People are talking (really, they are!) about TEACHER VOICES, the new feature on Iserotope set to launch this week. The excitement is palpable.
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to Marni Spitz, who is going to start things off with a bang.
Marni is an extraordinary social studies teacher at City Arts and Technology High School in San Francisco. This year, she’ll teach U.S. History.
That’s pretty great, right? Well, it gets even better: Marni will also teach a section of Reading Lab, a new class for ninth graders who don’t know (yet) that they love reading (and might even say, in a moment of weakness, that it’s boring). (The students have no idea what’s coming!)
There are so many reasons that I think Marni is great, but I don’t want to give away too many secrets, because, after all, maybe she’ll want to be a consistent contributor to TEACHER VOICES, and it’ll be best for you, dear Iserotope readers, to learn about those secrets directly from Marni.
But I can’t stand myself, so here are a few:
1. Marni believes unapologetically that reading is the thing.
This means that Marni has built a robust classroom library; instituted an independent reading program with her partner English teacher; conducted regular one-on-one conferences with her students to track their reading interests, progress, and goals; and launched an Instagram campaign, #catsterscaughtreading, to encourage reading outside school. There’s a lot more, of course, but I wanted to give you a little teaser.
2. Marni is strongly loved by students and colleagues.
Sometimes, this whole teaching thing gets tough. But there’s no reason to be Dour Debbie Downer. Marni understands that teaching is a marathon, not a sprint, and that personal relationships with students and colleagues matter markedly. Her smile is infectious, her wit wonderful, her humor hilarious. Even when times get rough, Marni remains optimistic and looking for “miracles.”
3. I’m lucky because I get to work with Marni every week.
Yep, she’s one of her school’s instructional leaders, which means I get to visit her every week, observe her teach, takes notes about all the great things she’s doing, and meet with her to plan her next steps. Plus, Marni lets me collaborate with her on her projects, which from time to time leads to some significant fame. Like when we were on the student-run newscast last Spring. Please enjoy:
I can’t wait for you to get to know Marni, listen to her stories, and bask in her successes. Plus, no pressure, but you’ll likely laugh a lot. Please enjoy!
If you’re advanced, write a little note to Marni to introduce yourself! (Or, if you’re shy, wait until her first post, which comes out next week.)