After spending my first three years at Castro Valley High School, I began teaching English at Burlingame High School where I have been since 1992.
Prior to becoming an English teacher, I taught special education, first in private schools and later in North Africa where I served in the Peace Corps in the mid 1980s. Starting in 1998, I began writing about teaching, focusing on not only English Language Arts but also adolescent literacy in general.
Since 1998 I have published almost twenty books, the most notable of these being The English Teacher's Companion: A Complete Guide to Classroom, Curriculum, and the Profession, published by Heinemann and available in its third edition. In addition, I now serve as a senior consultant to the Holt McDougal Literature program, an experience from which I have learned important new lessons. More recently, I have taken on new responsibilities with the NCTE and College Board. I was elected this year to the NCTE Secondary Section, a group with whom I look forward to working. I have also been appointed to the College Board's Advanced Placement Course and Exam Review Commission for the English Literature and Language courses. When I can, I speak to and work with teachers around the country, though I don't do this much during the school year since I teach every day. What I really enjoy, though, is just the daily work of teaching and sharing with you and other colleagues the lessons I learn along the way from my fellow teachers and my wonderful students.