E.B. considers herself equal parts writer and teacher. She has taught everyone from fifth graders all the way through retiree. E.B. was an AmeriCorps teaching fellow at Mother Caroline Academy in Dorchester from 2010-2012 where she taught English, history, and visual art to fifth and sixth graders, and she taught both English and history to seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and twelfth graders at the Noble & Greenough School in Dedham throughout 2015-2018. She has also taught workshops at The Door in SoHo, Y2Y in Harvard Square, the Fishers Island Library and The Lighthouse Works on Fishers Island, the Columbia University Program for High School Students, and the Columbia University Intro Writing Course program, both in Morningside Heights. E.B. has been a writing instructor at GrubStreet in Boston since 2015, where she teaches classes for both adults and teens (in the Young Adult Writing Program), both in person and online.
E.B. believes that everyone can love writing and reading, it’s just a matter of finding what type of writing and reading you love. Donalyn Miller’s book, The Book Whisperer, states that in order to get kids to become better readers, you have to let them read what they like––even if that means just letting them read the back of cereal boxes. Kids should be encouraged to try out different genres to figure out what they like to read, and then, once they find what they like, they will actually want to read, and then they will read more and more, and then they will naturally start to read more and more challenging books.
E.B. thinks this same philosophy applies to writing: students should be encouraged to try out different genres of writing to find what they enjoy––maybe it’s poems, maybe it’s stories, maybe it’s personal essays, maybe it’s blog posts, maybe it’s really long Instagram captions––because, no matter what it is you’re writing, you’re still writing. The two ways to improve at writing are to 1) read a lot and 2) write a lot. E.B. has written in an almost-daily journal since August 2001 and, as of July 2019, she has filled 103 volumes. Even if she’s just writing about how lousy her day was or a dumb fight she had with a friend, she’s still writing, and she encourages her students to write every day if the can. But also, and this is easier said than done, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find time to write every day: E.B. feels strongly that even when you’re not physically writing, you’re often still writing. (Read more here.) Remember: even when you’re writing emails or text messages, you are honing your voice and developing your craft. All reading is reading, and all writing is writing.