Erica Beaton loves books. This is true; however, I also love teaching and learning.

By day (and sometimes into the night), I am a high school English and history teacher, adjunct literacy instructor at GVSU, certified reading specialist, National Writing Project consultant, and classroom library advocate from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The rest of my heart and time are devoted to my faith, family, friends, and awesome husband, Matt.

In the classroom, I believe the most important thing I have done as a teacher is to read YA Lit and make it available to my students. I love the way Donalyn Miller says it in The Book Whisperer:

“This is how I show my students that I love them—by putting books in their hands, by noticing what they are about, and finding books that tell them, ‘I know. I know. I know how it is. I know who you are, and even though we may never speak of it, read this book, and know that I understand you.”

If nothing else, I know that books can truly transform students’ lives.

From left to right: Me, Brooke Holt (Algebra and Geometry), Dave Stuart (English 9 and World History), and Steve Vree (Earth Science and Biology).

Currently, I teach in the Tech 21 Academy at Cedar Springs High School. This unique and awesome teaching opportunity allows me to experiment as a project-based learning enthusiast and edtech guru wanna-be. Unlike most high school teaching positions, I am blessed to teach on a team  of incredibly inspiring of teachers.

In terms of this blog, my intention is to enter this rich conversation about teaching and learning that surrounds us. This means that I try to share practical ways of applying formal research in an every day, cross-demographic classroom. My aim is to translate literacy theory and make it relevant to teachers in the field, especially those that might not have time to read all the recent publications.  My hope is to grow as an instructor and possibly encourage others through my successes and frustrations.

Thank you for your curiosity as I move along this journey. If you’re interested to hear what’s happening in my classroom and in my mind, feel free to stay updated by following this blog (see the sidebar for the button) or by following me on Twitter.

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