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Archive for the ‘Teachers’ Category

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Surviving Bear Island hits the shelves today in independent bookstores and libraries. It’s also available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

To celebrate the release of my debut novel I am going to giveaway TEN, shiny copies!!! Even you already have a copy you are free to enter. Maybe you want to give one to a friend or to a school in your area, or to some other organization that works with kids.

Surviving Bear Island is a 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.

Here are snippets of the reviews coming in from the media thus far:

Kirkus: “a terrific thrill on the page.”

Juneau Empire: Surviving Bear Island is an exciting book outdoors-minded boys and girls both will enjoy….It’s fast paced enough to keep reluctant readers’ attention, but it also avoids oversimplification while communicating real-life dilemmas in understandable ways .”

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:  Surviving Bear Island is a heart-pounding adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy…It follows its hero through a brilliant coming-of-age the likes of which are unlikely to be found anywhere outside Alaska.”

Here’s how to enter the contest: Leave a comment below to be entered once.

Share the link and tell me where you shared it to receive an extra entry and double your chances of winning.

Don’t forget to leave your email address if it is not readily available when I click on your name so I can contact you if you win.

The contest is open until midnight, Friday, March 27th Eastern Time.

I’ll announce the winners by Tuesday, March 31st at the latest. They will be chosen by a random number generator.

Finally, please ask your local libraries and bookstores to carry Surviving Bear Island. Word of mouth is still the best way for books to be discovered by people who love them.

Thanks for stopping by!

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PGreci and PDahlmeyer copy

A couple days ago, I did my first Surviving Bear Island school visits. I visited two schools where I was student back in the 70’s, John Marshall and Andrew Jackson Intermediate Schools for grades five to eight.

paul and marshall board

I felt very taken care of at both schools. The visits were set up on really short notice and the school staff did a fantastic job of being prepared. And the kids were just awesome and full of questions about writing and about Alaska.

paul reading at marshall

Later that day, I got my first letter from a student who had read my book.

The next night I went out to dinner with my high school English Teacher and signed books for him and for the school library.

Paul SBI

If you’d like to schedule a school visit or book signing check out my schedule and contact information by clicking here.

Surviving Bear Island comes out March 25th. Look for it in bookstores or order online now at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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On the 25th I’ll be celebrating the release of Surviving Bear Island and will be giving away ten copies of my book!! One of them could be yours!!

I hope you’ll stop by then for a chance to win!!!

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1.  So, I’m a month into the semester and loving it. I have students from Indonesia, China, Puerto Rico, rural Alaska, and the Dominican Republic. They are my teachers as much or more as I am theirs.

2.  I won’t be running the Equinox Marathon next weekend because of a slow-to-heal calf injury, but I did run three marathons in the past twelve months so I’m not too disappointed. Still, on race day I’m sure I’ll be missing it. It’s my all time favorite race and I’ve run it eight times.

3.  Fall is in full swing up here. The birches and aspens are a blaze of yellow, and strings of Sandhill Cranes are heading south interspersed with V’s of Canada Geese. And with the increased security on the borders I’m not sure what will happen. I mean, the geese will have no problem getting into Canada, but when they try to cross back into the states…could be trouble.

Goose in Police Car

"I've never needed a passport before on this flyway."

The garden is halfway harvested but there are still lots of potatoes to dig and carrots to pull.

And the cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse—we just eat them right off the vine.

And my writing….I’m hoping to dig into my WIP soon.

That’s what’s going on with me. What’s happening in your life, friends?

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The view from the farmhouse in the Italian Alps.

1.  I feel fortunate and lucky to have been able to spend time in Italy. Even though I didn’t visit the towns where my grandparents were born, I still felt an intensely personal connection with the land, perhaps because I spent several days with a good friend at a farmhouse that has been in his family for five hundred years.

A built-to-last stone roof.

2. Tomorrow I start a new job as the English Language Learner Teacher/Facilitator at West Valley High School. It is a semester-long position and will be a great introduction into the ESL/ELL world. I’m a little anxious because I’ve been out of the classroom for a few years but I’m also totally psyched to dive in and do the best job that I can.

3. My middle grade novel, STRANDED, was awarded second place in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Annual Contest. This news came to me via email a few minutes before starting the 21 hour trip home from Italy.

So yeah, I’m feeling jet-lagged from the 10 hour time change, I’m still digesting the Italy experience (which I’ll write about in the future), and I’m a bit preoccupied by the details of my new job that have been streaming in today, but I’m smiling!!!

That's me at the farmhouse with a stone barn in the background.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Recently I was asked this question: What attributes or qualities does an outstanding teacher possess?

This is what I came up with. And no, they aren’t listed in order of importance, just in the order I thought of them.

1.  In order to be an outstanding teacher you need to be committed to doing the best job that you can do. For a teacher, that means staying current on the research both in teaching methods and classroom content and then implementing the new content and methods in the classroom.

2.  Another attribute of being an outstanding teacher is to be able to accurately assess where your students are, meet them there, and then figure out the best way to help them move forward.

3.  An outstanding teacher conducts classes in ways that foster self-respect and build confidence in the students.

4.  An outstanding teacher is not afraid to seek support or advice from other professionals.

5.  An outstanding teacher takes full responsibility for what goes on in the classroom and constantly evaluates his/her own performance and makes changes accordingly.

6.  An outstanding teacher isn’t afraid to try new methods and approaches and in fact seeks them out knowing that the teacher/learner relationship is an evolving process.

I know this list is incomplete and I’d like your help expanding it.

What would you add to this list? Would you take anything off? Whether you are a student, a parent, or a teacher, I’d like to know what quality or qualities you think are most important for a teacher to have?

Thanks for your thoughts!!

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The blog has been a little quiet lately but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting around doing nothing.

1.  I had a wonderful two week visit with my family, one of the highlights being a trip to Grand Haven, Michigan to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Yes, I took a dip in Lake Michigan.

2.  I ran the Sunburst Marathon in South Bend, Indiana in high humidity and 80 degree plus heat. I’m glad I crossed the finish line before they called the race due to hazardous heat conditions.

3.  While I was in the Midwest, I received some good news: My middle grade novel has been chosen as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Annual Contest. Winners will be announced in August at their annual conference.

4.  I accepted a job for the fall semester. I will be teaching English to the ELL (English Language Learners) students at West Valley High School.  It is a ¾ time teaching position and just for the fall semester, kind of perfect for me in terms of keeping my writing going.

5.  I’m going hiking in the Italian Alps in late July/early August.

6.  And, am I working on a new book? You bet I am!!

Interesting. Is that public information?

That’s all the news that fit to tell. What have you been up to lately?

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