All posts by Dave Meyers

Community Manager: Brains and Brawn of TeachersConnect

Laura Sanzone

If you’ve visited the TeachersConnect community lately, you’ve definitely benefitted from the contributions of Laura Sanzone, TeachersConnect Community Manager (CM). At the risk of “going overboard” with metaphors, the role of CM is to be triage specialist, caretaker, navigator, and pioneer. The CM uses brains and brawn to ensure that the conversations and people meet the needs of TeachersConnect members at every step of the new teacher journey: tests, licensure, the job search, and early-career classroom success.

After nine years of teaching 1st and 3rd grade in Maryland, Laura started teaching at Loyola University Maryland, where she taught a range of elementary methods courses and supervised teacher candidates during their teaching internships in Baltimore-area schools. Laura currently works in DC Public Schools as an Early Literacy Specialist. While she’s passionate about almost everything related to teaching, you’ll find it particularly easy to get her opinions on:

  • Equity issues in Education
  • Restorative practices as a model to grow a positive and inclusive classroom community
  • New teacher induction
  • Teacher wellness

We’ve known Laura for almost five years now, and we’re pretty sure we’re not the first educators to understand that she is an absolute powerhouse—thoughtful, analytic, committed, and unstoppable.

Welcome, Laura. We’re so glad you’ve chosen to share your approachability, energy, and straight up knowledge with the educators of TeachersConnect.

Community Leaders: Heart and Soul of TeachersConnect

2021 CLs

Get to Know Your TC Community Leaders!

Community Leaders are practicing full-time teachers who stand out as hubs of energy in the TeachersConnect (TC) community—and whose students are really freakin’ lucky to have such creative educators. Their job in TC is to ask questions, share strategies, encourage conversation, and make sure no question goes unanswered. Oh, how I wish this group was there for me for my first class of fifth graders. 😍

Candace Williams

Community Leader_Candace Williams

Primary grades reading specialist and certified teacher. Teacherpreneur. Influencer. Lover of all things beautiful from Detroit, Michigan. Over a decade in the classroom.

“I’m like a normal reading teacher, but much cooler. As an influencer on social media and co-talk show host on The Teachers’ Lounge Talk Show, my goal is to be an advocate for early literacy.”

Jennifer Bond

Community Leader_Jennifer Bond

1st and 2nd grade teacher. Vlogger. Provider of “cat sanctuary.” Central Missouri. Over a decade in the classroom.

“I LOVE teaching my little pineapples and also love to connect with other teachers in person and on social media”

Melissa Clarke

Community Leader_Melissa Clarke

Over 15 years experience teaching primary grades, talented YouTuber, Ontario, Canada.

“I’m excited to be a part of this online community and I look forward to learning a lot as well as share some of my knowledge and experiences.”

Ta’Stacia Covington

Community leader_Ta'Stacia Covington

2nd decade teaching primary grades, halfway through doctorate in Educational Leadership. North Carolina.

I am very passionate about early education and the education of minority children.”

Wandiza Williams

Community Leader_Wandiza Williams

Over a decade teaching upper elementary. National Board Certified in Literacy for grades 3 – 8, Bronx, NY.

“I am passionate about getting the right books in the hands of children, and turning them on to reading. In addition, I am committed to anti-racist, social justice teaching, and elevating the voices of marginalized people.”

You too can become a Community Leader!

These incredible educators became Community Leaders because of the power of their posts and the impact they make on other others in the TeachersConnect community. Join the TeachersConnect Community and be a thoughtful questioner, frequent commenter, and insightful poster, and you, too, could land the best teacher side gig out there.

Button to join TeachersConnect Community

TeachersConnect ‘Advancement Courses’ Sweepstakes

TeachersConnect ‘Advancement Courses’ Promotional Sweepstakes Official Rules.
  1.       PRIZE DETAILS         One prize of a $100 gift card per month through January, 2021.
  1.       NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Eligible only to legal U.S. residents who are eighteen (18) years of age or older as of date of entry. Employees and contractors of TeachersConnect, its affiliates, immediate family members, or persons living in the same household as such individuals are not eligible to participate. Sweepstakes is governed by U.S. laws and is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Sweepstakes ends January 30, 2021 at Midnight EST. Winners will be announced before the end of each month.
    1. Sept Survey
      Sept 2 to Sept 12: Survey Response Collection
      Sept 13: Winner Announcement
    2. October Survey
      Sept 20 to Oct 3: Survey  Response Collection
      Oct 11: Winner Announcement
    3. November Survey
      Oct 18 to Oct 31: Survey Response Collection
      Nov 8: Winner Announcement
    4. December Survey
      Nov 30 to Dec 12: Survey Response Collection
      Dec 20: Winner Announcement
    5. January Survey
      Jan 3 to Jan 16: Survey Response Collection
      Jan 24: Winner Announcement
  1.       HOW TO ENTER: An individual will be deemed a participant in the sweepstakes if he/she is eligible and gains an entry. An individual can earn entries by responding to the survey.
  2.        One prizes will be selected via random drawing from among all valid entries received during the promotional period. A random drawing will be conducted around at the conclusion of each Survey Response Collection period by TeachersConnect management, whose decisions will be final and binding with respect to all aspects of the sweepstakes. Odds of winning depends on the number of an individual’s entries versus all eligible entries received in accordance to these rules. Winners will be notified via email within ten (10) business days of the random drawing.
  3.       By entering the sweepstakes, you consent for TeachersConnect to obtain, use, and transfer your name, email address, and other information for the purpose of administering this sweepstakes and such personal information will be kept by TeachersConnect for marketing purposes. The information that you provide in connection to this sweepstakes will be used by TeachersConnect and Advancement Courses only, and will not be sold or provided to any another company. You will remain eligible for this sweepstakes whether or not you unsubscribe from promotional emails from TeachersConnect and/or Advancement Courses.
  4.       All Participants, as a condition of participation or entering in this Sweepstakes, agree to defend, indemnify, release and hold harmless TeachersConnect, its affiliates, and the officers, directors, and employees, and Released Parties from and against any and all liability, claims, damages, injuries or actions of any kind whatsoever for injuries, damages, or losses to persons or property which may be sustained in connection with: (a) accessing the TeachersConnect Web Site; (b) participating in any aspect of the Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, while preparing for, participating in and/or traveling to or from any prize or Sweepstakes-related activity, including, without limitation, any injury, damage, death, loss or accident to person or property; (c) the receipt, ownership, possession, use or misuse of any prize awarded; (d) viruses or any downloading or other problems with the Sweepstakes application; or (e) any typographical, printing, or other error in these Official Rules, advertisements, or the announcement of offering of any prize. Prize winner bears all liability and risk of loss to his/her respective prize after it has been delivered. In the event that any provision of the Official Rules is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, the other provisions will remain in effect and will be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein. TeachersConnect’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules will not constitute a waiver of that provision.
  5.       By participating, participants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, TeachersConnect website Terms of Use, and the decisions of TeachersConnect and the Administrator, which are final and binding in all respects. Except where prohibited, participants agree that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and any judicial proceeding shall take place in a federal or state court in Boston, Massachusetts; (2) any and all claims, judgements, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this sweepstakes, but in no event legal fees; (3) under no circumstances may participants obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental, and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforce-ability of these Official Rules, or he rights and obligations of the Participants, TeachersConnect, or the released parties in connection with the sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the state of Massachusetts without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Massachusetts.
  6. Winner’s list request: To receive the name of the prize winners, send a request email to
  7.       Official Rules Request: To receive a copy of the Official Rules, send a request email to
  8.   All mentions of “Sponsor” or “TeachersConnect” refers to Great Teachers, Inc., dbd as TeachersConnect, currently located at 281 Summer St., Floor 2, Boston, MA 02210.

Two Webinars for De-stressing You and Your Students as You Prep for the New School Year

Chill Ooouuut…

It was a tough spring and the new school year promises to continue to put teachers and learners to the test. 

Breathe. Stretch. Treat yourself right. You got this…and we got YOU! Sign up today for two webinars designed to help you start the new school year with strategies for you and your students.

Webinar 1: From Chaos to Calm – Yoga and Mindfulness for You and Your Students

Using the best yoga and mindfulness tools, learn to navigate whatever the fall might look like! Kids’ yogi, recording artist, and mindfulness expert Bari Koral is beloved for her casual and fun approaches to creating peace and calm in the classroom. And for this session, she’ll be joined by Gab Lemon, a classroom teacher who’s been using the techniques with her students. She’ll share her view “from the trenches.”

Ready for something magical in your pocket, like a quick mindfulness technique to get you ready for the next class? Join us.

Want to learn a great yoga break kids love to use to burn off some energy and come right back to focus? Bari will share tools that you can incorporate instantly to help create a magical discipline in your in-person or virtual classroom. She will also share 5 techniques you can use to calm anxiety in minutes. You’ll leave with amazing new tools for your toolbox, and you’ll be ready to support your students (and yourself) when you get back to the “classroom.”

Please bring some colored markers or pencils for one of Bari’s favorite mindfulness games that can bring calm in literally seconds.


           Bari Koral                                                  Gab Lemon

Join us and get a “Grab and Go” strategy to…chill.

Educators only, please: teachers, student teachers, paraprofessionals, building and district leaders.

Wednesday, July 15th, 7:00 – 8:00 EDT.


Continue reading Two Webinars for De-stressing You and Your Students as You Prep for the New School Year

Want to Prevent Summer Melt? Put Some Passion Into It.

“Passion Projects and Genius Hour”

Join us for the final session of this spring’s open mic webinar series.

If any of these statements could have come from your lips, join us and get a “Grab and Go” strategy to  uncover your students’ passions and develop their skills.
“I’ve got to keep the kids engaged right to the end.”
“Parents are asking me for ways to keep the learning going over the summer.”
“I’m afraid that #learnfromhome is still in our future. I need some fresh ways for kids to follow their own interests AND stick with the curriculum–so I can be the best version of me next year.”
Register now and add some passion and genius hour to your teaching repertoire.

Continue reading Want to Prevent Summer Melt? Put Some Passion Into It.

“I want the learning to be social.”

Q: How do I design virtual assignments that get my kids working together?


A: Teachers have answers…and they’re “steppin’ to the mic” to share them. Join us for “Grab and Go” strategies for your classroom.


“Collaborative Work for Distance Learning”

Join us for Session 4 in our Open Mic webinar series.

Register now and add some collaboration, interaction, and FUN to boost your online teaching repertoire and increase student participation.

Continue reading “I want the learning to be social.”

Reaching Every Learner During School Closures

“I MUST reach all my students.”

In the midst of a global pandemic teachers are desperate to reach students with limited access to technology and students with specific learning needs.

TeachersConnect brought together four powerful teacher experts to share how they’re currently doing it. Each teacher shared activities and techniques they’re using with their students every day–and then took questions from the audience to help them take the technique to their own classrooms. In the words of one attendee: 

“You just made my teaching day…I can do this!”

See the highlight video below, or login at to view the entire webinar series for free.

Continue reading Reaching Every Learner During School Closures

Coronavirus Rx for Ed Open Mic Sessions 3 and 4


There are two questions we keep hearing from teachers:

  1. How do I reach every learner?
  2. How do I plan lessons and activities that require students to work collaboratively?


Teachers have answers…and they’re “steppin’ to the mic” to share them. Join us for “Grab and Go” strategies for your classroom.


Session 3: “Reaching Every Learner”

Register now if you’re determined to provide powerful online learning experiences to:

  • English Language Learners
  • Students with IEPs and other special needs
  • Students with limited access to technology
  • Students experiencing depression, trauma, or a lack of motivation

Session 4: “Collaborative Projects for Distance Learning”

Register now if you’ve been wondering how to design assignments and activities that require students to work together–and from a distance.

Continue reading Coronavirus Rx for Ed Open Mic Sessions 3 and 4

Coronavirus Rx for Ed Session 2: Generating Engagement and Motivation when Learning is Online–and Sometimes Optional

You Might Be Asking:

How do you keep your students focused, motivated, and engaged when assignments are optional and “class” is online?

The Solution:

Collaborate. Share. Ask. Validate. From a safe distance:-)

Continue reading Coronavirus Rx for Ed Session 2: Generating Engagement and Motivation when Learning is Online–and Sometimes Optional

Coronavirus Rx for Ed Session 1: A Live Webinar Series and Educator Community to Keep the Learning Going

Right now…

…you’re being pulled in all directions: be flexible, be creative, be resilient, support students and families (take care of yours), and be a masterful online teacher.

You Might Be Asking:

What’s an educator to do in this Coronavirus moment with a whole new set of demands?

The Solution:

Collaborate. Share. Ask. Validate. From a safe distance.

Continue reading Coronavirus Rx for Ed Session 1: A Live Webinar Series and Educator Community to Keep the Learning Going