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learn About lauren

I grew up in Ann Arbor Michigan.  I have dealt with challenges all of my life.  When I was two years old, I had my first flare of what would later be diagnosed as arthritis.  I couldn’t walk, and had to be hospitalized.  My mom became an advocate overnight.  This was several years before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed, and more than five years before the first board certificate in pediatric rheumatology.  


My mom was tireless in fighting for me.  She was never afraid of fighting for what was needed, even if it wasn’t “how things were done.”  She has been my example, and encouraged self-advocacy from an early age. 


In school I had to contend not just with my physical disabilities, but with other challenges, such as ADHD and dysgraphia.  I participated in my own IEP meetings starting in early elementary school.  The vast majority of my teachers in elementary and beyond were wonderful.  When I did run into a challenge my mom encouraged me to fight for the implementation of my IEP, and I knew that she always had my back.  

When I entered college at Eastern Michigan University, I was inspired by my teachers'  support and my mom’s advocacy and sense of justice.  I knew immediately that I wanted to major in Education.  In college, I found my home in the communications department.  I joined the Forensics (speech) team, and my coaches became my professors.  Through the speech team, a world of writing opened up for me in ways it hadn’t previously, and I discovered how to work with my dysgraphia. I found ways to communicate on the subjects that I was passionate about.  Rhetorical Criticism (studying communication theory and methods, and using them to analyze communication effectiveness in the real world) was a personal favorite and I still assess all communication through this lens.  


I selected schools for my pre-student teaching rotations where I could also volunteer and help coach high school students for their own speech competitions.  I taught and coached in rural and suburban high schools with student populations ranging from 350 to over 1,000.  After my own four years of competing, I continued volunteering to coach for my university team as well, including coaching the 2007 team that place second at the national tournament.  


For my student teaching I worked at East Jackson High School, a school with over 60% economically disadvantaged students.  I found great value in making deeper connections, and finding the reasons behind the struggles of my students.  I struggled with a recommendation from another teacher to have hard and fast policies that universally applied to all students.


These policies didn’t look at each student as a whole. It ignored their unique and valid challenges. Listening to students taught me to prioritize the student as a person first.  I couldn’t penalize a student for not bringing his book to class when I learned that he was homeless, and didn’t have access to it.  I worked with the school to provide a second textbook, and a place for him to keep them safe.   Instead of focusing on the ‘behavior’ of missing work, I worked on helping him regain the tools for learning to allow him to succeed.  Ensuring equity in the classroom is my strongest conviction.

lauren coupland
lauren coupland



Director of Religious Education

Los Alamos Jewish Center

  • Design curriculum

  • Hire staff

  • Register students

  • Communicate with parents

  • Budget for supplies

  • Maintain payroll

  • Plan holiday events


Adult/ Alternative Education Teacher

Brighton Area Schools

  • Engaged students in mixed-age classrooms (16-60) 

  • Differentiated lesson plans for each student 

  • Made available personal time to engage struggling students and review concepts

  • On a committee proposing creation of self-contained online classes

  • Counseled students on a variety of topics such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, race, and gender 

  • Led professional development on using google services for teachers

  • Developed new classes to align with graduation standards

  • Researched and selected textbooks for new classes


Student Teacher

East Jackson Public Schools

  • Assumed responsibility for full classroom lessons, management, and grade keeping in Oral Communications, Video Communications, and Theatre Arts classes

  • Collaborated with Special Education teachers to customize instruction and assignments

  • Facilitated a student-centered weekly school broadcast

  • Observed teaching and management methods of a variety of teachers across the curriculum

  • Participated in all staff meetings and professional development training

  • Conducted parent teacher conferences


B.S. Secondary Education — Speech, Geography, Earth Science

Eastern Michigan University

    Provisional Certificate (Secondary) - IF0000000275044

  • ​Speech (BD) 6-12 

  • Geography (CB) 6-12 

  • Earth/Space Science (DH) 6-12

  • Nationally ranked Top 10 Forensics (Speech) Team

  • Competed from 2002-2006 

  • Coached from 2006-2008

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