Testimonials

To ask a question or add a comment, please visit our Contact page. 

"Olivia - I just wanted to take a moment and let you know how inspiring and informative your presentations were.  I know the feeling of being changed in my thinking after listening to a true professional.  You are that and more.  Your presentation renewed my faith in education!"
 ––2nd and 3rd Grade Resource Teacher; Camden, NY
 

Olivia – I wanted to thank you for coming to our area, for taking the time to listen to me, and for making yourself available. I can honestly and safely say it was the most worthwhile two days I have EVER spent out of my classroom! True to my personality, I've been keeping a list of all the things I wanted to write you about, as I greatly appreciated your enthusiasm, creativity, and gumption (<--one of my favorite words!).  You tell the truth about "touchy" education topics, offer "out of the box" ideas, cutting edge research, information about a writer's workshop approach, relatable & concrete examples connected to your teaching experience in various settings, and authentic videos teaching "real" students...although this is a "run-on" sentence, I am probably still leaving out about 50 things I wanted to mention... :-)  

I loved watching excitement bubble up when you shared some amazing new picture books with us!  Powerful!  Some of my co-workers definitely think I am crazy because of how "overly" excited I get about Scholastic Book Club orders and new books I discover! Seeing your giddiness helped confirmed that I am not so crazy after all.  I left your workshop feeling renewed and rejuvenated, ready to see my kindergarten kiddos and attempt some of the new writing strategies I learned, while also improving strategies I was already using (such as Shared Reading and Read Alouds, etc.).  
––Kindergarten Teacher;  Verona, NY

I met Olivia my first year teaching in a New York City Public School.  I was in a self-contained classroom and she was the first staff developer who wanted to work with not only me, but my children as well.  She truly saw the abilities of my children, not their “disabilities”, and I believe that holds true to this day.  She always finds the strength in each child she comes across.  There are not enough words for me to describe how much Olivia has helped me grow as a teacher.  She energizes the entire staff with each visit and her presence alone encourages me to try new things with my children.  I look forward to her visits and she is ALWAYS available via email in between.  Olivia is a great teacher, coach, mentor and person.
––1st Grade Special Education Teacher in an ICT Classroom; New York, NY

"I met Olivia in my first year teaching in New York City Public Schools.  I came in knowing so little about the balanced literacy concept, and Olivia made it a point to work with me, focusing on my strengths, and quietly coaching to my weaknesses.  Her encouraging words and peaceful demeanor appeal to not only faculty, but the children as well.  We ALL look forward to her lessons.  She is always available via email to address questions or concerns in between her visits and follows up with promised handouts, materials, and continuing ideas.  Olivia has a gift…she was born a teacher (and a coach!)"
–– Kindergarten Teacher; New York, NY
 

I want to thank Olivia for helping me put the "balance" back in Balanced Literacy. Over the past two years Olivia has worked with me on Word Work, Shared Reading, Guided Reading, Shared Writing, Strategy Groups...the list goes on and on! Each visit brings new work in one of these areas and it is always exciting to watch Olivia demo and then to try it while she coaches. It's always a lot of information to digest and reflect on but the work has a significant impact on student achievement. Since focusing on Guided Reading I have had 11 students move up in their reading levels! I always look forward to Olivia's next visit!
–– 1st Grade ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) Teacher; New York, NY

Dear Olivia,
Thank you so much for today's workshop.  I learned a great deal seeing you in action and watching the various lessons unfold in a "real life" K classroom.  There are so many things I learned and I'm excited to try out.  I have been doing interactive writing with my class, but never with the student white boards, so I am very excited to try it out this way.  I loved how you demonstrated both the shared and interactive writing because now I have a much better understanding of what they are and the purpose/focus of each.  The writing workshop lesson was also wonderful.  It definitely affirmed many of the things the teachers at my school are already doing.  I thought the conferences you had with the two children were wonderful.  I loved how you really observed the children carefully to plan for conferring teaching points that met their individual needs as writers.
––Kindergarten Teacher; Morristown, NJ

Hello Olivia!  I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for all that you have brought to our school and district over the past few years!  This Writing Workshop celebration was the best one EVER!!!!!  The dedication, passion, and writing that we as teachers and students shared was absolutely wonderful!  I was soooo proud to have been a part of it all!  Thank you for opening our hearts and minds to this beautiful way of teaching, a way that just allowed our children to blossom into the amazing writers they are!  I am looking forward to continuing on this journey together as a whole group, as a family! 
––1st Grade Teacher; Hackensack, NJ

It has been great working with Olivia this year. I always learn so much each time we meet. I am excited to try out the things she has shown us. The students love changes in our classroom because of what I've learned. Olivia is very warm with both students and teachers.
–– 1st Grade Teacher; Raleigh, NC

Hi Olivia,
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the Writing Institute you did here in Seattle this summer. It has transformed my teaching in writing. My first graders are excited and so am I. I can see improvement every day in what they produce. This is so much FUN!!!
Thanks again~
–– 1st Grade Teacher; Seattle, WA
 

Hi Olivia. Since I won’t be working with you next year as a coach, I wanted to take time to thank you for all you’ve taught me since we first met. I not only learned about coaching, but also teaching. Your enthusiasm is contagious...summer school teachers return to their classroom energized to follow your lead. Your focus is always on learning and the child...I appreciate how you make those central to your professional development sessions. I know you have made a huge impact on Marysville School District.  I’ll keep my eyes open for your book...I know it will happen when you’re ready and have time!!!
–– Literacy Coach; Marysville, WA

Olivia, Thanks again for the great presentation and well-rounded approach to writing. Please come to the school more often, we have grown so much through your guidance and support!! I was so glad when you shared with us, that you were the child in the back of the room who didn't like to write. That was me as well, and now through many years of teaching writing, I am in love with it. I don't think you know how much you inspire other teachers to reach beyond their comfort zone and instill a love of writing to their students.
–– Basic Skills Department; Robbinsville, NJ

"Olivia... you are so inspiring! I have become a better teacher because of your guidance (so have the other teachers in Robbinsville). The children of Pond Road School have benefitted immensely because of your writing workshops. Thank you!"
–– 5th Grade Teacher;  Robbinsville, NJ
 

I can use this workshop as the basis for my Essay Unit.  The organization is just what the kids need to grow.  Come back and do days for Narratives and Fiction Writing!  As a "new" teacher to units of study, I like the way we progressed throughout the year from an introduction to the units to writing our own units based on the needs of our students.
–– 4th Grade Teacher; Robbinsville, NJ

I see the big picture and now recognize how 4th grade will connect to 3rd and 5th!  Creating our performance indicators will help so much with assessment.  Wow!  Keep up the great work!  Thank you so much!
–– 4th Grade Teacher; Robbinsville, NJ

This writing professional development was extremely helpful because we know where to go next, the big picture, and how to work cooperatively to plan for the future.  More, more, more...
–– 5th Grade Teacher; Robbinsville, NJ

All of the information is so relevant to what the 3rd grade teachers need.  I loved working through the mini-lessons, examples of mini-lessons, and seeing the video of the writing mini-lesson.  I appreciated your enthusiasm and the references with great professional books.
––Literacy Coach; Gloucester Township, NJ

I enjoyed your command of the topic.  I liked the day-by-day layout since I never knew how and where to start.  I like how you "went with the flow" even when teachers didn't like your idea (community-shared materials).  Thank you for modeling how to incorporate writer's craft.
–– 3rd Grade Teacher; Gloucester Township, NJ

I think Olivia is well-versed in what she is presenting. I loved actually going through the Writing Workshop mini-lessons and taking us through the writing process.
–– 3rd Grade Teacher; Gloucester Township, NJ

"This has been the most rewarding workshop I've attended in some time. Thank you for your infectious personality and wealth of knowledge. The extent of which the writing process and balanced literacy was explained and melded to prepare for future lessons was amazing."
–– 1st Grade Teacher; Mendham Borough, NJ
 

Awesome!  I am jazzed about this!!!!  I feel so prepared to teach Writing Workshop. Since I came to this institute with a Writing Workshop background, I kept, in my head, planning on how to apply this knowledge to Reading Workshop. I got two for one from this institute! Thanks so much.
–– 2nd Grade Teacher; Mendham Township, NJ

I really appreciated your enthusiasm, knowledge, and calm reassurance.  I know I will be much better at conferring as a result of the workshop.  I also love having made my own writing folder.  I know I will use it with my students.  Thank you for your willingness to receive and answer emails-sharing forms, data, and answering questions.
–– 2nd Grade Teacher; Mendham, NJ

I have never worked with the approach toward reading and writing.  I had attended one professional development and was confused.  This institute "cleared the air" for me.  It has given me many tools to use in my classroom.  What I really liked is that it can be adapted to all levels of instruction and children.  The presenter kept my interest and I actually was focused and interested.  Olivia is a great role model.  This was the first institute that really made sense for Kindergarten teachers or teachers of low functioning students.
–– Special Education Teacher; Mendham, NJ

Olivia, you are an excellent presenter.  Your dedication to education is evident.  I liked the templates, organization, and application of real life experience.  Keep it up!  Your personality is contagious.  I really took a lot away from this.
–– 2nd Grade Teacher; South Bend, IN

Olivia is very knowledgeable and has a lot of good ideas for smooth classroom management.  Sharing of forms is much appreciated.  I appreciated the schedule and a presenter that kept with the schedule.  Olivia is "fun" to listen to and did a great job allowing time for discussion with peers.  Keep up with the enthusiasm!  It is evident that you have a genuine love for children and what you do.
––Curriculum Leader; South Bend, IN

It puts things into perspective for me.  I learned how to reach teachers and it also reminded me to be purposeful with students and teachers.  Many of the things discussed were a good reinforcement of what Curriculum Leaders are saying at in-services.  We need that!
–– Curriculum Leader/Coach; South Bend, IN

Olivia provided an abundance of formats, tips/suggestions, information and authentic materials to use in the classroom immediately.  As an educator, YOU ROCK! Teachers were continuously engaged.
–– Curriculum Leader; South Bend, IN

The speaker was well-prepared and used a variety of strategies (group work, independent, etc.).  I liked the DVD of the mini-lesson, lesson templates, note-taking templates, and access to the presenter for handouts.  Olivia provided explicit ways to integrate these reading and writing ideas into the current South Bend curriculum and standards.  Awesome presentation!  This fits in with a lot of the information I've read on reading and Reading Workshop.
–– Reading Specialist; South Bend, IN

I appreciate your positive energy!  Olivia provided concrete examples and the video had normal children who mess around!  She used personal mistakes as examples along with her successes.  That made us feel like we are normal!!!! 
–– 2nd Grade Teacher; South Bend, IN

Great information!  It would have been great to see and hear more from her-one day was too little.  I liked Olivia's high energy and knowledge.  She shows how to integrate all of the leading authors into a hands-on approach to plugging everything in together.  Olivia is bright and very knowledgeable.  She is warm and generous in her invitations to communicate with her.
–– 1st Grade Teacher; South Bend, IN

"Olivia was approachable, down-to-earth yet professional.  She had high expectations but supported us to reach them.  She was very respectful of the children and us.  I liked the specific and detailed templates and structures we can use.  The presentation was well-organized and paced.  I liked the way you organized the day, let us know the schedule, stayed on time and covered everything."
–– 1st Grade ELL Teacher; South Bend, IN
 

These two days have really challenged my schema in an exciting way.  I'm looking to take my reading instruction to a new level.  I liked that I was challenged with new ideas.  A lot of the professional development we get just reinforces what I'm already doing.  Come back to us again!  Thank you for two incredible days of professional development!
–– 1st Grade ELL Teacher; South Bend, IN

This workshop was excellent. It was wonderful to see Olivia teach a mini-lesson and confer with students. Olivia has an excellent rapport with staff and students. She was so informative and encouraging!
–– 2nd Grade Teacher; Raleigh, NC

Olivia did a fabulous job.  She was extremely knowledgeable about Writing Workshop and at the same time "down to earth" and approachable.  It was very purposeful and everything discussed was helpful to classroom teachers.  Keep up the good work!  You are positively impacting so many children!
–– Title I Reading Coach (K-2); Raleigh, NC

Olivia is a gifted educator and presenter. She brings a wealth of knowledge with her and shares it with us.  Seeing Olivia model Writing Workshops in classrooms was so helpful.
–– Title I Literacy Coach (K-1); Raleigh, NC

"I usually come to a workshop feeling hopeful but leaving with little hands-on material I could use in my classroom. However, I got a lot out of this Guided Reading workshop for my students and I wasn't bored.  Olivia was so organized! It kept me engaged. I learned a lot and I teach high school so I learned how to take a "tough" group and have them walk away encouraged. I'm going to use her methods of staying on task when I'm with a group that likes to wander..."
–– SI/COMPED Teacher (9-12 H.S.); Lyndhurst, NJ
 

Olivia provided excellent, informative, teacher-friendly strategies within the Guided Reading model.  Olivia gave us concrete examples and practical information/tips to use in our program!  Thank you for the lesson plan format and modeling what the lesson may look like in practice.
–– SI K-8 Teacher; Lyndhurst, NJ

Olivia was very well prepared, organized, enthusiastic and knowledgeable...simply fabulous!  She provided so many handouts to follow along with and to bring back for the classroom to review and use.
–– Kindergarten Teacher; Livingston, NJ

Olivia was engaging, motivating and shared her knowledge in an understandable way!  I learned ways to adjust what I do in Writing Workshop to make it even better.
–– Kindergarten Teacher; Livingston, NJ

Olivia, I want you to know that you are the best!  You're incredible and amazing.  Every time I leave your class, I am shaking with excitement and I have to tell everyone I see what an amazing class I am taking and all that I am learning.  I've even talked to another teacher that couldn't sleep at night because she was so excited about what she was learning and couldn't wait for the next day with you!  Overwhelmed?  No!  I would much rather learn more and be overwhelmed than be bored and watch the clock.  In your class I don't want to leave the room, so I won't miss anything!  It's so wonderful to learn so much in such a short period of time!!  Thanks!  This past year in Independent Reading I tried things on but it was difficult not quite knowing which direction to go next.  Now it's so much clearer!
–– 1st/2nd Grade Combination Classroom Teacher; Marysville, WA

Olivia is fabulous! I am very proud of the Marysville School District for hiring such a quality instructor to guide us in our learning. Olivia is always off the charts! This year for all of summer school has been more meaningful than any class or program I have ever been involved in!  Thank you for the opportunity!
–– 2nd Grade Teacher;  Marysville, WA