Hi, I’m Melissa.
I’m a writer, educator, researcher, and noticer of small things. I trust children and their intrinsic motivation for their own curiosities. I also trust teachers and their abilities to nurture children’s learning through noticing.
I love buttons, snails, octopuses, and found objects on the sidewalk. I appreciate silence. I feel most myself when I am writing.
I worked in urban, public schools for 23 years as a practicing classroom teacher and in other leadership capacities. I now write and consult with schools and organizations who wish for: deeper intention and attention in learning; more space for slowness; students to find more depth and connection in learning; and educators to trust themselves in noticing to grow student learning.
My content expertise is primarily with early childhood and elementary teaching and learning. My pedagogical expertise is more wide-reaching, including K-12 contexts and informal learning contexts.
My research focus includes: slow noticing; perspective-taking based in not-knowing; intrinsically motivated curiosity; interdisciplinary learning; play as method; supporting student inquiry with educator noticing; teacher learning grown from trust; building of teacher-led learning communities; descriptive conversation protocols; system change through noticing to leverage what’s already there.
I just completed my first children’s picture book manuscript—in a button (looking for its publishing home), and am working on a book for educators entitled Notice to Wonder: Trusting Children to Find and Follow Their Own Questions. I have a published book of poetry, removing (Modjaji Press, 2010) and a second book of poetry, atlas of ordinary things, forthcoming (Finishing Line Press, 2019).
I have a Masters Degree in Curriculum Theory from Penn State University and a Masters Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. I’m National Board Certified as an Early Childhood Generalist and a Teacher Consultant with Western PA Writing Project/National Writing Project.