As the saying goes, Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning. For Cristen Magaletti, Upper School Entrepreneurial Studies teacher, her love of learning has led her to take advantage of a unique opportunity to be a member of a highly selective professional learning community for teachers offered by Adobe, a multinational computer software company.
In the spring of 2019, Ms. Magaletti applied to Adobe’s Education Leadership program and was accepted. She was interested in joining this professional learning network as a way to learn more about how to use tools within Adobe’s creative cloud with students at Saint Andrew’s School. This cutting-edge opportunity ended up opening even more windows of learning and professional networking for Ms. Magaletti -- ultimately benefiting her students at SA.
“While I was attending the professional development sessions offered by Adobe over the summer, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a new program that Adobe was launching called the Master Teacher project,” said Ms. Magaletti.
As a member of the Master Teacher project, she joined a team of 35 educators from around the world. Ms. Magaletti engaged in lesson planning workshops where her cohort shared ideas for how to use tools in Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Some of their goals included helping make students' thinking visible, sparking student creativity and curiosity, and exploring ways to empower student voices by connecting them with an authentic audience.
Over the summer, the group created and shared new exemplar lessons and discussed best-practices used around the world and how they might deepen student outcomes and demonstrations of learning.
“I have been using digital tools to differentiate lesson plans and to help make student thinking visible in a 1:1 setting for years prior to our experiences with distance learning during the pandemic,” offered Ms. Magaletti. “Even with prior experience, I was excited for the opportunity to grow and collaborate with this innovative group of educators,” she added.
With all the changes to the educational landscape in 2020, being a member of this group was an inspiring and encouraging reminder of how teachers can be stronger together.
“I feel so fortunate that I can work with an amazing group of progressive educators at Saint Andrew’s, and I can empathize with teachers who might feel incredibly overwhelmed with all of the changes that are happening so rapidly in education,” she mused.
In this way, over the summer, Ms. Magaletti felt that it was essential to give back to others in education and share what she had learned with anyone looking to deepen their practices in hybrid, distance, or in-person learning to help broaden their abilities in these areas.
As a result of her work with Adobe’s Master Teacher cohort, she was asked to be a featured speaker at a session during “Education Day” for Adobe Max.
The Adobe Max event is usually held at a venue in California, but as a result of COVID-19, organizers made it entirely free for anyone interested in attending.
In advance of the session, Ms. Magaletti anticipated welcoming a few hundred users to view her session. To her surprise and delight, she ended up having nearly 4,700 in attendance!
“It was an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said. “During the event, I engaged in conversations with educators from a Navajo Reservation, Turkey, India, Australia, Argentina, and many across the US.”
Ms. Magaletti was not only able to share some of her ideas and what she has learned, but she was also energized and inspired by other educators’ innovative strategies.
“Seeing their strategies made me feel really different about how I approach curriculum design and instruction. Without a doubt, I am bringing back so many ideas to my classroom,” said Ms. Magaletti.
Her learning and sharing have continued well after the Adobe conference ended. “I am excited to share these best practices with colleagues in our community, especially as we reconsider education in this new space.”
“Students need to be engaged in ways that ask them to think divergently and creatively to help prepare them for a world that is ever-changing and unpredictable,” she added.
Now more than ever, teachers at Saint Andrew’s School are building their “toolbox” of resources to maximize the impact of distance and hybrid learning.
Saint Andrew’s School takes this moment to proudly recognize Cristen Magaletti for boldly taking her craft to the international stage while also making a profound impact within the community.