Join ONlit team members Melissa Monette-Smith and Ayesatta Conteh as they uncover ways educators can be changemakers in their buildings. During this practical and relevant session, they will share their experiences and insights as they unpack a literacy toolkit designed to help educators in all roles lead the change.

Session: Fueling the Flame: Leading Within Your Sphere of Influence

Join ONlit team members Melissa Monette-Smith and Ayesatta Conteh as they uncover ways educators can be changemakers in their buildings. During this practical and relevant session, they will share their experiences and insights as they unpack a literacy toolkit designed to help educators in all roles lead the change.

Ayesatta Conteh has been teaching with the Toronto District School Board since 2000 and has taught primary, junior, and intermediate grades throughout my career. She is currently the Primary/Junior SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher/Reading Intervention using EMPOWER (Tier 3 reading program) and also teaches Integrated Arts (Dance, Drama, Music) at a K-8 Dual Track school. From a very young age, her late father, a U of T linguistics professor, instilled in her a love for reading and a curiosity for learning and she keeps that flame burning bright in the spaces she occupies. She has completed her Reading Specialist, Reading Teachers Top 10 Tools, Principal’s Qualifications Part 1 and is completing her Acadience K-6 Training. As an ETFO AQ Lead Instructor, she enjoys building community and supporting the learning of other educators across Ontario. As a ETFO Professional Learning Standing Committee member, she continues to advocate for changes that re-ignite the joy in teaching and ensure consistent teacher support and success. Recently, she completed an ETFO video project to create a webcast series about the Language curriculum. Ayesatta is particularly interested in learning how to effectively implement multi-tiered support systems in the school setting to decrease the number of students requiring Tier 3 interventions. She advocates for equity, student achievement and success and strongly believes in the power of collaboration.

Melissa-Monette Smith has been a teacher for 17 years with the York Region District School Board, teaching everything from Core French, Junior Homeroom, Special Education, Regional Literacy and currently, Full-Day Kindergarten. My Structured Literacy journey began when I started teaching in the Student Support Centre. I realized that my pre-service training, the curriculum, and the resources available did not meet my students’ needs. I began consuming information as if my students’ lives depended on it, ultimately leading me to take my Orton-Gillingham Comprehensive and Morphology Plus with the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education. I have since completed other Structured Literacy courses, including Acadience Reading K-6, Acadience Reading Survey and Acadience Data Interpretation, Framing Your Thoughts: Sentence Structure and Paragraph Writing, Morpheme for Littles, and the Reading Teacher’s Top Ten Tools. I currently share my passion for Structured Literacy as a Coach for IDA Ontario’s Introduction to Structured Literacy Course: The Basics of Decoding and Spelling Instruction and as a proud member of the Curriculum Assistance Team for ONlit.org.