Sydney Chaffee is a Humanities teacher, department chair, and instructional coach at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, MA. As 2017 National Teacher of the Year, she has spoken to audiences around the world about the limitless power of teachers and students to change the world. Sydney is a National Board Certified Teacher with a passion for helping diverse learners grow through authentic, relevant, interdisciplinary curricula. She earned her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.Ed. from Lesley University. Learn more at
Now What?: Keeping Students at the Center in the New Normal
As we transition back into school buildings in the fall, teachers must reflect on how our work with students has changed over the last year and a half. How have multiple crises forced us to become more flexible and responsive as educators? And how can we maintain this newfound sense of balance and grace moving into what comes next? Join 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee as she reflects on her own learning journey throughout this school year and charts a course for the road ahead.
Fabiola Torres is an online Ethnic Studies professor at Glendale Community College an Equity facilitator for the Online Network of Educators (@ONE - California’s Professional Learning Network) for the California Community College system. During the pandemic, Fabi collaborated with a number of colleges throughout the country in offering professional development workshops and keynote presentations focusing on applying equity-minded methods such as culturally responsive teaching in the online environment, and humanizing online teaching and learning. Her teaching principles are inspired by her M.A. in Chicana/o Studies from California State University, Northridge & her second M.A. in Learning Technology from Pepperdine’s School of Education and Psychology. She was a featured faculty at InstructureCon 2019 for her humanizing online methods in Canvas (LMS) and was awarded the Online Learning Consortium Advocate Award for Diversity and Inclusion in July of 2020. (Twitter: @iLearnNow)
The Education Renaissance: The time to revive our learning environments
As we transition into our new chapter in education, there is one thing we can appreciate from the pandemic and America’s social and political climates - our resilience. Teaching is an act of love and care. Pedagogical theories support the value of our work and our ability to create connection with all our students to foster cognitive stamina. Technology enabled us to guide our students through our courses. It required us to discover and explore new tools and revive our learning environments. Now is the time for a revival of our traditional teaching strategies and merge them with our new strategies toward the rebirth of our practice. Fabiola Torres will present pedagogical theories supporting culturally responsive teaching while using technology to renew learning spaces.
Humanizing Teaching Beyond the Classroom
Description of Breakout: Whether we are in a Zoom session or in a limited enrollment classroom or online, our social presence still matters in developing and supporting cognitive stamina. Learning spaces are not limited to the physical classroom. Learning occurs between students, alone, and within relevant life experiences. The breakout session will showcase strategies one can use to sustain and nurture cognitive stamina in all learning spaces. The goal is to leverage the practice of humanizing online teaching in learning spaces beyond the classroom.