Fly Five: Fostering Student Autonomy

Description & Goals:

Student choice provides ownership of learning. The more we understand about the importance of student autonomy, the easier it will become to foster decision-making in the classroom and beyond. In this 60-minute webinar, participants will learn about student autonomy and what it looks like and sounds like in the classroom. We will explore strategies that keep students engaged and excited about their learning and provide them with the opportunity to seek independence in an academic setting. 

Participants will:

Identify student autonomy. 
Understand the importance of student autonomy.
Learn strategies that foster student autonomy.
Create action items to bring autonomy into the classroom.


Ellie Cornecelli

Ellie Cornecelli is the Director of Program Development and Engagement at Center for Responsive Schools (CRS). She began her career in the DC metro area, both teaching in the classroom and developing curriculum. There, for 15 years she led students to strengthen creative habits of mind through art education. Her students’ work was received well enough from peers that Ellie was nominated for Teacher of the Year in her district. She believes deeply in student-centered instruction and fostering students’ social-emotional growth to prepare them to be contributing innovators of the future. She enjoys developing content through her work with CRS to promote the positive influence of Responsive Classroom and to empower teachers and students, nationally and internationally. When she’s not working, Ellie likes to spend time with her husband and two sons, listening to podcasts, and knitting.

Amber Searles

Amber Searles is a program developer and consultant at Center for Responsive Schools. She began her education career as a middle school business education teacher. Implementing Responsive Classroom practices gave her the strategies that allowed her to receive the Teacher of the Year award from her school district and community members. She enjoys creating content and products that enable teachers to foster hope in their students and build communities in which students feel empowered by the work they produce. Amber believes deeply in the power of teaching academic, social, and emotional skills to equip students both in and out of school.