I bumped into one of my heroes, Donalyn Miller at the 2014 NCTE Conference
I bumped into one of my heroes, Donalyn Miller at the 2014 NCTE Conference

“Don’t Panic” is simultaneously my teaching philosophy and my goal in life. I find life extremely exciting, and therefore terrifying in the most beautiful way!

Teaching is my passion. I love to read and write, but mostly, I love instilling an appreciation of those things in my students. I believe every person is a reader, and those who “hate” reading just haven’t found the right one! I also believe that everyone has something to say, and so we’re all writers.

Teaching and supporting literacy is my passion. I can’t imagine myself wanting to do anything else with my life.

I started my career as a substitute (I learned that I’m not extremely patient with middle schoolers…or at least I wasn’t in my early twenties). After that, I worked as an English teacher in a school for male juvenile delinquents. And yes, I taught them about Shakespeare. Six years of that was a rich and challenging experience that I would not want to repeat, but taught me so many lessons about reluctant students!

I went back to school for my M.Ed as a Reading Specialist, and got a job teaching in Northern Virginia. My school is incredibly diverse, and I revel in the multicultural environment there! I feel like I’ve found my teaching home.

I have a white cat named Smudge, whose purpose in life seems to be getting her own way and stopping me from knitting or reading.

I am also an avid gamer. My parents introduced me and my siblings to Atari when I was little. I loved trips to the mall so I could spend all my allowance at Alladin’s Castle. My ex-husband introduced me to LARPing and tabletop gaming. On coveted snow days, it is not unusual for me to marathon-play Skyrim or some other RPG. I embrace this nerdy side of myself.

Other than that, I have family in Western Pennsylvania, and visit them as often as I can.

I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy writing it! Feel free to contact me via this page, email, or Twitter (@literatewoman)