What People Are Saying

Reflections from Lesley Ferrara, TIMELI graduate in 2011:

The Teachers’ Loft prepped me for the world of education, which I was a tad clueless about. When I arrived I received a crash course. What was great were the different levels of experience we all had. The different perspectives made for great discussion and for a great learning experience.

The instruction was very appropriate.  It wasn’t, do as I say and not as I do, but quite the opposite. We were instructed in a way that showed us how to instruct students in our own classrooms.

The collaboration created an environment that was very supportive and informative. The Teachers’ Loft taught me how necessary collaboration is in education and fortunately I ended up at a school that really pushes for collaboration between teachers. After I finished the program in the spring of 2012 I was hired in the fall of 2012 by a great school which is involved with much advancement in education.

I sincerely believe that my instructors’ belief in me had an enormous effect on my confidence and really made me believe I could be a great teacher, which taught me how to treat my own students.

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I found this to be a good support group for the difficulties, especially at the beginning of the year. The difficulties of being a first year teacher and not always having a place to go within my school to get the support that I really needed…”
– Urban Middle School Science Teacher

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Story from Kate Stephens, a Teachers’ Loft original collaborative group member:

I was a recent college graduate at the age of twenty-three when I received my first teaching job as a long-term substitute first grade teacher.  Completely overwhelmed with the responsibility and the steep learning curve, I was so glad for the support of the Teachers’ Loft.  I was fortunate to be a member of the first Teachers’ Loft collaborative group.  I looked forward to our meetings, where others like me gathered to share our stories and questions and to receive nuanced guidance from experienced facilitators.  The group helped to instill a sense of dignity for each of us as we persevered with our inquiries within our work, having just begun the difficult and humbling journey of thoughtful teaching.  The Teachers’ Loft supported me to engage in self-reflective practice, to be thoughtful and relentless in my pursuit of the questions that emerge within the work.

I was able to continue ties with the Teachers’ Loft as a member of the second year teacher group while I was a Special Education teacher, and then as a member of a writing group, and eventually as a board member.  As I moved on to pursue Montessori teacher training and graduate work, the key components of the collaborative groups at the Teachers’ Loft remained as crucial as ever for me.  Over the years I have carried with me those early precious experiences that the Teachers’ Loft helped me to value within the important context of reflection and inquiry.