Congratulations to Ms. Susan Gleeson! Our Instructional Coaches in North Carolina are blown away with your accomplishments and have named you our North Carolina Teacher of the Year!

In Durham Public Schools at Fayetteville Street Elementary, the teachers are dedicated to engaging students in varied and innovative instructional techniques and strategies. The principal, Ebony Baily, is a strong advocate for experiential learning and ensures all of the students at Fayetteville Street have an extraordinary education.

During a difficult and unique school year, Susan Gleeson has embraced all of the challenges thrown at her and used outdoor instruction as a key piece of the puzzle to supporting her students during a pandemic. Ms. Gleeson has been very creative when developing lessons for her 1st-grade students to ensure both the students at school and the students learning from home ALL have the opportunity to participate in experiential learning.

She creates hybrid lessons that capture their curiosity and keeps them engaged by giving them hands-on outdoor learning activities on which to center her instruction. She knew that 1st-grade students would struggle to be on a computer screen all day and made sure to counterbalance that with lessons outside. Students love sharing what they’ve experienced outdoors, and since the outdoors is accessible to all of her students, everyone has something exciting to share when they come to (or log-in to!) class.

Ms. Gleeson is always eager to learn and share her knowledge with her peers to advance experimental learning at her school. She sees the benefits and growth from her students and wants to include as many students in that experience as possible.   

Please join us in thanking Ms. Gleeson for her hard work, her creativity, and her dedication to improving education for all!

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Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.