From the time I was little, I have loved books. Since the 2006-2007 school year, I have taught seventh-grade English at Lake Center Christian School. My life as a teacher was forever changed when I read In the Middle by Nancie Atwell during the summer after my first year. From the opening chapter I was sold on her vision for how reading and writing should be taught. Since then, I have been on a journey to realize that ideal vision of a writing-reading workshop in my classroom. Atwell’s work has continued to inspire me ever since. In addition to reading her books, I also spent a week observing at her school, The Center for Teaching and Learning, as part of their internship program. Other teachers who continue to influence me include Donalyn Miller, Penny Kittle, Kelly Gallagher, Pernille Ripp, and many others too numerous to mention.
As a teacher of reading, my overarching goals are to help students fully experience the joy that comes from living inside a great book, to help them read with passion and with a critical eye towards what the author is doing. As a teacher of writing, my overarching goal is to help students discover the people, places, and experiences that matter to them and how they can use writing to explore these topics.
I know that I will never fully arrive at the ideal classroom I envision, but I love coming to school each day and having the opportunity to learn from the students about how I can move our class just a little bit closer to it.
In addition to teaching, I am also on the men’s basketball coaching staff at the University of Mount Union. I am married and have two young daughters. In my free time, when I can get some, I enjoy birding, biking, and, of course, reading.
About This Site:
The primary purpose of this site is to help me regularly reflect on my teaching. It is also a way for me to share what I’m doing with my colleagues. If others find these ideas helpful, all the better. I also write reviews of books for kids. You can find those here. In addition, if you would like to read reviews written by my students or see lists they’ve created of their favorite books, you can click here.