Maria Underwood is a bilingual Senior Educational Consultant for Teaching Matters with an expertise in literacy and 30 years of experience in education. Maria’s experience enables her to provide support to teachers at the early childhood, elementary and middle/high school levels with a specific focus on students with differing needs as well as multi-lingual learners. Maria’s background in Bilingual/ESL, Special Education and as a Reading Specialist permits her to assist teachers and leaders to strategically target instruction in reading and writing with culturally responsive pedagogy. She works with teachers in the areas of literacy, second language acquisition, student engagement, rigorous instruction/assessment, technology embedded instruction and standards alignment. Maria has created UbD curricula, participated as a reviewer for Head Start programs nationally and served as a Quality Review Team Member for New York State.
Prior to joining Teaching Matters, Maria served as teacher, instructional coach/staff developer, and program/district administrator. Maria has been a Director of Multicultural Education Center (diversity training), Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Center (bilingual program development) and worked at Central Offices for the New York City Department of Education assisting struggling schools throughout the Bronx. She has made presentations at the national level at ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum) as well as at NABE (National Association for Bilingual Education). Maria received her B.A. in Early Childhood & Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University; an M.A. in Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities and an Ed.M. in Reading and Bilingual Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently working on her doctoral degree.