PBS Digital Innovator 2017

Jamila Leonard

Jamila Leonard Illinois
  • WTTW
  • National Teachers Academy
  • Chicago, Illinois

Jamila's (Mia) kindergarteners have a lot to say, and one of the places they express themselves is on their own class blog. Mia uses methods, like the blog, to transform teaching and learning and empower her young students every day. She also leverages self-created differentiated videos and Twitter to scaffold learning for her students and create new opportunities for self-expression.  For Mia, professional development is crucial to transformation; she works closely with educators throughout her district to constantly evolve her teaching. “I believe that collaboration is necessary to push one's own practice,” says Mia. “It helps foster an environment of ongoing growth and development, which I consider a key element in developing a strong professional community and enriching one's practice.”

Fun Fact: Mia is a former professional dancer and still enjoys taking an occasional dance class.