We at Tapestry Educator Initiative, Inc. (TEI) are dedicated to delivering effective and efficient, educator-centered professional development. All of our workshop facilitators and designers are experienced public education teachers, and the techniques, tools, and methods they bring are classroom tested.
It is our mission to support teachers. We believe that in delivering only immediately usable professional development to teachers in the field that we can begin to change the negative trends in our profession: the early departure of experienced teachers, high turnover rates, limited support opportunities from districts, and the problem of teacher isolation. We are inspired and driven by the philosophy of teachers teaching teachers, and as such, we position ourselves as fellow educators and equals, not as outsiders with silver-bullet solutions.
The workshops offered by TEI cover a broad range of subjects and skills. All of them, however, are designed to unite teachers across the curriculum in order to establish communities and to encourage open and honest discussions about our profession. While our sessions are adaptable to many different training situations, from one-hour sessions to day-long series, we also believe that the most effective professional development is ongoing. We will cater our topics to the needs of individual sites. True learning is not one-size-fits all.
Tapestry Educator Initiative, Inc. was founded by professional educators who are concerned with the limited availability of meaningful, high-quality, teacher-designed professional development. The founders have a broad range of educational and professional backgrounds and subject area expertise. Their extensive subject area knowledge and varied educational and professional backgrounds ensures that workshop participants will gain useful information and strategies that are effective in many settings.
- Standards-based curriculum development
- Expertise with Common Core State Standards
- Experience with the creation and delivery of effective professional development
Adam LaMee (B.S. Physics, B.S. Anthropology, FSU) currently teaches physics and physical science at James S. Rickards High School. He has been a physics content expert on the Florida Department of Education’s teacher certification exams, 6-12 science course curriculum, and Common Core integration and for Newton’s Playground, research into game-based physics learning and assessment funded by the Gates Foundation. Adam’s research includes performance assessment alternatives to large-scale, high-stakes science tests at the Center for Advancement of Learning and Assessment, FSU, and the CMS detector collaboration at CERN’s LHC that discovered the Higgs boson. In K-12 schools, Adam mentors future and beginning teachers, coordinates Lesson Study and Teachers With Open Doors peer observation at his high school, and is a Quarknet Teaching and Learning Fellow.
Paco Fiallos is a teacher of World Literature and Creative Writing at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida. In addition, he is a curriculum designer for Leon County Schools. He has been recognized for his quality teaching, winning both the Minority Teacher of the Year award at Lincoln High School and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Early Career Teacher of Color Award. He is also a doctoral student at Florida State University and an online instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Paco has served as a beginning teacher mentor and has designed and facilitated professional development sessions at the local, state, and national level. He is passionate about serving teachers and providing the most innovative and practical professional development experiences possible. He has contributed to the Rainbow Strand Selection Committee of NCTE and is a National Writing Project fellow.
Reggie Grant has a rare combination of media production and education experience that he has combined to create a unique learning environment in his classroom at Lincoln High School, where he is in his eleventh year teaching media production. In a former life, he worked as a newspaper photojournalist and a public relations professional.
He strongly believes that media production can be utilized to effectively teach any concept or subject, and launched an initiative called Media For Literacy, which promotes this idea. Reggie was chosen as a finalist for the 2012 PBS Teacher Innovative Awards that recognized 30 teachers across the country “using digital media in new and unique ways to improve students’ learning across key subject areas.”
He has a master’s degree in Journalism and Communications from Florida A&M University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Reggie is a current member of the University of Florida College of Journalism & Communications Council of Advisors.
Kathryn Martin Spradlin is a doctoral student specializing in writing and literacy instruction at Florida State University. A National Board certified teacher, she has taught English Language Arts for twelve years at the middle and high school levels, including six years of Advanced Placement English Language and Composition. She is a National Writing Project fellow, and she has served as literacy coach, writing coach, beginning teacher mentor, and university supervisor of student interns in Leon County, Florida.
Jen Tibbitts has taught in the field of exceptional student education for 22 years. She is a National Board Certified teacher and a professional development facilitator with the Florida Diagnostic Learning and Resource System.