I am in my 18th year of teaching. I began in the classroom teaching 6th grade and then moved to 3rd grade. Currently, I am a literacy coach for a district in West Michigan, working at the elementary level. I also do independent consulting, working in schools and with staffs from grades K - 8th. I am the author of the book, The Writing Diner: Creating Active Thinkers in the Writing Classroom. I am also a National Writing Project Teacher Consultant.
My goal is to get students to be active thinkers while writing independently. I believe in explicit instruction. I like to "slice" lessons into thin pieces and serve them up to students in small meaningful chunks. This allows students to truly take in what I am trying to teach, to internalize, and then to become skilled at using my teaching focus over time. I focus much of my writing instruction on craft elements of writing, believing that a student who is strong in craft will be able to apply that craft to any type of writing.
I have presented at numerous conferences, most notably for the past six years at the Michigan Reading Association's annual conference. I have also presented at state conferences in Illinois and Kentucky.
I hold degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio as well as from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, including an M.Ed. in the area of Teaching Reading.
Prior to becoming a teacher, I was a television news producer for the NBC affiliate, WLWT-TV, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently I live with my wife and two beautiful daughters in Grand Rapids, Michigan.