Dorit and I first met through the CWCC over two years ago and I’ve watched and cheered with admiration in all she has achieved. With her background as an ESL teacher, Dorit readily shares her expertise through teaching and writing. Making sure each ESL student has the specific tools in achieving their success both within the classroom and in society. Come along and learn more about Dorit and her well accomplished career.
DMc: You have written articles for a variety of journals, magazines, newsletters, and ezines like Reading Today, Essential Teacher, Teacher and Principal Quarterly, the Internet TESL Journal, WAHM Online, and many others. What do you find the most challenging in keeping your approach fresh and exciting?
DS: One fundamental challenge is picking a topic that my primary audience that is, teachers, seem to be struggling with the most and then write in an attention grabbing and practical way. I'm always looking how to turn serious classroom and teaching issues into simple and sometimes, lighthearted articles that are easy and fun for teachers to read.
DMc: You are a teacher at CCAC Allegheny Community College. Please describe the class structure for your reading and writing classes.
DS: In my ESL classes, Students spend a lot of time using English to communicate and interact for a specific purpose. I always combine speaking with one of the other primary skills of reading and writing. Yesterday for example, the students did a role play of "mock interview" in preparation for an information seeking interview. They will then write their findings in the form of an essay.
Students often work in pairs or in small groups in order to create a classroom community that reflects the globality of learning English.
DMc: What or whom inspired you to become a children’s writer.
DS: I've always been taken to reading children's literature especially Charlotte's Web and the All of a Kind Family series. I think after years of reading children's books, I figured I had enough to say and well, write my own. It just was a natural part of the writing journey. I just thought I'd experiment with writing for children since my focus is for that population anyway.
DMc: How have you combined your experiences as a classroom teacher with your writing?
DS: Since my niche is teaching ESL, I primarily target that part of the educational market. For example, I take many classroom scenarios and issues teachers seem to struggle with the most and turn them into short articles for my blog site, conduct interviews with other professionals and experts in the field, write tip booklets, create podcasts and tele-seminars. Before writing anything, I always look at the needs of teachers and what they're struggling with. I share my own classroom experiences on my blog site and in my weekly ezine. I also focus on larger writing projects such as resource books for teachers.
DMc: What is your biggest challenge in juggling all your responsibilities?
DS: The biggest challenge I find is transitioning from the "teaching hat" to the "writing hat" and carving enough time out of the time to accomplish the tasks without falling on the expense of the other. It's an ongoing challenge.
I am also my own "band." I do everything from marketing to writing. The non-writing activities often eat out of my writing time. Sometimes I wish I had a virtual assistant!
DMc: You are the founder and director of the New Teacher Resource Center. Please share with our readers as to what they can expect when visiting http://newteacherresourcecenter.com/
DS: The New Teacher Resource Center is an online support site that provides teachers (with the emphasis on new teachers) with resources, tips and teaching strategies – anything they need to jumpstart their careers and become more confident in the classroom. Teachers can find quick tips on parent conferencing or lesson planning. If they need more expert advice, they can turn to Professor Diane Barone and learn how to teach English language learners more effectively or get some hands-on classroom management tips from Professor Howard Seeman.
There are many free resources such as sample teaching resumes, lesson planning charts and links to other educational and teaching resources. There is also a children's writer section including several short recordings from Suzanne Lieurance.
DMc: Through your website you offer a FREE e-book entitled, Taking Charge in the Classroom. How is this resource beneficial to teachers?
DS: The FREE e-book Taking Charge in the Classroom is a handbook of resources and tips on classroom management and lesson planning. Each article gives teachers tips on what they can do to become a more effective lesson planner and classroom manager by creating a classroom management plan that works and speaks to them.
DMc: Please share with us your current Works-in-Progress.
DS: Well, I just finished a tips booklet, "Yes! You Can Teach Your K-12 English language learners successfully!" and it is available for downloading at http://www.newteacherresourcecenter.com/ and http://www.tipsbooklets.com/
I also have a book manuscript under discussion with Scholastic entitled: Helping ESL Students in Grades 1-2: Activities to Increase Word Recognition, Reading Comprehension and Oral Fluency in Just One Month which I collaborated with my coauthor.
And finally, I have a children's picture book under discussion (My first one!) entitled, The Hummus Party with the multi-cultural publisher, Kane-Miller.
I'm really excited about the prospects of these three projects and what they can bring.
DMc: What can we expect from you in the future?
DS: I'm working on my second tip booklet for teachers and getting ready to submit a short story for a fiction contest about my journey coming to the United States after living in Israel for many years.
I'm also in the process of finishing another ebook, Tips and Tricks to Survive and Thrive in the Classroom: Practical activities and tips for teachers made easy, which consists of 10 special reports on a different area of teaching.
I'm also working on a second picture book for children.
DMc: You are a member of the Children’s Writing Coaching Club. What led you to joining? What would you like to share with someone contemplating in joining?
DS: I felt I needed the online support and feedback from a writing group in order to move my children's writing to the next level. Besides benefiting from the already low price, I found a home with other talented writers.
A writing group is an excellent way to receive support and feedback from other writers. Although writers can be lonely people, they still need the camaraderie and support to keep at the writing especially during hard times. Rejection is part of the business.
DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit from their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Dorit, can you please share one with us?
KC: After serving in the Israeli army as an officer and living on a kibbutz in Israel for 19 years, I returned to the United States in 2007 with my husband and young son. I'm originally from New York City (I live in Pittsburgh now) and the multi-cultural hats I wear also feed into my writing and teaching. I feel I can adjust to anything! My students look at me like I'm crazy when I share this tidbit with them and I always wonder why! Living in Israel is a lot safer than living in the U.S.
To learn more about Dorit Sasson’s writing career visit:
The New Teacher Resource Center – http://www.newteacherresourcecenter.com/