ENGAGING STUDENTS - EMPOWERING TEACHERS - TRANSFORMING SCHOOLS
Janet Slesinski - Student Centered Learning
Hello, I’m Janet Slesinski, a high school educator living in Memphis, TN. In my career, I’ve worked in both public and private schools, in urban and rural settings. Throughout these experiences I’ve worked with students who learn at different rates, and in different ways, but in all cases it’s clear that those who do the work, do the learning.
This observation has led to my student centered teaching style. In the classroom, I constantly ask students to do: by solving challenging problems, practicing skills they need to work on, and using precise vocabulary. I group students flexibly, having them work individually, in pairs, and groups, to collaborate and explain their reasoning. I believe writing is valuable in any subject area, and students need to be explicitly taught how to write for each content. I always provide opportunities for re-assessment, because I know not all students learn at the same rate.
As the chair of the Math Department at Lausanne Collegiate School, I support my colleagues in developing curriculum that is student centered, building on prior learning. I earned my Masters in Curriculum from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. I earned my undergraduate degrees from the University of Vermont in Education, Mathematics and Physics. I am currently working on an Administrative Endorsement through Christian Brother’s University in Memphis, TN.
I see students as possibility. Each child has so much potential, and my job is to help them see what they are capable of. I’ve coached students to create works of art out of nothing but functions. I’ve watched them present their statistical analyses to a gallery of community members. I’ve taught them to write programs using self-designed algorithms to meet the needs of clients. I enjoy coaching teachers to procure the best from students by designing learning experiences that meet students where they are, and push them to the next level.
I regularly read blogs and twitter posts from my personal learning network, the Math-Twitter-Blog-o-Sphere (#MTBoS). I’ve presented at LLI Atlantic and LLI World. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy being outside, running, mountain biking and hiking. My husband and I often travel, as we love exploring new places.
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As a Lausanne Learning Consultant, Janet exemplifies the Lausanne Learning Five Consulting Characteristics:
- Student-Centered Character: LL Consultants always keep each student at the center of the conversation in imagining what “could be” from “what is”
- Sustaining Character: LL Consultants are focused on working with the school to implement practices that can be sustained over the long term to support the school’s mission
- Imaginative Character: LL Consultants are expert and thus can imagine different answers as you interrogate the key question or questions that you are being asked
- Independent Character: LL Consultants ensure that their clients become independent of them over time, not co-dependent
- Fearless Character: LL Consultants won’t tell their clients what they want to hear but what, in their professional opinion, should be said
Chair, Math Department
Lausanne Collegiate School
1381 West Massey Road
Memphis, TN 38120
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