Renee Houser is co-founder of Growing Educators, which provides customized professional development to schools in the Los Angeles, California, area. She holds a Masters in Education from Old Dominion University and a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Fordham University. A former staff developer at Teachers College Reading & Writing Project, Columbia, University, Renee says it was her years teaching at PS 126 in New York City that most shaped her vision of student-centered teaching and collaborative professional learning. She is co-author of the What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? series (Corwin Literacy, 2017).
Gravity Goldberg is author of Mindsets and Moves: Strategies That Help Readers Take Charge (Corwin Literacy, 2015) and author of many articles about reading, writing, and professional development. She holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a former staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and was an assistant professor at Iona College’s graduate education program. She leads a team of literacy consultants in the New York/New Jersey region. Gravity is also the author of Conferring with Readers: Supporting Each Students’ Growth and Independence (Heinemann, 2007) and the What Do I Teach Readers Tomorrow? series (Corwin Literacy, 2017).
We met in the summer of 2004 as new staff developers at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. After realizing we were both college athletes with a lot in common, we began running in Central Park and training for the New York City Marathon together. Over a ten year span we ended up running three marathons, two full Ironman races, and countless shorter course triathlons together. During every training swim, bike, and run we always brainstormed ideas for a book. Miles and miles would fly by as as we discussed lessons, planned workshops, and eventually outlined chapters. Renee moved from NYC to California after our first Ironman race, but luckily we have unlimited phone minutes and google invented shared documents so we can keep up the collaboration.
We are grateful for a strong friendship that emerged and to be able to create work we believe in together. When we present you will hear us laugh, finish each other's sentences, and connect abstract instructional ideas to sports analogies. We've crossed many finish lines together and co-writing two books is by far our longest endurance event.