Julie Hughes has been a full time teacher for over a decade, working with elementary and middle school students in public and charter schools, and a private Catholic academy. Throughout this time, Julie has transitioned from a traditional, teacher-centered classroom to a flexible, student-driven space. She is constantly trying to move beyond school as a simulation and has developed cross-curricular projects to make learning more authentic for her students. By incorporating 1:1 and 2:1 technology, she has tapped into a wider audience for her students, and together they have focused on the communication skills necessary to network in the digital age. As an Innovation Fellow at her school, Julie has piloted an Innovation space designed by FNI and is now working with new fellows to broaden the scope of the project. She is also working with FNI to train teachers by designing professional development for schools that are transitioning to learning community spaces. Through school visits and webinars, Julie has not only answered the “what ifs” of teaching in a flexible space, but she has helped teachers apply their strengths to a new learning environment. This work has been particularly fun, as she has been able to learn and grow with great practitioners from across the country.
Julie has a B.A. in Mass Communication from Michigan State University and holds teaching certificates in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Florida. Currently, she is deepening her knowledge through the University of South Florida’s Reading Education master’s program. She is also fortunate to partner with the University of Florida to integrate hands-on scientific exploration across content areas. This partnership has solidified Julie’s commitment to NGSS and CCSS alignment, which led her to present student work at the International Society for Technology in Education conference this past summer. Julie also focuses on curriculum mapping, and she has worked with middle school teachers to develop ELA curriculum and has written corresponding network-wide assessments. This passion for curriculum has Julie constantly looking for new ideas and partnerships to further develop student-learning experiences.