Three Teachers Talk is pleased to feature the following contributing writers for the 2018-19 school year. If you are interested in submitting a guest post or contributing regularly, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AP English Literature and Composition Teacher — Lewisville, TX
Advocate of the humanities, workshop, and writing in all classrooms. I grew up in poverty, but I had access to books. Reading empowered me to change my life, and I believe in paying that forward by helping my students find and use their voices.
National Writing Project / North Star of Texas Writing Project/ National Council of Teachers of English/ North Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts
- Newsletter creator and editor for the North Star of Texas Writing Project Five Point Bulletin
- Personal blog All This Happened, More or Less – an ongoing project to chronicle educational musings and personal writing,
- Class blog But What does it All Mean? — a place for students to find helpful links and blog assignments
All posts by Amber ©Amber Counts, 2018
Literacy Coach — Cincinnati, OH
I am a nerd. I love books and words and fancy pens. I love talking and thinking and dreaming about literacy. I have been teaching for 16 years, first as a classroom teacher, then as a National Writing Project Fellow and currently as a Literacy Consultant at the Hamilton County Educational Service Center and as an adjunct instructor for pre-service teachers. I am privileged to work with teachers in every stage of their careers and at multiple grade levels as we explore reading and writing workshop as a way to help students become lifelong readers and writers.
College Prep Senior English Teacher, AP Language and Composition Teacher, Curriculum Leader, Mentor
— Waukee High School
I believe in opportunity. Opportunity to discuss deeply and productively; opportunity for focused, meaningful play and exploration; opportunity to tinker with the norm; opportunity to wonder and wander far and wide in a text (ours or someone else’s); opportunity to grow and grow and grow as readers, writers, and thinkers.
Contact: Email: email@example.com Twitter: @kajeschke
AP English Literature & Composition and 11th grade English Teacher — Salt Lake City, Utah
Education is about change. We change our knowledge base everyday, adding new information, applications, and perspectives. Changing my approach to literacy has created the space for deeper connections with students and authentic instruction that hinges on continuous improvement. The shift in my practice has changed how learners think about literacy and where it fits into their lives. When students leave my classroom, I hope the workshop experience has created life-long readers, writers, and thinkers who want to change the world.
Memberships: National Council of Teachers of English, Illinois Reading Council
English Teacher — Evanston, IL
I teach sophomore English and Advanced Writing (a senior elective) using the workshop model, and I’m working on integrating workshop elements into my AP Language & Comp course. Actually, I’m “working on” all of it, every day, learning all the while. Whether it’s the Internet and SmartPhones, Common Core, or just “kids these days,” we have a reading crisis among our young people. They need a paradigm shift in their classrooms, and so do we. RWW offers just the thing.
National Council of Teachers of English / Illinois Association of Teachers of English
AP Capstone Seminar, Senior English, English Department Head, Senior School Teacher Librarian
— Tsawwassen, British Columbia Canada
As a Senior English teacher and Senior Teacher Librarian, books and reading are my livelihood and my life. I am on a continuous journey to infuse story into the lives of my students and am excited to be doing so through my exploration of the workshop method. When not reading books, sharing stories about books, talking about books, or shopping for books I can be found spending time with my family and my dogs on the beaches and shores of beautiful British Columbia.
Follow me on Twitter @psmcmartin
English Teacher — Clear Creek, TX
Reading and writing instruction should be woven together to form a tapestry of literacy and literacy is the greatest tool that we can give our students. I believe that every single student deserves the best instruction from their teachers every day. The Workshop Pedagogy is, in my opinion, the absolute best way to deliver valuable, relevant, and authentic instruction. Reading informs thinking. Writing expresses thinking. For my students, the workshop setting unlocks real opportunity for them to access information and to express themselves. Teachers have a responsibility to foster the next generation of thinkers not by telling them what to think, but by showing them the boundlessness of their own potential.
National Council of Teachers of English / Texas Council of Teachers of English/ Texas High School Coaches Association
AP Language & Composition and Film as Literature
— Murfreesboro, TN
I started my practice as a closed door teacher. I’m not proud of that admission, but keeping that door closed (literally and figuratively) was key to my survival in the first few years of my practice. I longed for conversation about the ‘whys’ of teaching, but didn’t know how to find or start those conversations, how to open that door. Teaching, like writing, is made better through collaboration and sharing, through conversation, through workshop. Hopefully, through this blog and the conversations it starts, I hope to nudge my door open a little more, while encouraging others to open their doors as well.
Memberships: Middle Tennessee Writing Project, Rutherford Education Association, and College, Career and Community Writers Program
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; @marahsorris_cms
10th grade English Teacher
— Greater Lawrence Technical High School
Books are my life because I believe books can make us the best versions of ourselves. I try to bring that belief into my classroom every single day. Just ask my students: I’m that random teacher giving book talks in the lunch room, hallway, and even in our local Target book aisle. When I’m not book talking and teaching 137 fabulous vocational 10th graders to embrace their own reading and writing lives, I can be found chasing after my five year old son, binge watching various PBS shows with my husband of almost 12 years, or planning our next family vacation to Disney World. You can follow me on Twitter @Eatbooks4brkfst or on Instagram @eatbooks4breakfast. You can also find at least one YA book in my bag at all times.
New England Association of Teachers of English / National Council of Teachers of English / Kappa Delta Pi Honors Society
House Principal at McKinney High School, English Administrator
— McKinney ISD, McKinney, TX
I was lucky enough to have a mentor that introduced me to the workshop model during my very first year of teaching. She ingrained in me the importance of students having choice in what they read and an authentic environment to write about things that hold value to them. We can teach all the skills we need to through choice reading and by providing authentic writing opportunities for our students. She also introduced me to professional authors that I admire and that have helped guide the conversation on workshop–Jeff Anderson, Kelly Gallagher, Penny Kittle, Kyleen Beers, and so many others. Having strong mentors around me, and a solid foundation in the workshop model, including professional authors that were paving the way for workshop, shaped my entire teaching career. Now that I have moved out of the classroom, it is my mission to recruit, hire, and retain great teachers who have that very same passion and belief in workshop. I know that the workshop model can change our classrooms, and the way our students experience reading and writing, and our kids deserve that!
Memberships: TASSP, ASCD, and TCTELA
Julie has been teaching secondary language arts for nineteen years, spending the first fifteen in rural Central Oregon, and the last four in Amman, Jordan. She begins a new adventure this year at American Nicaraguan School as the department head, also teaching grades 7, 11, and AP Lang.
Follow her on Twitter @SwinehartJulie
Follow her blog https://adventuresinhighschoolworkshop.wordpress.com/
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