In 2014, I added an experimental new position to the staff at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching: the Frost Place teaching fellow. The person in this role would be an experienced educator and a past conference participant who would work as a liaison between the teaching philosophies of the faculty poets and the hands-on goals and responsibilities of teachers in the classroom.
Alyssa Kelly, our 2014 teaching fellow, brought so much intelligence, patience, and fun to the role that we immediately realized that we needed to continue the experiment. So I'm delighted to introduce Jean Kanzinger, the 2015 teaching fellow at the Conference on Poetry and Teaching, who will not only continue to help me hone the definitions of the position but also inspire both faculty and participants as we work to become the best teachers we can be.
Jean currently teaches English at Chagrin Falls High School in northeast Ohio. She attended the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching in both 2010 and 2013 and has since served as a teacher consultant to the program. She says that, for her, the conference has been an endless source of inspiration and comraderie as she works to bring poetry more fully into the classroom. Jean is a National Writing Project teacher consultant and serves as a member of the Teaching Consultant Council for the National Writing Project site at Kent State University. She has taught poetry to K-12 students and has conducted workshops for language arts teachers on poetry instruction. Jean writes a quarterly education post for the CavanKerry Press blog, and later this year the Academy of American Poets will begin featuring samples of her poetry curricula at poets.org.
I feel so fortunate to have Jean on this year's conference staff, along with associate director Teresa Carson and visiting poets Gibson Fay-LeBlanc and Marcus Jackson. Not only are they all outstanding teachers, but all share a mission to bring poetry into everyday lives both in and outside the classroom. The Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching has a unique mission, uniting colleagues from both K-12 settings and those who work in higher education, independent workshops, social services, administration, government, and lifelong learning programs. I do hope you will join us on the porch.