Hi, I'm April Smith
Curriculum Writer and Online Professional Development Coach
If I had to sum up my mission in one word, it would be “engagement.”
When students are authentically engaged in learning, the entire classroom comes alive. Everyone is excited, interested, and happily immersed in what they’re doing, so much so that they forget they’re learning. Engagement on this level gives rise to a boundless, vibrant energy — you can almost hear it crackle and pop — that should be at the heart of every classroom.
The problem is, engagement isn’t built into many curricula. I first became aware of this problem when I was a new teacher.
What my years taught me in the classroom
I began my teaching career in 2008, working primarily in Title I schools. Poor attendance was a frequent issue for my students, so I poured my energy into creating learning activities that were relevant, rooted in real life, and made them want to come to school.
In 2015, I was thrilled when I was awarded county Intermediate Teacher of the Year. I also realized that I was onto something with my engagement-focused approach, and I began forming even more ideas about how I could help fellow teachers engage their students.
The inspiration behind Performing in Education
The idea was very simple. I wanted to help teachers engage their students when their curriculum just wasn’t providing the authentic, relevant, real-life activities that would have the classroom abuzz, with excitement and energy.
So, I launched Performing in Education and began offering teaching resources based on 21st-century learning concepts. These have included project-based learning, such as interactive notebooks, escape games, and other content-focused activities that have students lighting-up and learning joyfully.
Along with being engaging, it was crucial that these resources were age-appropriate, targeted specific standards and skills, and fostered communication and teamwork. I also created these tools to be easy for teachers to implement, because teachers have enough on their plates without trying to reinvent the wheel for every lesson!
In 2017, I channeled these concepts into a book, Project Based Learning Made Simple, which I’m honored and proud to say has been used in over 10,000 classrooms around the world. I also launched the Simplify Writing® program, to provide educators with a ready-made method for teaching writing that works.
Performing in Education started out as a one-woman labor of love and today has evolved into a team of dedicated teachers who work together to develop top-notch educational resources for teachers who are just as passionate about engaging their students.
I invite you to join us and explore our range of resources that make learning simple, accessible, and fun. Or reach out to us to find out more about how we can help you engage your students and get your classroom buzzing with excitement.
Yours in learning,