Tanya Sheckley is the Founder and President of UP Academy, a progressive elementary lab school in San Mateo, California. UP Academy is reinventing education by customizing learning for each student, integrating project-based learning throughout its curriculum, and supporting students with disabilities to attend alongside able-bodied students in mixed-age classrooms.

Inspired by the will, drive, and desire of her daughter, Eliza, who was born in 2009 with cerebral palsy, UP Academy is proving that it’s possible to celebrate differences, change what’s broken in the American education system, and provide all children with a rigorous, well-rounded education.

Tanya also hosts the Rebel Educator podcast, speaks across the country on the future of education, and leads professional development programs for school administrators and educators.

How to be a rebel educator

by Tanya Sheckley

Show Highlights

  • Champion Project Based Learning with a “changemakers unit”
  • Every Ruckus Maker needs a Rebel Educator to make a ruckus 
  • Effective marketing and business messaging for school leadership 
  • Up Academy is changing what’s broken in the American education system
  • Stop robbing children of education inside school buildings
  • Break the free of the 3 Ps that handcuff education
  • Consistently give students more agency and responsibility to build executive functioning skills
  • Powerful things a school leader could do to break down the silos
  • Deep juicy questions to ignite deeper learning 
  • Student agency, inclusion, and equity is at the foundation of  integrated experience.


Tanya Sheckley: How to be a rebel educator

“Try something new, different, innovative and creative. Startle your students with something that they haven’t had an opportunity to do before, or a different side of you,  they haven’t gotten a chance to see or know.”

Tanya Sheckley

Download the podcast transcript here!

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