Building Blocks: Community, Coaching, & Strategies for Classroom Educators

Oct 09, 2024 3:30PM—Apr 17, 2025 5:30PM



Cost Early Bird Pricing for Members (Available until Sept 19) $1,675 members; $1,415 group-rate 3+; $2,625 non-members

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Building Blocks: Community, Coaching, & Strategies for Classroom Educators

SESSION 1: October 9, 2024 | 3:30pm - 5:30pm

SESSION 2: October 22, 2024 | 3:30pm - 5:30pm

SESSION 3: November 7, 2024 | 3:30pm - 5:30pm

SESSION 4: January 9, 2025 | 3:30pm - 5:30pm

SESSION 5: February 13, 2025 | 3:30pm - 5:30pm

SESSION 6: April 17, 2025 | 3:30pm - 5:30pm


Building Blocks strengthens participants' fundamental teaching skills and emphasizes inclusive practices for unit design, equitable classroom management, navigating school culture, deepening cultural competencies, and engaging confidently as a teacher leader. Participants will build community with each other, work with diverse educational leaders from the CATDC community, and have the opportunity to engage in two individual, 30-minute coaching sessions over the course of the program.

The program will focus on the following areas:

  • Opening Session: Classroom Foundations & Building Community with all Facilitators
  • Cultivating Classroom Culture: Supporting Students to Thrive Throughout the Year
  • Fostering Equitable Classroom Management
  • Lesson and Unit Planning: Reflective Pedagogy
  • Identity Conscious Education: Teacher and Student-Centered
  • Closing Session: Riding the Waves and Making Teaching Sustainable and Q&A with all Facilitators 

The opening and closing sessions are dedicated to centering participants’ unique needs and areas of interest. The needs and interests highlighted at the program’s launch will inform how facilitators supplement their sessions with tools and resources. In addition, participants will engage in goal-setting and receive support to realize their goals through one-on-one coaching time with facilitators and collaboration with fellow participants built into the program sessions.

Participants will:

  • Engage with diverse classroom strategies, tools, and practices that can be implemented immediately
  • Reflect on successes, challenges, and a path forward that will support the needs of diverse learners and their ongoing professional growth
  • Build community with fellow educators


This program is relevant to educators, with a focus on classroom teachers new to teaching and/or independent schools at all levels and experiences.

Do you work at an independent school outside of California? Click here for a discount on our non-member registration!


Natalie Babcock, CATDC Facilitator

Natalie Babcock is an elementary school educator at The Center for Early Education (CEE) in West Hollywood, California. After cutting her teeth in the Early Childhood sector, Natalie earned her Masters Degree and Teaching Credential from Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI), in Oakland, California. In 2018, Natalie moved back home to her native Los Angeles and worked in LAUSD as a fifth grade teacher. Today, Natalie calls CEE home and is proud to be in her fourth year at The Center, currently working in the Upper Elementary Division. She has contributed essays to the Los Angeles Times and hosts a Children’s storytelling podcast called Small Tales.

Sarah Eleid, CATDC Facilitator

Sarah Eleid is an upper school science teacher and DEI coordinator at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. She has a background in Neuroscience and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Emancipatory Educational Leadership at San Jose State.

Michelle Holmes, CATDC Facilitator

Michelle Holmes is the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Crane Country Day School. She has been teaching in public and private institutions for 22 years. Prior to teaching, she was a teaching artist and museum educator in New York City. Michelle obtained her bachelor’s degree in International Political Science from Queens College and her Masters of Science in Museum and Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education. Additionally, she has completed studies in Language-Based Learning Disorders at Windward’s Teacher Institute. She has completed facilitation training with Lion's Story and National SEED Project.


For the past 16 years Damaris Saenz has served as an educator in middle and upper school English programs. Apart from her role as a classroom teacher she has served in various leadership capacities such as middle school DEI coordinator, and international  educational consultant where she leveraged a passion for curriculum to create professional development seminars on collaborative learning, ESL best practices, strategies for new teachers, new approaches to assessment, and positive behavioral intervention strategies. Damaris has also served as an adjunct faculty at La Sierra University where she has taught courses in both the  Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and Masters in Teaching program. She currently serves as the chair of the Middle School English department at Harvard-Westlake.

Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.