I have been working in education for over 18 years. For 10 of those years, I was an elementary teacher, where, as all teachers do, I taught, learned, stressed, cared, celebrated, cried, got excited, got frustrated, and hopefully, made a difference in the lives of my students.
The one most influential period in my career was when I was lucky enough to work with an instructional coach. My coach supported me, validated me, pushed me to reflect and learn, and cheered me on!
Now, as I have been fortunate enough to turn my passion for literacy, strong instruction and caring for others into a new career, I hope to be that same influence for fellow educators.
I believe the students in our classrooms are the best and most important resource for writing instruction. When teachers know their students as writers they will know how to meet their needs. When teachers honor the stage of writing development in which each student resides and allow them to write with authenticity, they will instill a sense of confidence in and motivation for writing that is vital for student success.
With students as their guide, teachers' knowledge of writing development as well as best practices in writing instruction will allow them to provide students with the support they need to grow as writers.
HIghly Qualified K-5
New Jersey Standard Certificate 2003
Coaching of Reading, Coaching of Writing Institute
Teacher's College, Colombia University 2020
Simply Instructional Coaching Training
Simply Coaching Academy 2019, 2020, 2021
The Breakthrough Circle
Coaching Training and Collaboration 2021-present
“Melissa is an outstanding literacy coach who has a strong command of content, but more importantly a passion for teaching and learning. Our district has been fortunate enough to work with Melissa as we transition to Lucy Calkins' Units of Study. She has a warm disposition and welcoming demeanor that makes working with her a joy. She encourages teachers to think and offers them the opportunity to consider new methods in ways that will work for them. Her approach is always learner-centered. She provides the framework for the learner to discover, explore and reflect on their needs. I appreciate her dedication to be available for all of my questions, thoughts, and concerns not only during our scheduled meetings, but any time in between. She is a true partner in our efforts to improve instructional practice and has gone above and beyond to understand our school district's needs and context.” Amber Fair, 7th and 8th ELA
"I am in DiRaddo's 1st grade classroom observing her writing lesson and it is phenomenal!!! I am over the moon excited to see what is happening in this classroom!! The students are so engaged!
Thank you for helping our teachers and students! "
~Jamie D. Director of Curriculum and Instruction
"Melissa has helped me grow as a writing teacher. Before her coaching, I had never been taught explicitly in writing instruction. Melissa showed me how to help improve instruction through mini-lessons and conferencing. She provided strategies for conferencing that were targeted and focused on specific writing skills. With Melissa's help, I am confident that my writing instruction will achieve the desired results I am looking for. She has provided a toolbox I can review throughout the year."
~Sean M. 3rd and 4th ELA
“Once I saw the excitement of my students, I decided to get to know Writer’s workshop on a higher level and really dive into how I could teach it and assess it better. Our school literacy consultant, Melissa, helped me navigate the process and was really great in dealing with me and my frustrations. She coached me in areas I didn’t feel confident in, through planning, modeling of lessons and conferences and developing assessments of my students.”
~Joyce P., 1st grade teacher