We help educators encourage and facilitate youth voice and communication skills
We offer workshops to schools and departments, educator coaching, and written feedback on classroom videos and lesson plans. Our coaching helps educators create inclusive, kind communities to support multilingual learners, girls, and underrepresented voices. Our coaches are educators and experts in public speaking, project-based learning, learning sciences, and Universal Design for Learning.
Pioneer of Expression-Driven Teaching
The Practice Space is a trailblazer for Expression-Driven Teaching, a facilitation method for developing the oral literacy, communication skills, and inclusive environment to cultivate youth voices and learn from what they have to say. Through professional development for educators and direct service for youth to practice public speaking, our mission is to build confident communication skills and elevate underrepresented voices through equitable, anti-racist facilitation practices where “equity” is an environment.
We help educators integrate storytelling, debate, self-advocacy, poetry, presentation, and listening in classrooms.
“It got students excited, bringing a little storytelling, about sharing their thoughts and opinions and that their experience matters and has value. I saw students take that on and really grow in that area, really build that confidence and feel empowered.”
Educator Coaching and Workshops
Introduction to Expression-Driven Teaching
Advance youth voice and equity in your classroom! This interactive, intimate workshop offers educators a framework for increasing youth participation and engagement and creating an inclusive classroom environment driven by youth expression. In 90 minutes, you will learn strategies, tools, plans, and activities to incorporate storytelling, self-advocacy, presentation, and debate in a range of subject areas and grades. You will have access to expert coaches, ready-to-go curriculum resources, and plenty of collaborative planning time to apply what you have learned about Expression-Driven Teaching.
Youth Voice Advocates Cohort
The Youth Voice Advocates cohort is composed of educators committed to advancing equity through the inclusive facilitation approach, Expression-Driven Teaching. Educators participated in 1-2 years of professional development and received personalized coaching from The Practice Space team, Caitlin Healy, Diana Medina, and AnnMarie Baines. Throughout the year, educators increased student engagement and youth voice by teaching accessible, diverse forms of expression. Each teacher enhanced routines and lessons, including using storytelling in morning meetings to build first grade literacy skills, integrating debate to improve fourth grade persuasive writing and speaking skills, and building sixth graders’ confidence and communication skills through weekly presentations. This cohort’s commitment to cultivating equitable classroom environments meant youth across the East Bay began to feel more confident to express who they are and what they care about, while developing academic discourse and a culture of belonging.
The Practice Space has awarded the following teachers for their completion of the Youth Voice Advocates cohort and commitment to educational equity:
Amy Garzon, 1st Grade, Tara Hills Elementary, WCCUSD
Leanne Wu, TK-6, Special Education, Tara Hills Elementary, WCCUSD
Maria Guadalupe Nuñez, 4th Grade, Tara Hills Elementary, WCCUSD
Tania Garcia-Pena, 3rd Grade, Dover Elementary, WCCUSD
Christopher MacLean, 6th Grade, Dover Elementary, WCCUSD
Janae Harris, 4th Grade, Coronado Elementary, WCCUSD
Jacquelynn Nguyen, 6th Grade, Montalvin Manor Elementary, WCCUSD
Jonathan Molina, 8th Grade, Helms Middle School, WCCUSD
Bryan Reid, 12th Grade, Pittsburg High School, PUSD
Scott Gordon, 11-12th Grades, Lincoln High School, SLUSD
This concludes the two-year Youth Voice Advocates Coaching Program, funded by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Half of last year’s cohort returned in the Fall to deepen their facilitation skills, connect with supportive colleagues, and continue receiving in-depth, personalized coaching. Although the program will be missed, The Practice Space will continue to support teacher teams at individual school sites in order to deepen impact. This will include coaching, co-teaching, and supporting showcases of youth voice.
Contact Us if you are an educator interested in partnering.