two children walking down a dirt path.

Have you heard? The doors are open to our brand new program Instant Impact Collaborative Cohort! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, stressed out, or lost, this was created just for you!

It has become very clear to me that the message we all need to hear is this, “We have done this before, we can do it again.”

This is not the first time our nation and education has had to experience shift and complete change.

In 2001, we overcame the change and fear that was forced upon us because of Sept. 11. Remember all we had to change in our lives and the world as we knew it? Schools adapted to extreme change then, and if we lean in and work together, we can do it again.

I want to share a story that inspired the team at Powerful Learning Practice to create this unparalleled system of support we are calling Instant Impact Collaborative.

In 2001, I was a computer resource specialist at an elementary school in Virginia Beach, VA.  I had just been selected Teacher of the Year for my large district when September 11th happened. Like COVID-19, none of us saw it coming.

Our town has eight military bases. Lots of our parents were in the military and being within driving distance of New York and Washington DC everyone knew someone who had been impacted. Many of the teachers in my district were hurting and in isolation trying to help their students who were also hurting. My role was to teach everyone (kids and educators) how to integrate technology into their classroom instruction. I spent a great deal of my day teaching the exact same things, to different people while I listened one-by-one to their hurt and feelings of overwhelm. It was frustrating. We needed each other to heal and to learn but the design of the school day just didn’t allow for that sort of contact. 

That was when I got the idea to build an online community and embed the professional learning that was needed into the connected spaces online. I realized that we could build trust, connect often and build collective wisdom that was easily accessible by everyone as connected educators. We could learn the tools by being immersed in them and that left time to focus on what was important- changing our pedagogy and leaning into to each other to heal.

The results were tremendous. Our school was the first to have 100% technology proficiency as measured by the TSIP (Technology Standards for Instructional Personnel) requirements required by our state at the time. We healed together online as we built community around the sharing of tech enabled lessons and unique ways to engage children in online activities that not only deepened their learning but helped them heal too. We shared, we laughed and we grew as professionals. As teachers got sharp at using the technologies and the new pedagogy, they coached others. The results grew over the years into what Powerful Learning Practice does today.

When COVID-19 hit and education was impacted in similar ways, I knew exactly what schools needed.I knew that if we built a job embedded, yearlong, coached professional learning experience that brought content to your inbox, right when you needed it most, as well as offered coached 1-1 support, caring colleagues sharing and encouraging one another in small groups and the community at large we could figure out our way forward together. I knew that if we included a library of robust ideas combined with seasoned teachers from around the world who are using these ideas and had them nearby to help others see examples of how it is done, that we could not only heal as a profession but we could reset, thrive and get back our confidence the way educators had done in 2001.

I want to personally invite you to what is on track to become one of the most transformational experiences you have ever had. It isn’t one more thing to do. It is a culture of caring. It is the lifeline and support you need for such a time as this. It is a way to end being overwhelmed and frustrated with trying to figure this all out alone in the silo of your classroom. 

You are probably wondering what makes us qualified to take you on this journey?

I have led national connected educator initiatives with the US Department of Education under Obama’s ConnectEd initiative. I have coached top leaders in education through their digital conversion efforts around the world. I get transformational change personally and professionally and my team does too. We talk with teachers around the world everyday and help them overcome the challenges they are facing.

Instant Impact Collaborative Cohort is just that. Instant impact. Now. So that your learners thrive and you get your life back. You are not alone. We can’t wait to get started! 

Sheryl and the PLP Family 

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During a 25-year education career, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor and digital learning consultant. Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with schools and districts from around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities through the Connected Learner Experience and other e-learning opportunities. She is the author (with Lani Ritter Hall) of The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Solution Tree, 2012) and serves on the ISTE Board of Directors.
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