Laura Swann, Ed.S., NBCTLead Instructor

Started with TeacherReady:
January 11, 2018


Education Specialist (Ed.S.) with Administration and Supervision Endorsement – University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2016
Master of Education (M.Ed.), Marymount University – Arlington, VA, 1996
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Economics and Political Science – Emory University, Atlanta, GA  1986

Bio and Teacher Training:

After working on Capitol Hill and within the education policy arena in Washington, D.C. for ten years, I decided to change careers and go where the children are: the classroom.  I had over the course of the years been inspired by many dynamic teachers who were making a real difference in the lives of their students every day.  So, like many of you I sought a way to change my career path and become a teacher.  I so wish a program like TeacherReady was available to me at that time!

As a fifth-grade teacher for nine years, I had the opportunity to teach at a public French immersion school with students from all over the world. I taught a regular English speaking classroom with a high population of special education students and English language learners.  I absolutely adored figuring out ways to inspire my students to become readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, historians, and caring team members.  One of the most challenging and rewarding professional developments I experienced was earning my National Board for Professional Teaching Certification (NBCT) as a middle childhood generalist.  The process of becoming NBCT made me become a much deeper, reflective teacher. I learned that building a classroom community where every student feels valued and a part of something wonderful was the key to helping each child take the risks and to stretch their thinking.  Although I thought my lessons were fantastic, I learned through the process, I had to look at what students were learning (and not learning). I had to change what I was doing so they could be successful.  In an environment where you are overloaded with the demands of the classroom and your school, I do highly recommend taking the time to be reflective on what’s working, and on what is not, and changing what you are doing to make sure every child succeeds. What inspires me about teaching is having faith (and working very, very hard) to help students who don’t believe in themselves see that they can do anything they set their mind to.  I absolutely love helping students become more curious about this extraordinary world!

After teaching for nine years, I became an instructional coach for eight years.  I worked at a Title 1 high poverty, low income elementary school where I helped them significantly increase literacy, mathematics and science state assessment scores by analyzing data, planning for instruction, and developing high functioning teams.  I’ve coached teachers on implementing research-based instructional strategies to increase understanding with their students.  Within this capacity, I’ve been a math coach, a reading coach and a science coach!  I love helping individuals and teams be successful!

I am a single mom whose daughter recently graduated with her mechanical engineering degree (and she has wonderfully employed!). I’ve recently relocated from living in Virginia for over 30 years to now living in my hometown of Pensacola!  I love being outside especially on the beautiful sugar white beaches!  Whenever I can, you can find me taking a yoga class, working out at the gym, cooking fresh seafood and vegetables, sailing on the blue waters, teaching a healthy living class, writing and reflecting, reading inspirational books, taking fantastic sunrise and sunset photographs, and walking on the beach!