I'm a former 9th-12th Grade English/Language Arts teacher who has taught students in Title I schools from the metro Atlanta area to Memphis, TN. In addition to teaching, I have spent several years being a Literacy Instructional Coach for teachers in large, urban high schools. In 2012, I decided to start a blog, The Educator's Room, to show that teachers (not politicians) are the experts in education. As of today, The Educator's Room has had over 5 million page views with thousands of views per day. I currently work with school districts as a consultant to English/Language Arts teachers and Instructional Coaches. My motto in education is, "let teachers teach...we know what we're doing."
Students should leave English/Language Arts class not only curious for more, but with an understanding on how reading, writing, speaking and listening impacts their daily life. That being said, I believe that in order to help students who are struggling you have to show them how English/Language Arts is "alive" in everything we do. Students routinely read the classics (Hamlet, Beowulf, Things Fall Apart) but they also paired them with modern reading that made them connect events of the past to current events. In addition to realizing how English/Language Arts connects to real life events, I was adamant that my students use current events to understand what happened in the past. So when we read classics like Night we paired it with a novel about the Rwandan Genocide so that my students understood that genocide is something that happens now.
My blog, The Educator's Room has been a top education blog since 2013. In addition to that, I was voted Teacher of the Year of my school in 2012 along with being a Model Teacher for my district. In the last four years, I've presented at several national conferences including the National Council for Teachers of English, ASCD National Conference, ASCD Teaching Excellence Conference, and several other smaller conferences. In addition to the district accolades and presenting at national conferences, I've also started a podcast (The Educator's Room podcast) and created several online courses for teachers aimed at helping them realize their expertise. In 2013, I wrote my first book, Keep the Fire Burning: Avoiding Teacher Burnout, and followed that up with my memoir about being a first-year teacher in an urban district, Behind the Desk: How I Survived My First Ten Years in Education.
My undergraduate degree was in English from The University of Memphis where I graduated with several accolades. I started teaching in 2002 and by 2005, I had earned my Masters in Instruction and Curriculum. During my first ten years teaching, I was always in my classroom creating resources for students to help them grasp difficult texts, stories, etc. I have accumulated over 200 hours of course work withing the last two years including week long courses at Harvard (to name some) and I am currently applying to two prestigious universities for EdD programs. I use not only my personal experience as a teacher, but also the advice of my teachers I work with for all of the teachers I work with.
Author of two books, Keep the Fire Burning: Avoiding Teacher Burnout and Behind the Desk: How I Survived My First Ten Years in Education.