Category: Course 3

Course 3 Final Project: Becoming a Designer PD Plan

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Because I had created a unit plan for Course 2’s final project, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to branch out and try something new. While I have presented at a few conferences, I have never developed any session that was longer than an hour. This was a new challenge for me. I was so grateful to have worked in the team that I did as they had so much valuable experience to draw on and learn from. (Thanks Reyna, David, and Liliana!)


Be the change you want to see in the world.

Image result for flipgrid png

Prior to this completing this week’s assignment, I had never used Flipgrid. And…to be completely honest, it took me waaayyy out of my comfort zone.

For whatever reason, I really dislike filming myself. I find I get really nervous and lose my ability to speak when on camera. Irrational, I know, but the thought of completing this week’s tasks almost brought me to tears as I had worked myself up in my head. For me personally, I would have really valued having had the option to express my thoughts in another way – writing, creating visuals, etc. 


Resume Revamp

It’s been a loooooonnnnggg time since I’ve taken a look at my resume. I made the move to Düsseldorf in 2015 and every year since, I’ve been telling myself to update my resume to include the great opportunities I’ve had at ISD. It is now the fall of 2019 and up until this week, my resume had remained untouched. 

A resume is a visual aid, right? We use these tools to convey information about ourselves. So, I decided for this week’s task to focus on this. Five years later, and I would finally give my resume the makeover it so desperately needs!

Collecting Feedback


“Your message is only as good as your ability to share it.”

When watching this video, titled The Value of Data Visualization, it was this final statement that stood out to me: “Your message is only as good as your ability to share it.”

Throughout all aspects of my life, it has always been important for me that things look nice. From graphic organizers for students to my own wedding invitations, I am a very meticulous creator. 

For the past four years, I have been teaching in a way that is unique to most. I have often struggled to succinctly explain what it is I do exactly. I have found this especially difficult in conversations with friends and family back home who lack context around how education is evolving.

“You work with 88 students in one room? Sounds like a free for all…” 

“You work with 4 other teachers all the time? How does that even work?”

So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to create an infographic to help me with those conversations in the future. I believe this tool could be beneficial not only for myself, but for others as well. My colleagues, the school’s leadership team, admissions team, and marketing team could all use this tool when sharing our collaborative model with others. 

Grade 5 at ISD – Collaborative Teaching Model, by Caitlin Howald

65 students. 4 teachers. 1 flexible learning environment.

Collaboration is my reality. Day in and day out. We plan collaboratively. We teach collaboratively. So developing these skills in our students has become a huge focus of ours over the years.

Going into this year, as a team of 4 teachers, we were feeling a little underwhelmed. For three of us, this was our fourth year working together in a collaborative teaching model, and our third year in the space. We knew we wanted to change things up a bit. 

We are lucky to have a beautifully designed learning environment – designed by FNI and completed in August 2017. When finished, the designers put everything where they felt it was supposed to be, and it has just sort of stayed “in its spot” since then. 

So, to start this year…we did this…