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Heather Dowd

Lissa Layman

Instructional Coach, COETAIL Managing Director

Career Snapshot

As a child in Battle Creek, Michigan (better known as Cereal City USA, Kellogg’s headquarters), I loved school but knew I didn’t want to be a teacher like others in my family. I just didn’t have that kind of patience (being the oldest of 6 kids taught me that quickly!). I thought maybe becoming a doctor was my path but I was certain I wanted to study abroad in France like my mom and aunt. My crazy decision to say “yes” to a job teaching HS French in South Carolina, instead of continuing my life in a pharmaceutical lab, led me to this moment – an educator certified to teach French and Chemistry working in Kuwait as a PK – 12 Instructional Coach.

Teaching French in South Carolina to students who might never have the opportunity to leave the state was my induction into the power of a connected classroom. The engagement of my students when they received and responded to tweets from students in France was a powerful learning experience for me. When French was real, when speaking another language connected them to other teenagers around the world, they cared. Giving my students a reason to want to learn became my daily challenge and has led to amazing adventures.

Since moving to Kuwait, I have assumed full classroom responsibilities on 5 different occasions. My latest stint was 3 months teaching 10th grade science. I quickly realized that my commitment to supporting the learning of all students was my most valuable asset. My students throughout the years have helped me discover my passion for inquiry-based education and global collaboration.

My job as an Instructional Coach continues to evolve and I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with colleagues to develop an instructional coaching culture, planning for and meaningfully implementing learning with technology, and seeking out my next learning opportunity. If you asked me 4 years ago where I saw my career going, I would have answered Director of Technology. I now know that I know nothing. Someday I will look back and understand exactly how I got there. Right now I will continue practicing the coaching skills I have learned in order to support and empower those around me while paying close attention to what I can learn from others.

Interests
  • Family — One of the things I love most about the international teaching schedule is being able to go home to Michigan (USA) during school breaks to be with family. The addition of my 2 adorable nieces in the past 2 years have made time at home even more enticing! I also appreciate how advances in technology make my 5 younger siblings and large extended family seem much closer than 6500 miles.
  • Adventures — love going on adventures with my husband whenever possible. Our adventures take us on trips to the grocery store, runs at the Lake Michigan, and traveling around the world. Bonus if our adventures also include family & friends!
  • Healthy Living — I like to look and feel my best. Being active, eating healthy, dressing well, intentional self-care and having fancy nails help me feel the way I want to feel on a daily basis!
Awards, Accolades, Honors
  • Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy
  • American Association of Teachers of French (South Carolina) 2011 Scholarship Award Recipient
  • South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers Association 2012 New-to-Teaching Award Recipient
  • Google for Education Certified Educator & Trainer
  • Critical Friends Group Coach
  • Cognitive Coach
  • M.Ed. School Technology Leadership
  • B.A. Chemistry, French
Location: Kuwait

Currently I am the Managing Director of COETAIL. The fabulous educators at Eduro inspire me on a daily basis and I can’t wait to be a Connected Teacher Academy Mentor!

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself when Creating Technology Rich Units

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3 Reasons Why School Leaders Should Care About Technology for Learning

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