The People

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Erin Lillis Kent

Erin Kent consults with international schools around the world. She helps teachers and administrators grow customized approaches to K-10 balanced literacy that fit an international school’s unique context. Erin taught literacy for many years in urban, independent, and international schools before becoming a literacy coach and then P-12 Director of Curriculum and Instruction where she led a team of 13 instructional coaches and advised K-12 administrators on establishing data-based educational initiatives. Erin has spoken many times at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City and at international conferences on Readers/ Writers Workshop methodology, literacy coaching, curriculum development, and literacy leadership.


Tonya Gilchrist

Tonya Gilchrist is an internationally experienced educator, presenter, instructional coach, and curriculum specialist. She currently serves as a Literacy Coach and MYP Language and Literature teacher at Tokyo International School in Japan.  Tonya earned her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Hong Kong University. She also holds an IB Certificate in Leadership Practice and an IB Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research. She specializes in helping schools around the world amplify inquiry across Readers and Writers Workshops. She also works with schools to support them in effectively utilizing the workshop model in host country languages.


Natashya Hays

Natashya Hays has spent much of her 22 years in education as a classroom teacher, putting children at the center of teaching, learning and decision making. Natashya has worked as a literacy intervention teacher, ELL support teacher, a PYP/Curriculum coordinator, and also a literacy coach. She has lead out on international conferences about Word Study, training teachers in how to make phonics, grammar, and spelling efficient and joyful. Natashya excels at helping teachers establish inquiry-rich Readers and Writers Workshops in schools around the world.


Cailin Minor

Cailin Minor has worked in Korea, Thailand, Colombia, and China. Cailin has worked extensively with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Units of Study curriculum as well as teaching reading and writing through the workshop model. She has supported schools in launching and maintaining the curriculum and approach. Cailin has also supported workshop model being implemented in Spanish, and worked with teachers to create literacy practices that support English and the host country language. As an international educator, Cailin has worked with teachers in developing skills and strategies to support the specific ELL and cultural needs of a student population.  Cailin is passionate about instructional coaching and has supported schools in launching coaching programs as well as developing and training individual coaches. She has completed the advanced Cognitive Coaching training, and uses this method as a foundation for her coaching practice. She has worked with schools using Adaptive Schools and Professional Learning Communities to support their collaborative work. Currently, Cailin Minor is a Literacy Coach at Shanghai American School.

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Colleen Ackford

Colleen Ackford has worked as an IB classroom teacher, curriculum developer, reading specialist, literacy intervention teacher and literacy coach in Canada, Japan, Thailand, and Australia. Colleen has extensive experience working alongside teachers to establish reading and writing workshops in which learners take ownership of their reading and writing lives, express curiosity, and grow their thinking with peers. Colleen has guided teaching teams with developing standards-aligned units of study, progressions of learning, and assessments. She is passionate about both cognitive coaching and student-centered coaching, and has substantial experience with building and developing a coaching program and supporting individual coaches as they grow their practice. Currently, Colleen is a Learning Coach at Nido de Aguilas in Santiago, Chile.


Faiza Martin

Faiza (Fay) Martin has worked as an IB classroom teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach and PYP Coordinator in England, UAE, and currently in India at the American School of Bombay, where she is meshing the roles of literacy coach and PYP Coordinator into a brand new role of Transdisciplinary Coach and Coordinator (PYP). Fay has extensive experience in curriculum development, in particular unpacking standards and benchmarks to create tailored reading and writing units that fit the context of international schools, as well as enhance the units of inquiry. She is passionate about helping students find their reading and writing identities at a young age and hold on to these identities throughout their lives. Fay has coached and guided groups of educators on creating standards-based units of study, assessments that align with benchmarks and include student voice, tailored units of study that integrate into units of inquiry and maximise student choice and agency, and ways to collect and respond to diagnostic and formative data.


Erin Rafferty

Erin is an 8th Grade English teacher and department chair of Humanities in the Middle School at Graded - The American School of São Paulo. She has taught middle and high school (including IB) English for the past 18 years including in New York, Texas, and Bulgaria. Erin holds an MA in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, and a BA in English and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College. She is also a registered yoga teacher who is passionate about spreading her love of movement and mindfulness.