64158_10100936766863499_1569453208_nI’m eager to help teachers and schools, libraries and librarians, and other organizations achieve their professional development and literacy goals. Please let me know how I can provide service on my own or in cahoots with members of my professional network.

    Some topics for your consideration:

Organizing Writers Week events and author visits: As a “founding father” of Fremd High School’s Writers Week, I’ve been deeply involved for more than twenty years in organizing week-long celebrations of writing that have played host to more than 200 visiting authors, in addition to helping schools around the country launch their own versions of Writers Week. I can help your school promote writers and writing and build community by organizing a Writers Week event at your school, or helping you arrange author visits that work smoothly at prices within your budget.

Preparing students for college-level writing: What exactly does “college-level writing” mean? Misunderstandings abound because colleges have wildly varying expectations and approaches to writing. I can help teachers and students understand the most common ways that colleges approach writing, what those approaches have in common, and how schools can best prepare their students for such differing definitions of “college-level writing.” Click here to contact Bureau of Education and Research about bringing this program to your school or district.

Writing college application essays: After helping countless young writers approach their college essays with confidence, I will help students at your school understand some of the myths and misunderstandings related to college application essays, and provide strategies and tips for how to choose topics and develop the essays. In addition, I will supply materials and example essays, and lead a discussion about them. Participants will also brainstorm specific, individual approaches to their college essays, and each participant will leave with a solid start of at least one college essay. This is not for seniors only! It’s never too early for students to begin thinking about this challenging writing situation.

Blogging for beginners (teachers, students, and others): When students know their writing will be read by wide audiences, they take their language seriously and make exciting choices. I have helped dozens of teachers at all grade levels launch student blogs alive with powerful ideas, imagery, and intellectual curiosity. I will discuss how to start student blogs; how to encourage responsible, respectful comments; how to responsibly share student online work; and how to help bloggers build their own audiences. Teachers will learn how to create online opportunities for students that go far beyond the walls and bell schedules of our schools. . I will also show teachers how they can start their own blogs to communicate with parents, colleagues from down the hall and around the world, and as a platform for their own reflective practice.

Re-invigorating high school and middle school readers: Student enthusiasm for reading frequently nosedives in about middle school, particularly for boys. Many students arrive in high school as non-readers. They may have the ability, but they lack experience with choosing, reading, and enjoying books. The ways that some schools approach reading is part of the problem. After re-igniting the reading lives of hundreds of students, I can help teachers understand the difference between teaching literature and teaching reading, and how to structure English/Language Arts classes so that students experience both canonical literature while choosing and reading more books than they have for years.

Designing curriculum for literacy improvement and empowerment: Is your school’s reading and writing curriculum a dynamic pathway to literacy, or is it merely a document with vague goals? I can help teachers and school leaders clarify their literacy goals and design a student-centered, standards-aligned curriculum that meets your school’s literacy needs.

Designing and/or delivering professional development: I will help your school choose what professional topics are most needed to help your faculty feel empowered and ready to serve your students’ educational needs. Depending on the focus, I will bring the program and people to your school to help your school reach its goals with energy, insight, and a growth mindset.

Zapping apathy in teachers: If the collegiality at your school is suffering through a low-morale phase, I can provide ideas and experiences to help teachers re-connect to their original motivations for pursuing careers in education and provide strategies that will help teachers plan individual professional development, develop growth mindsets, and maintain positive attitudes about their careers.

Zapping apathy in students: When students are apathetic, we need to do something! I will provide specific strategies and approaches to designing lessons and conducting classes that invigorate students and promote positive classroom climates by integrating a what’s-not-wrong attitude and responsibility-based student decision-making.

You can expect professionalism, flexibility, affordability, and a collegial, friendly tone with any program.

Use the form below to contact me. Let’s get started!


Zapping Apathy at NCTE 11 in Chicago, November 18, 2011 (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Alander)

Zapping Apathy at NCTE 11 in Chicago, November 18, 2011 (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Alander)


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