Wendy Zacuto M.Ed, is a retired preschool director, school principal K-8, and teacher of grades preschool through 7th grade. She specialized in creating systems for schools and teachers to increase their skills in meeting the needs of all students, including: Schools’ Attuned, mindfulness, Response to Intervention, Cool Tools, Ross Greene’s Collaborative Problem Solving, Pacific Oaks’ Anti-Bias curriculum for young children, Social Thinking, Collaborative Problem Solving, and Kids’ Own Wisdom.
“I plunged into the world of children as a creative dance teacher for hundreds of children in LAUSD one summer in 1969. As I pursued my dance degree at UCLA, I learned of Orff-Schulwerk music and experienced the magic of childhood through movement and music. As a Bradley childbirth teacher and birth guide, my eyes were opened to the practice of mindfulness as a tool in birthing and parenting. I began to see the body/mind connection that would underlie my understanding of child development and learning.
As a teacher/director, I saw applications of the research of David Elkind, Constance Kamii, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Eleanor Duckworth, NAEYC, each contributing lenses to my view of childhood as a time to be viewed with reverence.
I later became an elementary teacher and school administrator in a range of schools: public, independent, religious, magnet, charter, and dual language immersion, creating a varied approach that combined traditional approaches with 21st century research. As I completed a Master’s Degree in Education and completed my coursework for a Doctorate in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, I began to see how my early instincts and experiences served me well, aligning new research about the brain and learning.
I believe that children will teach us what we need to know to help them learn–if we listen to them. At this time in my life, I seek to be of benefit to children and adults as they create learning environments that best serve student achievement and self-discovery.”