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Staff Developer Spotlight: Alicia Luick

Getting to Know Alicia Luick

  • What is your go-to coffee order? I actually don't drink coffee. I'm a Dunkin Donuts, unsweet, iced tea girl all the way. I usually grab one as I begin my commute to schools in the morning.

  • What do you do in the mornings to prepare to go to a school? My days start early. I'm typically up at 5am and out the door by 6am. My commutes can be as short as 45 minutes or as long as an hour and a half. So, my priority is to beat morning traffic wherever I go and listen to educational podcasts on my morning commutes.

  • What is your favorite part of interaction with teachers in your partner schools? I love brainstorming with others and facilitating collaboration. That said, I also take a moment in every PD to start with a "What in your news?" It allows teachers the opportunity to catch me up on their lives. I've found that building these relationships with teachers really fosters the collaboration aspect needed to have a great day.

  • What is your favorite children’s book series and why? One of my favorite series is Lola Levine by Monica Brown. I just love Lola's spunkiness. She lives her life out loud and isn't afraid to embrace who she truly is at heart.

  • Tell me about a read aloud that you think is particularly beautiful. I'm partial to many of the narrative nonfiction picture books out there. One of my favorites is R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. It may have something to do with my passion for music and my complete respect for Aretha as a singer. But that aside, I also love the brillant illustations of Frank Morrison. They are a poignant example of perspective in many forms. I also love how the author, Carole Boston Weatherford, decided to use one of Aretha's most iconic songs, 'Respect' for inspiration on how to begin each page in the book. She spells out a different word on each page like D-E-T-R-O-I-T or M-U-S-I-C or G-I-F-T-E-D to anchor the reader into the key point on each and every page.

  • What’s your favorite sticky-note color? Um, purple? I don't really know. I haven't thought about that much.

  • When do you do your best lesson/staff development planning? Oh, that's tricky. I do my best "planning" when chatting with colleagues during my commutes. But, I always find myself inspired after reading a professional text, when I have time to think and play a bit. I love being inspired to try something new. So, when I read a text or have a conversation or listen to something on a podcast, I think, 'What can I do with that?'

  • Favorite office supply/ classroom gadget? A really great PaperMate flair pen

  • What do you do when you’re not staff developing? Sing or sleep

  • What’s your favorite pen? See above :)

  • How do you stay organized? It's weird, there are some things I'm "old school" about like taking notes in PD and planning my days, but then there are times that I'm hyper organized on my digital devices. My brain tends to work as a file cabinet, and I keep my systems of thought pretty consistent. When I need something, I typically think, "Where would I have put this? Under what heading?" and then I'm pretty consistent in finding what I need.

  • What’s the state of your desk? (organized, messy, etc.) I don't have a desk. My "desk" is wherever I can find space. So, you'll find some bins of unit of study books in baskets in my living room where I typically tend to work, but you'll also find book shelves filled with professional texts in my basement or an ottoman filled with my toolkits.

  • If you were to decorate a classroom, what would it look like? I actually miss my third grade classroom. I had a race car theme in my room. There was black fabric on all of the bulletin boards, with a consistent race card border around it all. I had small tables set out in various nooks in my classroom for students to work collaboratively and pillows for them to work around the room where they were comfortable. I had a huge classroom library filled with bins of books and had materials neatly labeled all around the room.

  • What are you learning right now? Recently, I've fallen down a bit of a rabbit hole around AI in literacy. I just got a new professional The Artificial Intelligence Playbook by Hargrave, Fisher, and Frey and I've been engaging in conversations around how they are using AI and playing with other options.

  • What does professional development mean to you? Coming together in a shared community to think, share, and grow together. I believe that it's important to always be learning and out growing myself as an educator.

  • If you could go back in time and join a varsity team in high school, which would it be and why? My softball team. I have so many fond memories of my time on the field (and even followed up my playing with 14 years of coaching).

  • What is your favorite thing about Lucy Calkins? Her eternal stance of being a learner. I love that Lucy can say, 'I'm not sure about that." and then talk with experts to learn and grow.

  • What is your dream summer break vacation? I love traveling to places I've never been and exploring, especially places with strong historical significance.

  • What makes a “good day” at a school? Anytime where students and teachers feel like they've been lifted up and empowered to try something new. When people feel inspired, I feel inspired.

  • If you could pass on any wisdom to students, what would you share? Life isn't about being perfect, life is about giving it all a try and seeing what happens. Don't ever worry about taking a risk and trying something new. You never know where it will lead you! Just show up everyday and try your best.

Published on June 5, 2024