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Our Story

Hi, we're Mary and Kate, and we're excited you're here!

Away We Go (AWG) grew out of a love and passion for language, literacy, and learning, especially as it relates to multilingual learners and their unique backgrounds.  It also grew out of a place of need, a desire to grow as professionals, and the recognition that together we are stronger. 

 

Early in our teaching careers, we realized the importance of what it means to be a "life-long learner."  Sure, we had heard it often, but the true need to take a stance to pursue learning in order to refine and reflect on our practices was clear.  Our students were depending on it.  Despite our robust preparation, we knew more was needed; perhaps something was even missing.  It was evident in the diverse needs of our students, the role we needed to assume as collaborators, and as advocates for our students to receive equitable access to supports and services within our schools.

 

This need led us on a journey of continual learning and growing as teachers. The road wasn't always easy! We have had to advocate for ourselves to receive opportunities to further our knowledge base, and for our students to have equitable access to the curriculum.

Over the last fifteen years, we have earned new graduate degrees, completed Reading Recovery/Literacy Lessons training, and absorbed the knowledge of the skilled teachers in our networks, and closely followed the research on effective practices for English language learners and emergent readers. 

It is our hope that we can share what we've learned with you here, in this community. And that you will share your hard-won expertise with us. We believe that it is through combining the knowledge of various teaching disciplines that we become truly equipped to serve our multilingual students.

About Kate

Hi! I'm Kate. Thank you for joining us here at Away We Go!

I started my career as an educator in 2006 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. While I was initially intimidated by working with English learners, I quickly discovered what a joy it is to witness their incredible growth across the school year! 

Throughout my fourteen years of teaching, my students and I loved immersing ourselves in funny, interesting, and engaging books. It was a powerful motivation to talk, read, and write! But when some students had difficulty learning to read and write, I felt at a loss. My training had prepared me to teach for oral language development, but not early literacy skills.

 

Thankfully, I was able to learn from some amazing colleagues, and ultimately had the privilege of becoming Reading Recovery/Literacy Lessons trained in 2014. I returned to graduate school, earned a degree in teaching Literacy, and spent a few years as a reading specialist. Since then, I've continued to immerse myself in the research relating to early literacy and multilingual learners in an effort to hone my understanding and practice.

Each time I learned something that I could take back to the classroom and implement for the benefit of my students, I felt a huge sense of relief. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to pay it forward with this blog. It is our sincere hope that you and your students find the content here helpful.

I'm a mom of three kids, and they keep me very busy! Since my youngest arrived, I have been working as an editor for children's book authors and early literacy companies. I also spend my time creating early readers. It never fails to put a smile on my face to hear that a child has enjoyed reading my books!

Welcome to Away We Go!

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  • MsEd Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

  • MsEd Literacy Coaching and Instruction, B-6

  • Trained in Reading Recovery/Literacy Lessons

  • 14 Years' Experience at the Elementary Level

  • Pedagogical Content Editor of Early Literacy Materials

About Mary

Hi there!  I 'm Mary and I am grateful you're here. 

 

I currently wear a few different hats as I enter my 15th year in education.  I am an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher and a Literacy Lessons teacher.  As an ENL teacher, I have the good fortune of co-teaching in kindergarten and first grade classrooms.  Through Reading Recovery/Literacy Lessons, I provide 1-1 literacy intervention for multilingual students.  I  also  serve as the Elementary ENL Teacher Leader for my district, a role that I cherish for its opportunity to collaborate with many teachers and administrators. 

I am passionate about collaboration and advocacy in the name of multilingual learners.  I believe that two heads are better than one, and continuous professional learning improves teacher practice.  Ultimately the success of our students is dependent on our commitment to grow as educators.  I am grateful for the colleagues and mentors who have poured into my teaching, guiding me to learn so much about what matters most as an educator.  This energizes me to share these experiences with  our readers and community members.

Outside of education, my two active children keep me learning and my sweet husband keeps me well fed.  Time with family and friends, reading, and traveling to new places, near and far, feed my soul.

 

I'm so excited you're here!  Welcome to the Away We Go Community! 

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  • ENL Teacher

  • Literacy Lessons Teacher

  • Elementary ENL Teacher Leader

  • Certified in Elementary Education

  • Adjunct Instructor at Clarkson University

  • Graduate Student at MCLA Leadership Academy

  • Co-chair for the Capital Region NYS TESOL Leadership Team