Like many educators, I reserve July for relaxing, reading, and research that will fuel my learning and work throughout the new year. And like many educators, August turns my attention back to the teachers and students that I support. It’s been a good break, but I’m happy to be blogging again and eager to share some exciting news!
First, I’ve signed two new Hack Learning author agreements with Mark Barnes, and I’m hard at work on each manuscript. The first will be co-authored with my dear friend and colleague Ellen Feig Gray, whose expertise in child and positive psychologies has long inspired my educator views. Together, we’ve learned much about the relationship between school culture, compassionate classrooms, self care, and helping children thrive, even during very challenging times. We can’t wait to share our stories and our ideas with you. We’re looking forward to introducing you to many others who inspire us, too.
My second book expands the conversation that I began in Make Writing, providing a far deeper dive into the thinking and work that I’ve done in writing studios and classrooms across the country, where teachers have started redesigning curriculum and shifting practices in ways that engage gifted and resistant writers alike. If you’re ready for a writing workshop redesign with making in mind, this book will provide comprehensive guidance and links out to abundant resources, including curriculum frameworks, instructional strategies, and assessment tools. Both books will be released in early 2018.
I’ve also begun establishing Make Writing studios in schools and communities across the country. Several districts have begun launching Make Writing summer programs and designing makerspaces for writers inside of their buildings while others are partnering with community organizations to host quick Make Writing events or explore options for creating studios like the one that I founded and sustained in western New York for nearly a decade. If this is something that interests you, I hope that you will reach out. I’d love to support you, too.
My work with teachers is growing as well. Now that my own children are grown and nearly flown, I’ve begun accepting many more invitations to work in schools outside of western New York and present at national and international conferences. I’m looking forward to supporting teachers in Chappaqua, New York and North Rockland County as well Atlanta and Boston during the new year. My first conference presentation will be at the Learning and the Brain conference in Boston, MA in November. I still intend to support my hometown districts as much as I am able to as well. If you’re interested in securing dates for the new year, please contact me soon. I have a handful of spring openings available, and I will begin booking for the summer of 2018 and the 2019-2020 school year very soon.
Finally, and perhaps most happily, I spent a portion of July establishing a brand spanking new editorial calendar for this space, and I intend to begin posting regularly. I’m humbled by how many of you have asked me to begin better amplifying the work that I do on the ground with kids and teachers. This is my new year’s resolution, and I hope you’ll hold me to it. I plan to post bi-weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I hope you’ll drop by, and say hello!
Here’s a preview of my first series, which begins tomorrow: