Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.
Lecturer in Education & Child Study
Contact & Office Hours
Morgan Hall 302
M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University
B.A., SUNY at Stony Brook
Renata Sylvia Pienkawa was one of the first ELL teachers hired by the Amherst Public Schools, and taught there, at both the elementary and secondary levels, for more than two decades. During her tenure, she has mentored many student and novice teachers and provided numerous workshops and trainings for staff. Most recently, Renata coordinated the ELL Program and served as the ELL teacher trainer for the Amherst Public Schools.
Through the WMWP (Western Massachusetts Writing Project), Pienkawa co-led one of the first all-year trainings for teachers focused on ELL and Writing in 1997–98. Since then she has worked with CES (Collaborative for Educational Services) and other organizations, delivering hundreds of seminars, workshops, trainings and college courses to diverse audiences around the state. These trainings and workshops have focused on preparing Massachusetts teachers to work with English language learners, supporting them across all grade levels and content areas.
Pienkawa has been a consultant for school districts around the state since the 1990s. Presently, she is a consultant and instructor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for both RETELL (Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners) and WIDA (World Class Instructional Design and Assessment).
As an immigrant, published poet and the mother of a profoundly deaf son, she invites her students to enter into a deep dialogue of human sharing and scientific inquiry. In her teaching, Pienkawa is interested in finding the right balance between the science and art of teaching, using varied modalities of communication and self-expression to reach each and every student.