About Me

I’m Tina and I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon, for 22 years.  But I grew up in Macon, Georgia, and will always be a Georgia girl at heart.  My high school sweetheart and I moved across the country with our toddler daughter in 1999 and never looked back. Now we are still in Portland and that little toddler’s almost 24 years old!

I’ve been an educator for 18 years, and I have worn many hats — French, Spanish, ESOL, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Reading Intervention, and Creative Writing!  Since 2018, I have dedicated myself full-time to curriculum and materials development, teacher training, and staff development.  It was a difficult decision to leave my beloved classroom, but for the time being, I feel like I have a lot to do in the wider profession.

I have been studying comprehension-based communicative language teaching since 2004 and working my hardest at delivering clear, interesting, comprehensible input to my students.  I have also pursued extensive training in literacy across the content areas.

In 2011, I started a little company called Literacy Education Services, to offer a couple trainings each summer in reading and writing workshop and content-area literacy to my colleagues in the Portland area.  In 2016, I collaborated on a book called A Natural Approach to Stories, with Ben Slavic, and in 2017, we collaborated on a book (now out of print) called A Natural Approach to the Year.  That book proved very useful to a lot of teachers…and my life sort of exploded.

Since that time, I have been keeping real busy with traveling and writing and running Facebook groups to connect with my colleagues around the country and even overseas!

Recently, I finished my latest book, FOUNDATIONS:  A Natural Approach to the (Transition) Year, which brings my earlier work into line with the Stepping Stones curricular framework.  It’s one of my finest accomplishments in life.  Check it out here or read the preview below.

In 2018, I founded the World Language Proficiency Project and developed our first year of Summer Institutes.  I am so proud of the training we will be offering to proficiency-oriented World Language teachers.

In 2020, in response to the pandemic-related mayhem, we began producing a Year of Free Materials aligned to the Stepping Stones curricular framework. We have chosen to keep them free even though most of us are back to teaching in-person. You can download the free materials from our Teachers Pay Teachers store, or get a PDF with all of the first two cycles (Description and Narration) by signing up here.

Learn more about Stepping Stones below. You can get an editable Scope and Sequence document here.

In 2020, also in response to the challenges faced by teachers in navigating the pandemic, we began offering free Open-Use Texts to fill the need left by physical books that had to be left behind in shuttered classrooms. Out of the positive response we got from teachers using our Open-Use Texts, we created E-Lit, a leveled library of super-comprehensible, super-engaging texts. Like this one! Visit the E-Lit website to preview more texts, in German, Spanish, French, and English — over 150 texts in each language…and growing fast!

Well, thanks so much for reading!

My journey as an educator has brought me so much, especially great relationships with students and colleagues.  I have been so fortunate to have found many, many supportive colleagues along the way, and many of them have become dear sweet friends!

Thank you for stopping by my little welcome mat on the internet.  I hope you find some inspiration here.  I’ve learned so much from so many over the years, and it is an honor to pass it on to you!