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From the Classroom: Advice on Landing a Teaching Position

by Brian Kelley

Since we write blog posts From the Classroom, I am writing to education students or recent graduates about how to join us inside the classroom. While every school building will have its own unique criteria for prospective candidates to interview, I thought I might be of some service to English teachers seeking a position. I have been involved in the hiring process during several occasions throughout my career–twice for assistant principals, three times for teaching positions.

Recently, I was asked to consider 100 applicants for an ELA position and to pull a very small sample for screening interviews. Several colleagues also went through this exercise.

First, I did not expect to feel a grave responsibility–but I did. Sure, I wanted to respect our kids, staff, and community, but I felt an overwhelming responsibility to read and think through each application in order to honor each applicant. The decisions I made (yes/no) impacted one hundred people. Ultimately, my decisions would contribute to someone starting or continuing their career.  Read more

Tools of the Trade: Know Talking

by Rita Sorrentino

What do James Britton, Fisher and Frey, and Vicki Spandel have  in common?  Let’s review some facts.

James Britton (1908­-1994) was an influential British educator and researcher who developed a theory of language and learning that helped guide research about the teaching of writing in school.

Fisher and Frey are renowned educators, prolific authors and leaders in the field of language and literacy education.

Vicki Spandel is a well-­respected author of numerous books and instructional materials, and was co­-director of the team that developed the 6 Traits model.

Hmm. All three have something to do with the components of language; the use of oral and written communication to better understand ourselves and the world around us.  Let’s take a closer look.  Read more

A Writerly Life: More Wisdom from Katie Wood Ray

Lisa McCarthy Adobe Spark

Let’s be teachers and students who trust each other, write together and respond to one another as writers. –  2016 PAWLP Fellow Lisa McCarthy

Teacher to Teacher: The Many Layers of an ILA Conference

By Lynne R. Dorfman

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning. ~William Arthur Ward

The International Reading Association annual conference, “Transforming Lives Through Literacy 2.0”  is exciting and informative, with many options for teachers to explore. The program is filled with workshops and sessions on literacy, and four exhibit halls offered opportunities to browse, purchase, and question vendors and authors.  Signings for professional books and children’s books were taking place every day almost all day long. I had books signed by nonfiction children’s author Stephen Swinburne and purchased  two professional books at the Stenhouse booth, Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing With Mentor Texts  by Stacey Shubitz and Story: Still at the Heart of Literacy Learning by Katie Egan Cunningham.

This year’s location, Boston, offered other opportunities, too. When I arrived on Friday, my husband and I wandered through Boston’s North End, Boston’s “Little Italy.’’ It’s famous for its Italian food and feasts. Boston’s oldest neighborhood takes in a one-square-mile waterfront community not far from Faneuil Hall .  A large part of the Freedom Trail runs through the North End. It is also home to the Paul Revere House.  The Old North Church is here, too, founded in 1722. The church boasts the oldest set of change ringing bells in North America. Indulge in 18th-century chocolate at Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop. We played several games of bocce ball and dined at Lucia Ristorante before indulging in sweets at Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street – a must when visiting Boston!  Read more

A Writerly Life: Wisdom from Katie Wood Ray

Melissa H Katie Wood Ray quote 1

This quote reminds us all to teach alongside our students, at whatever level that may be.  We are teaching a process, not a product. – W2016 PAWLP Fellow Melissa Hurwitz

A Writerly Life: Wisdom from Ralph Fletcher

This is a quotation that captures how I hope my students will feel about their notebooks next year. Bernadette Langdon  PAWLP Fellow 2016