Teacher feels.

You know what I'm talking about. When the butterflies, or the goosebumps, or the tears hit you because something just happened in your classroom that was Oh. So. Good. That's what comes from truly great teaching, and I feel like we're always chasing those teacher feels. The problem is, they're just so darn hard to come by. 

I began my career teaching third grade for almost a decade. Those first years were grueling. I was hungry to know more and do better, but I didn't know where to turn for answers to my questions. Sometimes, when I found an answer, it contradicted what I'd heard somewhere else. Or this year's "big new thing" would be gone the next. Over time, I learned who were trusted resources and what books I could turn to over and over for great stuff. I learned what worked and how to apply research in my classroom. But it was exhausting and confusing and frustrating and it sapped every bit of energy and time I had, and I had small children at home who needed me. 

Since then, I've been honored as the 2016 Tennessee Teacher of the Year. I've served as a director of literacy for a networked improvement community, the director of educator engagement for our state education department, and an academic coach for grades K-6. Currently, my role is the coordinator of reading for grades 3-6 in my district. And every single thing I've learned from that very first year to now leaves me more convinced than ever of this:

It shouldn't be that hard to be a truly great teacher.

I think that teachers should be able to get good answers to their questions, learn something new, find a great tool, be challenged to think differently, talk about the craft, add a new book to their stack, keep up with research, engage in meaningful PD, get all teacher nerdy, be inspired ... and still walk out the door of their classroom at a reasonable hour with the physical and mental energy to live a truly great life. 

When I was full-time in the classroom, these are all the things I wanted to do but just didn't have the time. Now, it's my job to dig through all the upper elementary literacy stuff and share solid classroom resources, teacher learning that hits the spot, and conversations that challenge us all to think a bit harder about our craft. Simple, good things that can make it easier for you to teach really well. 

So, I've organized this site around levels of self-paced learning that can fit your needs.
  • Looking to dig into the basics of implementing EL Education curricular materials really well? I archive those on the 101 Professional Learning page. 
  • Looking for self-guided professional learning modules that can help you spend time deeply understanding and planning for literacy instruction with EL Education materials? You'll find those on the 201 Professional Learning page.
  • Looking for articles, podcasts, blogs, and research to build your knowledge of the instructional shifts in literacy that are called for by research and evidence? You'll find these on the 301 Professional Learning page.

Or, are you looking for all of that AND you want to tap into an ongoing conversation about the art and science that is teaching? Skim or search the blog

At my very core, I believe that the most important thing we put in front of our students every day is a whole, healed, and healthy adult. Full stop. It's my hope that this space can help you be more of that.

Cue the teacher feels.

Here's to simply teaching well,


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