you have given me many ideas on how to capture student learning that I can now try in the classroom.
Thank you for such an empowering presentation.
Sandra, a sincere thank you for sharing the day with us. I am in awe of your presentation skills, and everyone really appreciated your ‘warm’ demeanour and the ‘sprinkling of grace’ you consistently engage in.
As I reflected over the weekend on our learning from the previous 2 days, I was in awe of your spirit, mindset and ability to engage and support our learning here in Edmonton. I was greatly moved and inspired by all that you shared. Thank you.
Today I went into our Division Two behaviour and learning classroom to co-construct criteria with the class on what a peaceful classroom looks like. It wasn’t a perfect delivery, but I was impressed with the student voice, input, and thinking that transpired. I believe the teacher will continue on with it and that he saw the power and support it gave the students. Thank you again. I look forward to working with you in the future.
I want to commend you for taking a whole week to be here with our staff, for the opportunities to dialogue throughout the week, not just in the couple of designated hours that each PLC group was assigned. Your ongoing followups are so important to moving the concepts from discussions in our PLCs to doing it with the students. Thanks for your time and care and commitment to the education of all students.
Depuis trois ans, Sandra nous appuie au CSPNE dans notre cheminement de l’évaluation au service de l’apprentissage et en tant qu’apprentissage. C’est grâce à son expertise, ses expériences, ses connaissances approfondies et sa personnalité attachante que nos enseignants et nos élèves bénéficient de pratiques qui sont beaucoup plus dynamiques et engageantes.
Nous sommes vraiment privilégiés de collaborer avec Sandra. Elle est inspirante, brillante et nous présente des stratégies simples qui sont vraiment gagnantes et qui ont un impact sur l’apprentissage de nos élèves.
Sandra a vraiment fait une différence chez nous et laisse des traces positives et efficaces qui nous orientent vers une vision où l’élève joue un rôle beaucoup plus important dans ses apprentissages!
Sandra was fantastic at our conference. Her sessions were very popular amongst participants and the feedback thus far has been extremely positive. Her sessions got to the heart of the matter for us with respect to assessment. She challenged thinking and caused many to reflect on their assessment practices. Not only were Sandra’s sessions time well spent but she also took time to connect with her audience. People commented on how she would continue conversations during breaks and even long after her session had ended. A great experience.
Sandra, from my colleagues and I at German Mills Public School who were at your presentation, Miigwetch and sincere thanks for the passion, creativity, and expertise you shared with us today. You walked alongside us in our learning, and reminded us how our deliberate decisions as teachers are made in a social justice context, where they matter more than we may know.