Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2015 Washington Fellow
Bio/Overview: Aman Dhanda served as a 2015 Teaching Ambassador Fellow in the Office of the Secretary. Her work focused around Teach to Lead, an initiative to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership, particularly those that allow teachers to stay in the classroom. Along with teacher leadership, Aman contributed to the Department’s efforts to engage educators and address the needs of all students, particularly English Learners and students from diverse backgrounds. Prior to her year as a TAF, Aman was an elementary school teacher for ten years in the Woodland Joint Unified School District. She served as a member of school site and district leadership committees, mentor teacher, math coach, Accelerated Reader administrator, technology coordinator, and teacher-in-charge. Teaching in Woodland's Title I schools has allowed her to work with diverse student populations with large percentages of English Learners. In 2008, she participated in the National Writing Project's Summer Invitational Institute at her local site, the Area 3 Writing Project (A3WP). She became a Teacher Consultant with A3WP, successfully incorporating inquiry-based learning into her teaching.
Values/Philosophy: Dhanda believes that the goal of education is to build lifelong learners with critical thinking, interpersonal, and problem solving skills. She strongly believes that all children can learn and succeed when provided with a rigorous, safe, and positive school environment. Incorporating writing, technology, English Language Development and Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) within the content areas, Dhanda aims to motivate students through project-based learning methods. She sets clear expectations, builds relationships with students, and encourages personal and academic goal setting to make students accountable for, and take ownership of, their educational success.
Achievements: Dhanda was selected as the Whitehead Elementary School Teacher of the Year in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, she traveled with the United States-China Education Council (USCEC) to Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Suzhou, and Nanjing to build meaningful connections between the two countries. She was a UC Davis School of Education 2011 Rising Star Alumni Award finalist.
Leadership Experience: Dhanda is an Area 3 Writing Project Teacher Consultant through the University of California at Davis, where she works collaboratively with other teacher leaders to provide trainings in technology-based and content area writing instruction for teachers. Dhanda has also worked as a facilitator for the A3WP Teacher Consultant Connections Inquiry Group, focusing on teacher research related to reading and writing instruction. She worked in partnership with the California Writing Project and Common Sense Media on the Graphite Accelerated Program, which provides a rigorous review of apps, games, websites, and digital curricula rated for learning potential. She was selected to score student writing from across the nation for the National Writing Project. Dhanda has served on her district's Action Team, representing her grade level at district meetings to develop district assessments, report cards, and make decisions about curriculum and supplemental teaching material. Dhanda also serves as a Resident Teacher for student teachers from UC Davis and William Jessup University.
Affiliations: National Writing Project, California Writing Project, Area 3 Writing Project, National Education Association, California Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators
Education: Dhanda received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Education, Teaching Credential, and Masters of Arts in Education from the University of California, Davis.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Professional Development
- Educational Technology
- English Learner Strategies
- Curriculum Writing
- Instructional Leadership
- Mentoring and Coaching Programs