I began my career in education in 2004 as a Teach For America teacher in the Bronx. I had braces, didn’t look much older than seventeen and had no clue what I was doing. I left the classroom most days in tears, frustrated by my inability to do right by my students because, alas, I was a first year teacher. My greatest painpoints revolved around literacy — my classroom of fifth graders was comprised of readers ranging from first grade to ninth grade! I was in way over my head, but I was determined to figure out the best ways to teach my students to not only read well, but to absolutely love reading. Through dogged persistence I taught myself to teach and from one year to the next my students achieved at increasingly greater levels. As a result of being stronger readers, they were stronger writers, stronger thinkers, stronger speakers, stronger mathematicians and more confident humans. And thus began my work as a literacy champion for children.
In the years since then, I’ve been a school leader, an instructional coach, a literacy consultant, a literacy specialist and a principal coach. I designed an award-winning K-12 literacy app and cofounded an ed tech company. I have been featured in the documentary film The Lottery, The Wall Street Journal and Steven Brill’s book Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools. I am also a mother (the most amazing experience thus far in my life), a breast cancer survivor (a not-so-amazing experience) and the author of Cancer Hates Kisses, coming September 19, 2017 from Penguin.
I started this website because I care deeply about literacy. I hope the tips shared on this site will make one small aspect of parenting a little more intuitive, a little less anxiety-inducing and a lot more joyful!