April 1, 2024 | Harold Hare

Voices of Future Ready Educators: Expanded Learning in Rio School District, California

Through immersive training sessions and forward-thinking initiatives, the Future Ready Educator professional development program equips educators with the tools and insights necessary to foster a dynamic learning environment that empowers students to explore their passions and chart their paths. Explore the most recent program implementation with firsthand testimonials from our community of educators like yourself, committed to student empowerment. Enhance your understanding of Find Your Grind methodologies and the impact of our Future Ready Curriculum on student outcomes.

Fostering Student Success

Stemming from a pandemic-era partnership forged with the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE), Director of Expanded Learning, Sonia Lopez Mercado, embraced Find Your Grind as a solution to enhance engagement and social-emotional learning (SEL) for middle school students in Rio School District’s after-school programs. Under Sonia’s visionary leadership, Rio School District students have been preparing for both life and career, honing essential power skills through SEL and restorative justice practices. Moreover, Rio School District has diligently curated diverse opportunities for students to explore various career paths and artistic endeavors, ranging from agriculture to hip-hop dance.

Empowering Educators

Recognizing the significance of professional development, particularly for many of Rio School District’s younger after-school coordinators embarking on their inaugural teaching experiences, Sonia spearheaded a comprehensive Future Ready Educator training day. Through this immersive session, coordinators embraced pivotal Future Ready concepts such as lifestyle clarity, supplemented by the Lifestyle Assessment, and a strengths-based approach to career planning, equipped to guide student exploration on the Find Your Grind platform confidently.

I think it’s a very appropriate program for kids of this generation. I think we don’t know exactly what jobs are going to be available, but the kids will always have their values. They’ll always have their skills.

-Sonia Lopez Mercado, Director of Extended Learning, Ventura County Office of Education

Sonia Lopez Mercado, Director of Extended Learning
Sonia emphasizes the importance of starting with identifying students’ strengths, interests, and desired lifestyle, rather than solely focusing on careers. This novel approach broadens perspectives and ensures a more holistic preparation for the future. Sonia expresses her appreciation for this unconventional model, highlighting how it opens up new avenues for approaching future readiness.

Briana Pena, Site Coordinator
Briana emphasizes the importance of keeping students actively involved in their learning journey. She applauds Find Your Grind for its ability to break away from monotony and challenge students to explore new possibilities. By incorporating this innovative approach into the classroom, Brianna aims to encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and embrace diverse opportunities.

Harold Vazquez, Teacher
Harold provides insights drawn from his experience guiding eighth-grade students through after-school activities. Central to his message is the imperative of empowering students to explore their passions and take ownership of their future trajectories. Harold illuminates the profound impact of nurturing student agency, emphasizing its transformative potential.

Through this collaborative partnership, Rio School District is paving the way for student success and holistic development. With a commitment to preparing students for the future, the Future Ready Educator professional development program by Find Your Grind offers educators the tools and resources needed to create dynamic learning environments. Our program provides in-person and on-demand training sessions designed to equip educators with engaging pathways and personalized curricula, ensuring students are future-ready. Become a Certified Future Ready Educator today and level up your expertise with educator badges, insights, and bite-sized learning modules tailored to enhance instructional strategies.

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