I am so glad you stopped by!
If you are like I was, you are eager to gain knowledge and perfect your teacher practice, but you feel disenchanted by all the curriculum guidelines and textbooks you are handed.
I get it. I wanted to feel passionate about what I taught my students, not just assign a text to read and questions to answer.
LIke you, I am a teacher. I teach 8th grade English and Yearbook, and I am passionate about improving my practice and helping other teachers do the same.
It all started when...
My history with education started long before I got into the classroom. As a child, I played teacher, writing on my mirror with highlighters and markers, and “teaching” my friends’ younger siblings and rewarding them with pogs! Remember those! I think this is how most teachers played as kids.
Fast forward. I received my credential in December 2009 just as districts were handing out pink slips to their newer teachers. No one was hiring. So, I fell back on my degree - Child Development - and taught preschool for 2 years at a state-funded preschool in San Diego.
I then worked as the MSN Program Assistant at Point Loma Nazarene University until I landed my first secondary teaching gig in January 2015. It was a long journey to teaching, but I believe these extra experiences helped make me a better teacher.
This long journey gave me a lot of time to think about my teaching philosophy.
During my credential program, one of my professors (I wish I remembered her name as this introduction was invaluable) introduced me to Nancy Atwell’s In The Middle. I was enthralled! This was exactly how I pictured teaching.
But when I actually got into my first job, I was basically handed a teacher’s edition to our textbook and workbook and told this was all I needed. I was less than enthralled. I wanted to feel more passionate and have more autonomy with the lessons.
In those first few days, I felt overwhelmed and disenchanted. Thank goodness for my teacher roommate (we shared a classroom) and good friend, Melinda. She introduced me to my next teacher guru, Kelly Gallagher, and showed me how I could use the textbook AND incorporate a reading and writing workshop. I have not looked back.
Why I started the podcast
I know that there are many teachers out there like me. Like me, you might have been handed the prescribed curriculum on day one and told to just, “Follow this; it’s all you need.”
That’s why I decided to start this podcast: to help other teachers find autonomy in their classrooms and grow their reading and writing workshop environment.
If you are an English teacher who loves to share ideas and grow in your practice, you came to the right place.