About Citizen Teacher

My name is lisa eddy. I began teaching high school English at Adrian (MI) High School in 1994.

In my work as a high school teacher, mentor, and coach, I strive to embody the disposition of a “citizen teacher,” as described by Todd DeStigter, in his 2001 NCTE book, Reflections of a Citizen Teacher: Literacy, Democracy, and the Forgotten Students of Addison High as an educator who is “dedicated to fostering in all students the ability to envision, create, and participate in a more humane and democratic society.”

This blog will explore the question, “What does it mean (to me) to be a Citizen Teacher?”

Part of what it means for me to be a citizen teacher is that I am sustained and nurtured by being an active member in professional organizations, and that I am an active participant in the public conversation about education.

Lexi Miller returns to A125 to make a presentation about her Model United Nations experiences at EMU.

Lexi Miller returns to A125 to make a presentation about her Model United Nations experiences at EMU.

Professional Development

Professional development organizations that provide me with the training I need to accomplish this goal and sustain me in this work are The Leopold Education Project (LEP), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and The National Writing Project (NWP), the national organization of which my local organization, Eastern Michigan Writing Project (EMWP), is a part.

LEP gave me the training I needed to bring the concept of the land ethic to my work in English Language Arts. LEP is founded on the work of Aldo Leopold, one of the forefathers of conservation on several fronts: in practice, policy, education, and outreach. The LEP Mission Statement articulates Leopold’s vision: “The mission of the Leopold Education Project is to create an ecologically literate citizenry so that each individual might develop a personal land ethic.” In 1998, I attended my first LEP educator workshop and implemented my 1st LEP lesson, a writing activity that asked students to write about a portion of history through the perspective of a plant. Within a few years, I had fused LEP principles with my American Literature course to write a fully integrated, place-based/project-based American Literature course (2006) that engages students in outdoor research and writing for a real audience beyond the classroom. Since 1999, I have facilitated LEP educator workshops locally, sponsored by the Lenawee Pheasants Forever (PF) chapter and by the Adrian Dominican Sisters; in Bowling Green, Ohio, for the Wood-Lucas PF chapter; and at the National Workshop at LEP HQ in Baraboo, Wisconsin. In 2003, my article, “Literature, Language and Land: LEP in High School English” was published in the LEP publication, Strides, paired with an essay titled “My Land Ethic,” by my student, Kelsey Jacobs.

NWP gave me the training I needed to be an effective teacher of THINKING AND WRITING. I have participated in 2 NWP Summer workshops. In 1999, I participated in a local teacher workshop, taught by Dick Koch, faculty at Adrian College. Dick is a part of the Oakland Writing Project. Our work focused on the Teacher as Writer, and I expanded my “teacher toolbox” in writing with my students. In 2002, I participated in the EMWP Invitational Summer Institute. Our work together was intense and multi-facted: Teacher as Writer, Teacher as Researcher, and Teacher as Consultant. From this, I grew in my competence and confidence as a contributor to the Professional Development conversation on literacy. Through my involvement with NWP, I have developed my expertise as a consultant and workshop presenter in Collaborative Assessment, Family Literacy, and Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing to Learn. As a NWP teacher consultant, I have facilitated workshops in Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ypsi-Lincoln Public Schools, and in my home district of Adrian, MI.

Since 2002, I have been a part of the EMWP Teacher Researcher Group. This professional learning community provides a workshop/support community for group members’ work as researchers and writers in English education. This prestigious group is home to many leaders in the field. You can find group members in the pages of English Journal,  Language Arts Journal of Michigan (LAJM) and in many NCTE and Heinneman books, as well as in Professional Development and Community Literacy workshops in their home communities, around the state, and on the national scene.

NCTE gives me up-to-date nourishment for my profession, through emails, publications, and annual conventions. November 2015 will mark my 3rd time presenting at the national convention. NCTE conventions and other resources are invaluable assets in lesson planning, classroom practice, and advocacy for our profession.


My work has appeared on the EMWP website, eMuse, Strides (LEP publication), Language Arts Journal of Michigan, Connecticut Reading Association Journal, and English Journal.

Award Recipient

In 2009, I was honored to be the recipient of the Adrian Public Schools Education Foundation’s Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award.

“These awards are to recognize teachers, coaches, administrators and support personnel of APS. The Awards Committee may choose to recognize those who demonstrate excellence in teaching, deliver creative and quality instruction or serve as outstanding role models that inspire and motivate students. These awards are intended to recognize and reward those APS employees who go above and beyond the normal expectations and who have significantly and positively changed the lives of students. ” <http://theadrianmaples.com/?idpage=23

3 Responses “About Citizen Teacher” →

  1. Susan Piazza

    April 12, 2011

    Hi –

    Thanks so much for sharing your insights and experiences. I admire your thoughtfulness and responsibility as a citizen teacher. I will be reading the book soon!



  2. Hey-

    Your thoughts truly are amazing I’m glad you have shared your thoughts. You have been an amazing mentor and have earned many students respect, including mine.

    Your student, Jay R.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: