I had wanted to be an English teacher all of my life; not necessarily because I loved children, but because I loved Shakespeare, Dickens and Kesey. But once I got into that classroom, once I started to build those relationships, my love for my content very quickly became a love for my children. I referred to my classroom as "my academic family" and made sure that we were indeed a community. After 24 years in the classroom, I am now an Instructional Coach/Reading Specialist at a large urban high school in Milwaukee. My teachers and their students have now become my "academic family" and I focus on creating that ripple effect - what can I do that will positively influence the teachers to positively influence our students?
I am especially proud to have written for major educational websites and print including: Edutopia, ASCDInservice and ASCDExpress, DisruptEd TV, Education Week Teacher, Exceptional Parent, Literacy and NCTE, Wisconsin State Reading Journal and the Illinois State Reading Council. I have presented locally, regionally and nationally on the topics of coaching, engagement, interventions and special needs. My new book entitled, Lessons Learned from the Special Education Classroom: Creating Opportunities to Listen, Learn, and Lead shares practical strategies and relevant resources for all grade levels and all abilities. By staying connected through writing, presenting, tweeting and blogging, I continue to grow and learn in this profession. It gives me great joy to share what I have learned with other education professionals.
Personally, I've been married to Mike for 35 years. Our son, Max, has become the man we always dreamed he would be: driven, determined and compassionate. Our daughter, Ani, rescued from a Bulgarian orphanage at the age of 5, is currently employed at our local, pediatric hospital while an avid member of Special Olympics and Best Buddies. Please join me as I continue to laugh, learn and listen; making education our priority and our passion!
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PGrafwallner/