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Chris Taibbi MATchris taibbi

Roanoke, Virginia USA

I fell into teaching. Take a look at my resume and you’ll note that I started out as a performing juggler and circus arts clown before I discovered teaching… or, rather, it discovered me. That transition might seem odd at first glance but, in fact, the two are incredibly similar in some fundamental ways. Both require quick thinking; both require critical awareness of the audience so you know when you need to switch gears and “mix it up”; both require creativity so you can adjust your material to the audience at hand; both require work up front to prepare and careful analysis once complete. It is for all of these reasons that I found—and still do—find teaching to be a great match for me.

In college I double majored in English and Anthropology with a focus on linguistics at the College of William and Mary. I have a Masters of Arts in Teaching with an emphasis on gifted education from Hollins University. I started my teaching career with Roanoke City Schools as a classroom teacher in a center for gifted education. Then I formed a consulting company and trained teachers up and down the East Coast. I have kept myself current and relevant in this field, co-authoring four books on differentiated instruction. I am currently the Gifted Education Coordinator for Salem Schools. And now I am embarking on a new adventure by joining the Dreyer Coaching team, which I am very excited about! 

Feel free to look around this page a little more and learn about me, my background, and experiences. I hope to meet and work with you soon!

Resume

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR and DEVELOPMENT TRAINER since 1998, with experience delivering high-quality, interactive, practical education presentations to a variety of clientele including teachers, administrators, parents, and students. 

Topics of expertise include:

Models of Gifted Educationchris taibbi juggling

Brain-based Learning

Collaboration - Consultation

Differentiating the Learning Environment

Instructional Coaching

Fostering Emergent Literacy

EDUCATION

Masters of Arts in Teaching, Hollins University, emphasis in Gifted Education

B.A. in English and Anthropology, The College of William and Mary

B.F.A. [Bachelor of Fun Arts], Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Clown College

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

 Currently: Gifted Education Programming Coordinator with SALEM CITY SCHOOLS, Salem, Virginia

  • Responsible for all aspects of Salem City Schools programs and offerings for its identified gifted population including budgeting
  • Lead the identification and selection process for Salem students who seek to apply and gain 
  • Co-teach model lessons to illustrate lesson differentiation within mixed-ability classrooms (i.e. classroom coaching) 
  • Advise and model for teachers and administrative staff any materials and/or teaching strategies that best suit gifted learners
  • Have taken middle school students abroad to Europe for two summers

Currently: Consultant, Co-owner and Founder of CREATIVE CURRICULUM CATALYSTS, Roanoke, Virginia

Privately-owned consulting business whose goal is to make research-based understandings of current education theory practical for application in real-life classroom settings.  Company motto: Bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Previously: Gifted Education Specialist with ROANOKE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Roanoke, Virginia

  • Full-time teacher for grades K-8 delivering gifted pull-out instruction
  • Coordinate program specifics (scheduling, resources, etc.) with principals, staff, and parents
  • Responsible for division-wide inservice training, grades K-12, on classroom differentiation and many other topics within the scope of gifted education
  • Maintain all appropriate records, files, etc. as part of the screening process and current enrollment of gifted students at 3 elementary schools, one middle, and one high school 
  • Participate in review and editing of County’s biennial plan to make recommendations regarding ways to change/innovate the existing program
  • Advise and model for teachers and administrative staff any materials and/or teaching strategies that best suit gifted learners
  • Serve as a gateway of information for parents, staff, and administrative staff regarding any information about the gifted program or opportunities, scholarships, etc. that are available for gifted students outside the County

 Previously: High School English Teacher ROANOKE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Roanoke, Virginia

  • Full-time teacher with experience in grades 9-11.
  • Twice selected by the student body as “Teacher of the Year”

 Previously, Manager of Family Literacy Program with BLUE RIDGE PUBLIC TELEVISION, Roanoke, Virginia

 ADDITIONAL WORK EXPERIENCE

Artist-in-Residence with THE ARTS COUNCIL OF THE BLUE RIDGE, Roanoke, Virginia

Entertainer with UP AND UP PRODUCTIONS, Roanoke, Virginia -- a successful 

juggling/dramatic arts entertainment business, performing for hundreds of public corporations, 

businesses, and private events.

Performance Artist with CLYDE BEATTY-COLE BROS. CIRCUS, DeLand, Florida -- Full-time performing clown in the largest three-ring circus under a traveling big top.

PUBLICATIONS/OTHER MEDIA

Professional Blogger for Psychology Today, “Gifted Guru” column             

Cultivating Classroom Conversation, co-author, Pieces of Learning     

“Why Boredom Isn’t Necessarily Bad” National Geographic Asia (international press)     

Choice and Challenge, co-author, Pieces of Learning     

Demystifying Elementary School Education, co-author, Pieces of Learning

Demystifying Middle School Differentiation, co-author, Pieces of Learning Press         

PBS TeacherSource website, “Ask the Expert” featured column article