My name is Lauren Crispino and I am an instructional coach in Caldwell-West Caldwell school district in New Jersey. I was fortunate enough to teach in this district for seven years before taking my first coaching position last year as a literacy coach in a different district. Luckily, word reached me that Caldwell would be beginning the coaching positions for the 2016-2017 school year so I applied, interviewed and gratefully was asked to come back in this new capacity.
I feel so blessed to have had the teaching experiences across so many age groups (all grades k-5 except 1st) because this allowed me to see the scope of learning across the grade levels and identify gaps that may have existed in our curriculum. I also made a hobby out of reading articles, blogs, books, really anything I could get my hands on about best teaching practices, with a personal attachment to all things literacy! This was when I started to get the itch to help with curriculum on a larger basis than one classroom.
Becoming a literacy coach has been one of the most exciting and challenging experiences for me personally and professionally. It was incredible to see the dynamics of literacy on a district wide level, and to be able to informally see, discuss, and collaborate on instructional practices. I am now thrilled to try a similar role in Caldwell, but to focus on the instructional needs of basic skills and gifted students across all curriculum, rather than just literacy. It is definitely a balancing act to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, evaluate student work, and communicate back my latest findings of best practices. But I am thoroughly enjoying it, and I look forward to growing in this role and continuing to learn and spread the wealth to others!