Hi, I'm Lizzy May. I'm an expert in trauma-responsive classrooms & schools. Let's collaborate on student-centered learning.
Lizzy has worked with schools, arts organizations, hospitals and camps to implement trauma-informed pedagogy and curriculum. In this landscape, students need reliably trauma-informed practices to guide them into deep learning, starting with acknowledgment and respect of where they are and a chance to process their real emotions. Lizzy uses evidence-based practices to increase presence and engagement through innovative curricula, assessments and coaching.
Lizzy created the curricula for Chicago based city-wide arts project, Once Upon Our Time Capsule, which guided 8,000 students through their journey in the pandemic and towards imagining a more beautiful and radical future. Lizzy has twice been an invited presenter at Ingenuity's annual arts education conference and spoke at the Trauma-Informed Arts Education for a Trauma Informed Illinois conference in 2021. She has partnered with the Lurie Center for Childhood Resilience to learn about the neurological effects of trauma on the childhood brain and pedagogical techniques to mitigate its impact and increase resilience. She has authored curricula for Chicago Children's Theatre, Chicago Public Schools and Intrinsic Schools and has coached teachers grades preK-8 on anti-racism in the classroom, trauma-responsive pedagogy, accessibility for all learners, culturally relevant instruction and project-based learning. Let's make your school a holistic place for learning.
With asset-based thinking, radical presence and creativity, trauma-informed education is a pathway towards greater democracy in learning.
I will work with individual teachers or teams to engage trauma-responsive practices in the classroom and increase pedagogical potency. I use the Danielson framework and original tools to increase teacher effectiveness and engagement.
Engaging, project-based pedagogy
Informal and formal assessments
I will review your model and materials and work with teachers or teams to align your lessons/units and assessments with student need, making them trauma-responsive and culturally relevant. I can work with staff on implementation for maximum engagement and learning internalization.
Review of your planning & assessment tools
Survey teachers for unique needs & concerns
Plan for maximum learning and teacher-capacity in your school
I offer supplementary arts education for students. I teach literary-based theater classes that are rooted in trauma mitigation and original storytelling. I can work with teachers or teams to integrate the arts in existing curricula.
Trained in trauma-responsive instruction
Eight years of experience as an arts educator
Consultant for arts integration in academic content areas
I offer professional development on pedagogy, technological tools, relational trust, and innovative lesson planning and assessment.
Trauma-Responsive Instruction PD
Walk-through of intuitive planning materials
Anti-racist, arts inclusive development to increase student participation and voice
Director of Education and Community Programs, Chicago Children's Theatre
When we pivoted to online formatting, Lizzy was at the forefront, problem solving how we do this efficiently and effectively. She ensured kids received dynamic and interesting instruction while tackling larger thematic issues. She made it her mission to make sure everybody was actively engaged. She also consults with our young teachers, creating rubrics to help guide our training. I could not recommend Lizzy more.
If you are looking for an energetic, student-centered focus for your school through online learning, this is the team to help you get there. Lizzy May’s attention to the unique needs of scholars and the school community is an asset to the work all school leaders are seeking to do in these peculiar times.
Kimberly Ragsdell, Parent
Ms. May has taught my children in theater and in Diverse Learning programs. She got all five of my children into a comfort zone where they were comfortable speaking in front of crowds, reading, writing, acting, and putting on their own plays. With other children as well, they looked up to her. They were empowered, they knew what they were doing, and they knew they had an amazing teacher by their side. As a Diverse Learning teacher, the confidence she built in them with academic skills was amazing.
Backyard Chicago Ensemble
Being a mentee with Lizzy was an exceptional experience. She is an amazing mentor and teacher. She taught me pedagogy rooted in inclusivity, creativity, and love.
Educator & Activist,
Lizzy's energy radiates from within her and into the lives of every student and adult she encounters. Every time I shared a space with Lizzy, I immediately felt an ease that allowed me to learn more about myself. I attribute a portion of my growth and success to the relationship I built with Lizzy. I thank Lizzy for seeing me for who I am and in turn helping me realize my own potential.
Dean of Students,
Al Raby High School
Ms. May taught even the most difficult kids through intense academic gains. She made her classroom highly interactive and student-centered. Kids would learn grade-level content without realizing it because they were having fun. In this pivot to online instruction, I have full confidence in her ability to work with all types of learners in exciting ways.