Our Philosophy

Language, Diversity, & Engagement

 
 

The capacity for youth and adults to engage in cross-cultural dialogue in multiple languages is an essential skill in our highly globalized world. Access to other languages is a necessary skill that provides opportunities to learn, share, travel, negotiate, empathize, support others and be challenged. World languages can be easily acquired by all people when they are presented in a comprehensible and compelling way.

At Elevate, we know that our diversity is our greatest asset. All people deserve to see positive representations of themselves and those they love, both as they are now and who they may be in the future. It is the work of educators to understand bias, examine where it shows up in the classroom, and develop strategies and skills to build empowering multicultural classrooms. We need to infuse every opportunity to teach with the intent to build diversity-responsive global citizens. 

 
 

Rachelle & Anna
Elevate Education Consulting

 
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Language is a tool that enables us to expand our chances of learning about the lives and values of people throughout the world as well as promoting heart-to-heart exchanges.
— Daisaku Ikeda ~ Soka Education: For the Happiness of the Individual
 Rachelle attended Indiana University and American University for undergraduate studies, graduating from American University with a dual degree in Spanish & Latin American Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies.

Rachelle attended Indiana University and American University for undergraduate studies, graduating from American University with a dual degree in Spanish & Latin American Studies and Women’s & Gender Studies.

Rachelle Adams

Founder & Co-Director

Rachelle is a teacher educator, trainer, and Spanish teacher who is committed to having every world language classroom be the place where culturally-responsive teaching happens through Comprehensible Input (CI). It is her passion for language and culture that led her to the classroom. She loves teaching youth and adults alike, and opening doors to the kinds of cross-cultural dialogues our global community requires. As a committed CI-based teacher and trainer, Rachelle ensures that each of her students is able to build deep language acquisition faster, and have fun in the process. 

She teaches Spanish to learners of all ages and brains in person in the DC area, as well as online for learners around the globe. She runs a monthly job-embedded professional development series for world language teachers in the DC metro area. Working with administrators and teachers, Rachelle helps create culturally responsive CI curricula for a variety of independent and public schools and districts. Based on CI teaching methods she trains language teachers regionally, nationally, and internationally, embedding all instruction within a culturally responsive teaching framework. 

Rachelle founded Elevate Education Consulting in 2016 based on the humanistic principles of Soka education and a desire to support teachers and students alike to experience the fundamental purpose of education; for youth to realize their precious potential and to display their unique individuality with enthusiasm and vigor, and to create supreme value in their own lives as well as for society. 

She brings a unique emphasis on culturally responsive teaching to the CI/TPRS community. Rachelle has shared this unique perspective at conferences such as NTPRS, iFLT, Comprehensible Midwest, Comprehensible Cascadia, GWATFL, as well as the IGNITE Conference. In her partnership with Cherokee Nation as an instructional coordinator for the IGNITE (Indigenous Gathering on Native Language Instructional Techniques for Educators) conference. The primary focus of Rachelle’s role is to listen to the needs of teachers, students and leaders working to revive native languages in their communities, and then match leading CI experts to share their expertise.

Rachelle has worked with District of Columbia Public Schools on curriculum development, teacher training modules, as well as training pre-service teachers. This, combined with Elevate’s ongoing professional development opportunities for DC area teachers, is part of her commitment to ensuring that DC and the surrounding school districts become the CI capital of the United States.    

When she isn’t working Rachelle can be found seeing live music, reading and writing poetry, supporting the SGI-USA, loving on her two sons and dog, and cooking up a fabulous meal while dancing to a funky beat.  

Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.
— Parker J. Palmer ~ The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

Anna Gilcher, PhD

Co-Director

Anna is an intellectually engaged and heart-centered language educator who specializes in teaching French and training language teachers to create a more joyful, effective, and equitable classroom environment. Anna works with her students—adults and children alike—to weave a web of connections, bringing language, culture, story, and learning to life. With her business partner Rachelle, Anna is committed to having every world language classroom be the place where culturally-responsive teaching happens through Comprehensible Input (CI). Anna also speaks German and Spanish. 

Anna offers French classes for learners of all ages and brains, both in person in the DC area, and online for learners around the globe. She targets many of her online classes specifically to language teachers, offering them the lived experience of deepening their French language acquisition in a CI environment. 

Integrating her training as an InterPlay leader, spiritual director, and committed practitioner of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Anna brings both playfulness and presence to her teaching and leadership, creating an inclusive, deeply welcoming, and low-stress environment for participants. In addition to teaching French, Anna runs a monthly job-embedded professional development series for world language teachers in the DC metro area. Working with administrators and teachers, Anna helps create culturally responsive CI curricula for a variety of independent and public schools and districts. Based on CI teaching methods, Anna trains language teachers regionally, nationally, and internationally, embedding all instruction within a culturally responsive teaching framework. 

Anna has taught in both university and secondary (middle/high school) settings, and has served with professors and AP teachers from around the country as a College Board AP French Reader. Vista Higher Learning published her AP French syllabus as the sample syllabus for the Thèmes textbook in January 2016. She also served as Academic Director of the Aumazo Tutoring Program in Bankondji, Cameroon and as Instructional Coordinator for the Cherokee Nation’s IGNITE conference. This wide experience informs and enriches her offerings at conferences around the country such as NTPRS, iFLT, Comprehensible Midwest, Comprehensible Cascadia, GWATFL, the Express Fluency Teacher Workshop, and of course IGNITE. 

Anna has worked with District of Columbia Public Schools on curriculum development, teacher training modules, as well as training pre-service teachers. This work, combined with Elevate’s ongoing professional development opportunities for DC area teachers, undergirds her commitment to helping the DC area become the CI capital of the United States.    

When Anna isn’t working she can be found practicing yoga, reading novels in French and German, singing in her church choir (which her husband directs), listening to feminist & anti-racist podcasts such as La Poudre, walking her dog, and enjoying her family.
 

 Anna earned her MA & PhD at Duke University in 19th-century French literature. She earned her BA (Summa cum Laude, with General Honors & with High Honors in French) at the University of Maryland College Park, graduating with a major in French Language & Literature and minors in German and Music Performance.

Anna earned her MA & PhD at Duke University in 19th-century French literature. She earned her BA (Summa cum Laude, with General Honors & with High Honors in French) at the University of Maryland College Park, graduating with a major in French Language & Literature and minors in German and Music Performance.

 

Mission

To empower and deepen understanding of language and culture through a fun, diverse, and collaborative environment.

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