Thursday, January 15, 2015
There (on a dark street at the National Harbor on a cold night) I stood with Ginee Seo and Sally Kim of Chronicle Books; we'd just emerged from a wonderful meal. There, coming toward us, was Paul W. Hankins, whose Twitter handle reveals him to be a "reader, writer, wonder-er, and teacher of English/AP English Language/Composition at Silver Creek High School," though everyone already knows him for his passionate advocacy of youth, words, and innovative teaching. A conversation that began (in person) that night continued on Twitter and Facebook and soon the conversation was embracing one Glenda Cowen-Funk, a supreme teaching goddess and master/mistress, who began to tell me stories about the way she teaches her high school students in Idaho.
You want to know how to teach The Great Gatsby? Ask Glenda. You want to see Beowulf come to life? Rush travel your way to her classroom. You want to know how lucky I am? Glenda has been reading One Thing Stolen. She's been reading, she's been musing, and I've been learning from her.
Yesterday I asked if some of Glenda's beautiful musings about the book might be shared more broadly. Generously, Glenda said yes. And so, with deepest appreciation for teachers who bring such enormous creativity to the classroom and such kindness to writers, I share Glenda's thought-provoking words.
One Thing Stolen is a nest of words, pieced together to build a shelter. Like Laurie Halse Anderson does in SPEAK, Kephart has created a character who cannot speak, only she does, punctuating streams of consciousness."
— Glenda Cowen-Funk, NEA Master Teacher Project, NBCT, Teacher at S. D. # 25, Highland High School, Pocatello, Idaho