Hi. I'm Emily.
I am basically obsessed with teaching, young adult literature, student voice, and building relationships with kids in the classroom. I've worked in 7 different schools over the past 15 years and each one is a beautiful blend of the factors that make public education the best and also the most challenging place to be in the 21st century.
The nitty gritty is that I'm an NBCT-ELA teacher from Michigan, with a BA from in English and an MA in Secondary Education with an emphasis on Social Justice, both from the University of Michigan. After teaching in Chicago Public Schools for 7 years, I moved back to my home state and taught in several districts "downstate" before landing "Up North", where I have a classroom full of books and plants, with the Broadway station blasting, in a tiny rural district. Working in rural education is a new experience for me, not only dealing with a different sense of urgency surrounding education, but also the gifts of hand tapped maple syrup and occasionally having students miss school because their cow's stomach flipped.
I talk about difficult topics with students and give them a safe place to ask questions in my English classes. I also created and coordinate our Secondary Mentoring Program which pairs students with community members for one on one conversations and support.
I've read The Great Gatsby over 50 times, I dress like a kaleidoscope of vintage, and wear huge clip-on earrings. My students describe me as challenging, passionate, innovative and eccentric. I live in a 200 year old farmhouse with my husband and our two dogs in a tiny lakeside village where the average age is 65. We love hiking, swimming in Lake Michigan and traveling.
I hope to bring reality to all of you through this page--being in the classroom trenches of our education system day in and day out is hard. Teaching is hard. It’s not perfect; it’s not all organized classrooms and Astrobrights. It’s conflict and crisis management and horrible days where all you want to do is sit down and cry under your desk. It’s days when you get home and say to your spouse, “I’m not going back. I’m done.” Teaching is sometimes NEVER winning over a class of kids, or NEVER getting a student to trust you, and having to figure out a way to be ok with that reality. Teaching is a thankless profession, one where our leaders will sometimes call us names and rally others to fight against our work.
But it’s also beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s transformative. It’s powerful. It’s real. It’s intense. It’s a profession.