Ann: 25 years and counting as a teacher of ESL within a large urban high school; 4 years as a private teacher of adult English Language Learners. Jeff: Five years in the high school classroom, teaching mainstream English courses with a heavy emphasis on writing and Journalism. Now teaching basic reading and writing courses as an adjunct at a community college. He also taught summer school at a high school for four years, the last of them as director of the summer school program. Prior to entering education he spent 25 years in Journalism, starting as a news reporter at the Lowell, MA, Sun and finishing up as Night Sports Editor of the Boston Herald.
Ann has found merit in many of the approaches to teaching and specific methods that have become popular over the years. She has allegiance to no one particular approach. Her teaching style is whatever works with her students, depending on their cultural backgrounds, linguistic strengths, behavioral/emotional issues, cognitive development, and learning styles. Ann's instructional materials would complement a wide variety of teaching styles as well as multiple learning styles and diverse student interests. Jeff's style tends toward the Socratic. One of his favorite classroom tricks is to make a statement about the literature in question that is so outrageous that students respond urgently and loudly and, lo and behold, a discussion erupts. His written instructional materials tend heavily toward eliciting well-developed writing from the students. He likes to use the all-encompassing, thought-provoking one-question test, a form of assessment that works well with the trend toward winner-take-all testing in many states. He sees reading and writing as the foundation of all educational disciplines and frets that students do not read unless forced--and even then many do not read. His continuing quest is to find a way to re-introduce reading for pleasure into the world of today's students.
Ann: invited speaker at professional conferences (MABE, MATSOL, and MCTE) Jeff: Three invitations to serve on visiting committees for accreditation (one each in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont). Invited speaker at a Mass. Dept. of Education conference on MCAS Preparation methodology for students who had previously failed the test.
Ann: BA, English; M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction in ESL Jeff: BA in English Literature, summa cum laude; M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction in English Language Arts.
Ann and Jeff are a husband and wife team whose individual experiences, interests, and perspectives result in a unique collaboration based on humorous candor with each other and respect for their students and colleagues. Ann's areas of special interest are the education of "gifted and talented" students and the use of performance-based assessments. Jeff's areas of special interest are Journalism, creative and expository writing, and 19th Century British Romantic poetry, although seeing the light shine when students "get" literature gives him perhaps his greatest kick. Ann and Jeff have raised three sons, an attorney, a teacher, and a research chemist.