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Amy Heavin @AmyHeavin

Amy Heavin @AmyHeavin

Amy Heavin is the principal at Ryan Park Elementary School, MSD of Steuben County in Angola, IN. She has been a school administrator since 2010, and taught middle school English for 8 years prior. Passionate about curriculum and instruction, she pursues learning opportunities to blend 21st century essential skills instruction with best practices. As a moderator for the #INeLearn Twitter chat and contributor for EDWords and Fractus Learning, she promotes integration of strong pedagogy with technology in the classroom. Follow Amy on Twitter @AmyHeavin

Posted by on in Student Engagement

Experience 1

It arrived in the mail, a flat, folded piece of cardboard. Nothing spectacular to look at. Just cardboard.


“What’s that Mom?”

“It is something very cool. Let’s find out!”

Last modified on

Posted by on in ShiftParadigm


I remember the day very well. It was 2002, and my husband and I lived and worked in a small community in southern Indiana. I had just finished my English teaching licensure after I had received my Bachelor’s degree two years prior, substitute teaching as much as I could, and I was looking for a permanent teaching position. There were no open positions in the area, and since we were young, without children at that time, we decided to go to a job fair to see what was out there in the state of Indiana. While at that job fair, we met Ben.

Ben was a former Hoosier, now living and working in Pasadena, California, as the human resources director for Pasadena Unified School District, and he told us that he always made a trip to Indiana to recruit teachers, as there was a shortage of teachers where he was and he loved Indiana teachers. He was a former teacher and building administrator himself.

At the job fair, we stopped by his booth, just curious. What we didn’t realize was that Ben was about to change our lives.

He wanted to interview both of us that same afternoon. What?!?! I had my resume and a short version of my portfolio with me. My husband had the same. I did not feel prepared for this at all! We interviewed with him together - not separate interviews - and he drilled us. We answered question after question, truly walking away feeling like we were not ready for this job hunting process to begin! We started the drive home, both concluding that that was good practice, and we would continue to see what opportunities may arise.

Last modified on

Posted by on in School Culture


Growing up, I remember some key phrases my mom and dad would tell my brother and me, the most common being, "Amy! Share with your brother!"

Today, as a parent, I find myself using that same phrase daily. Whether it be telling my boys to share their toys, share the game, or share a crayon, I am always teaching them the concept of sharing.  During this past holiday break, I felt as though I had been teaching this element of sharing every waking hour of the day!

In theory, the concept of sharing is not difficult. By definition, the Merriam-Webster dictionary simply defines sharing as, "to have or use something with others; to divide something into parts and each take or use a part; to let someone else have or use a part of something that belongs to you”.

In our own terms, sharing is the giving of one's item to another to use themselves. We share in order for others to borrow an item or even an idea. From an early age, we teach our children to share. Share toys. Share books. Share pencils. Share games. We even teach our children to share their learning. Turn and talk to a partner to share your thinking. Share your thoughts in your reading journal on this chapter we just read. Show your math work to share your thought process while working through the problem.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Blended Learning

School is an adventure. We never know what we may encounter on any given day. Our adventure is filled with twists and turns, open roads and newly created paths. With any journey, we must plan what we want to see, always knowing that we may need to venture down a new path.


At the beginning of this school year, I told my staff that we were on an adventure. Our adventure would have a plan, a destination of learning, but how we got there would depend on the many twists and turns we came across. We might need to forge a new road, or continue down one we have been before. At our district professional development day, a new path was built by all.


The plan of learning is always to grow, create, and inquire. On this day, our path would be digital, where creation and growth were the main focus. Our district was on a blended learning journey, taking our teachers and news to new heights, propelling us forward in order to learn more about blended learning, the power it can hold within our classrooms, and how we get there together.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Education Leadership

The Lesson

It was 10:30, and way past bedtime. But, it was Friday evening, and they just finished watching one of their favorite Pixar movies, Brave. I told them that it was time to go to bed, but their dad had a different idea. “Boys, come here. I have something to show you first.” Intrigued, we all gathered around him at the bottom of the stairs.

“All of you need your iPads.” What was this all about? The boys rushed to the charging station, grabbed their iPads, and ran back to their dad, eager to see what was in store. He proceeded to show them a new app, Skyview, that he put on all of their iPads without them knowing it. “A long time ago, people used the stars to find their way to get places. Through this app, we can learn about the constellations they used. Let’s go outside to see them!”

Out they went, iPads in hand, dark night sky, the stars above. Each little guy pointed their iPad to the sky, and the constellations illuminated on their iPads. The next 30 minutes were filled with awe and excitement, the faces of discovery lighting the night. There are no words to describe the faces of wonder as they discovered planets, the patterns of the stars, and how space was all around us. Countless moments of “Look at this!” and “What is this thing?” were shared. Mom and Dad moved among the boys, answering questions, pointing to objects, describing what they were seeing on their screens.

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