Why I chose to Write my Story – and why You should, Too.

Being a Nebraskan, I have within me a juxtaposition of pride and humility. I know I am capable – every Nebraskan is capable. Our state motto could be “Nebraska: we just get things done.” (Probably wouldn’t make for good tourism marketing.) I am proud of my accomplishments.  But at the…

Read More

Six Successful Strategies to integrate Inquiry in the ELA Classroom

Inquiry is a buzz word in 21st Century education. I’ve seen it on mission statements, college banners, professional development descriptions and teacher bios. If you were to Google “inquiry”, you’d get a host of potential definitions, theories, classroom practices and dissertations on the topic.  Amidst that onslaught of information, let’s…

Read More

“I’m going to call my senator!” – the Nebraska Writing Project and Student Civic Action

“Mrs. Schmidt, did you know that the budget issues in the district stem from a bill in the Nebraska Legislature? I think I’m going to just call the senator who proposed that bill and see what exactly happened.”  I stopped short. My ninth grade journalism student was  “just going to…

Read More

The Beginning: When I became a Teacher Who Writes

On a hot August day, 2009, I stepped in front of the first group of students who I could call “my students.”  Prior to this moment, I had some teaching experience: camp, Sunday School, Student Teaching. Those experiences were short, usually guided by someone else who crafted a role that…

Read More