Names and Roles: Trista Brundage, 9th Grade English Teacher, and Gordy Baxter, 9th Grade Special Education Teacher
District: Geneva City School District (NY); 2,300 students
Years in education: 10 for both
Years district has worked with Education Elements: 2
About Gordy & Trista: Trista and Gordy co-teach ninth grade ELA and piloted the elements of personalized learning in their classroom. Both serve on their high school's Personalized Learning Team, and they hosted fishbowl sessions that allowed other teachers to observe a personalized lesson. Due to these accomplishments, both will become district Personalized Learning Coaches in SY 2017–18.
What has been the impact of personalized learning at your school?
Gordy: “Students are more engaged in their education, and teaching has become a mixture of coaching, collaborating, and instructing students in a plethora of personalized learning models.”
Trista: “Students are taking more risks because of it. Teachers are also taking more risks and getting to know their students better to meet their needs.”
What are you most proud of this past year?
Gordy: “I am proud of the level of ownership my students took in their educational journey as freshmen. They have gained more skills this year that will help them succeed outside of the curriculum taught than ever before.”
Trista: “I am proud of the risks that my co-teacher and I took to include new educational technologies and personalized lessons and activities. It was not always easy and was not always a huge success, but we learned and grew as a team this year, right along with our students.”
Follow Gordy on Twitter: @gc_bax
Follow Trista on Twitter: @tristaleigh429
“Trista and Gordy were already a fantastic team before this year, but their experience implementing personalized learning has made them even better. I am very proud of them and the leadership role they have played in expanding this initiative. They helped to demystify for colleagues what personalized learning means—what it is and is not—and served as a resource for anyone wanting to see a concrete example of personalized learning in the classroom.” –Greg Baker, Geneva High School Principal