Haha - I thought HOR was accepting submissions from teachers this year! Oops - that was another writing anthology I was encouraging my students to submit to. But when I submitted my poem to Honoring Our Rivers, they liked it so much that they decided to include it anyway. Usually they only have adult writing from famous authors like Barry Lopez, so I think this might make me a little bit famous by association, no?
And three of my students had their writing accepted, too! Woo hoo! On Sunday, May 22, I get to do my first-ever reading at Powell's City of Books, the largest independent new-and-used bookstore in the world. I'm excited about that.
But wait...there's more...
Tonight I went to a little ceremony hosted by the Portland Council of the International Reading Association, for their annual "Celebrate Literacy" awards. One of the other literacy leaders from the middle schools in Oregon City had nominated me to receive this award for the work I do as Literacy Coach at Oregon City High School. For the last six years I have been teaching part-time, and the other part of my job has been to work with all of the 100 or so teachers at OCHS to improve reading and writing throughout our school.
I mean, I certainly can't take all the credit for this, but it is pretty impressive that in a school of over 2200 students, just an average middle-class school, not wealthy or anything, 92% of our juniors have passed their state reading test, and nearly 80% have passed their state writing test. So it's always a little embarrassing to be in the limelight, but it was kind of fun, too.
Mark came along to cheer me on, and he brought the camera. His brother Greg, and his mom LaVerne and his Aunt Alice joined our table. There were 3 other honorees, but I had the biggest fan club because my principal also came, along with the Literacy Coaches for the elementary schools and the middle schools in the district.
Maureen Davis, the middle school Literacy Coach, gave the little introduction speech for me.
Hoo boy, she laid it on pretty thick.
And then she said some more...
They gave me a nice certificate...
...along with the other three literacy leaders who were recognized.
(Left to right: Amy Thibault, 3rd grade teacher in West Linn; Nancy Utterback, Clackamas HS; me; Jane Koivisto, Concordia University)
Here are the three Literacy Coaches in Oregon City School District:
Phyllis Hines, elementary; me at the high school; Maureen Davis, middle schools.
So now you know just how famous I am tonight: a little bit.
P.S. I know you're dying to read it...I'll post my poem soon. It's more fun to spread the fame out a little.