297: Empowering Students with Laura Williams

Gretchen interviews Laura Williams in this special Summer Series episode. Laura shares about her journey into the field of education. Laura has a passion for creativity in the classroom and a desire to help teachers empower students to think more deeply.


*All quotables are from the interviewee 

  • When you’re a yes person and you’re a go getter and you do things, opportunities just come your way.

  • Be a motivator. 

  • We’re trying to move the bar and we are going to move it a lot further if we move it together. 

About Laura:

Laura Williams (MAT, M.ED ELPS) is your resident authentic learning expert, co-facilitates the Iowa Authentic Learning Network for the Iowa AEAs, and is the founder of the Authentic Learning Alliance. She also is a Project Manager on a statewide project board for PK-12 Students across Iowa as part of her AEA role. Her educational background includes: B.A. in Interdepartmental Health Studies: Emphasis on Multidisciplinary Sciences, M.A.T. in Secondary Science Education, and Principal Licensure and M.A. in Ed. Leadership and Policy Studies and is currently a doctoral student. Laura is a certified Scrum Master, Product Owner and Agile Classrooms Trainer. Over the past 10 years, she’s dedicated herself to transforming education through incorporating authentic learning experiences with area partnerships into PK-12 classrooms as an educator, consultant, and 21st Century Learning Specialist. She believes that education can be “the great equalizer” if we can leverage our student’s interests and passions. “We have ~6.5 instructional hours a day and I believe we can be the difference. We just have to dedicate the time, space, and connections to “up the ante” for students. I believe we can help each learner find their superpowers and help them develop 21st Century skills to be successful in living, learning, and working. We can help students develop a mindset that they can be and do whatever they want in order to find their greatest human potential and live in their element.”

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About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.