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Teacher to Teacher: The Coaching Relationship

By Janice Ewing

If teaching is built upon a foundation of trust and mutual respect, nowhere is that more apparent than in the coaching relationship. Earlier in my career, my position as a reading specialist morphed into that of literacy coach. It was not a complete change, because the reading specialist role can and should incorporate sharing of strategies with teachers as well as direct work with students. There was a change in focus, though, and a lot of fuel for professional growth. One of the challenges of the literacy coaching role, I quickly learned, is to differentiate it clearly from that of supervisor or evaluator. True coaching is a collegial partnership. (See the work of Regie Routman and Cathy Toll for more on professional trust and coaching.)

Fast forward to this summer. Read more

From the Classroom: What Does Real-World Writing Look Like?

By Tricia Ebarvia

Speaking on a panel at the NCTE Annual Convention last fall, author Cris Crutcher commented, “Reading Shakespeare is an academic exercise. It’s not one that’s going to get me to love reading.” Though I disagree with him about Shakespeare―I think studying Shakespeare can give us tremendous insight into who we are as human beings and speak to us in profound ways―his remark did give me pause. How many of the things we assign―books, writing assignments―are no more than academic exercises? Read more

Why Face to Face Still Matters: Guest Post by Cindy Minnich

We are thrilled to have Cindy Minnich here this week at as our Guest Blogger. Cindy is a high school English teacher and a regular contributor to The Nerdy Book Club website. Below, Cindy shares her reflections after attending nErDCamp this summer in Michigan.


nerdcampiIt’s bright and early on the morning after two days of learning with friends and colleagues and rock star authors at nErDcamp MI in Parma, Michigan.

I’m packing and looking at a really long drive home.

I’m not complaining. It was worth every single mile I put on the odometer. Read more

Tools of the Trade: ISTE 2015

By Rita Sorrentino

Although I was only able to attend ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) for one day, I came away with a wealth of ideas, inspiration, and innovation for teaching, learning, and leading in a connected world. With so many sessions, workshops and tryouts to choose from, it is easy to get overwhelmed. I made a tentative agenda of events, leaving time to explore the expo hall, peek at poster sessions, and chat with friends and colleagues along the way.  Here are a few of my takeaways: Read more

Teacher to Teacher: Close Reading – What It Means for a Writer

By Lynne R. Dorfman

Writers make choices, make changes, and make meaning. It is clear that writing is a tool for thinking.  Writing is thinking written down (Zinsser, 1988). Writing, in fact, is the most disciplined form of thinking (Murray, 1984).   Educators everywhere are talking about close reading, the instructional practice of asking students to critically examine a text through multiple rereadings.  But what does close reading mean for a writer? Read more