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Suzanne Whaley is a National Board certified teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she was a classroom teacher and literacy specialist for twenty-two years before working in the central office. She currently leads the literacy professional development for reading specialists, principals, school teams, and teachers in her district. Suzanne has taught second through fifth grade and has been a reading specialist and Literacy Collaborative Coach in a vibrant Title I school. Suzanne believes in the power of being a student of the students, who are the richest source of data that any teacher has. Suzanne considers herself lucky to have spent her career surrounded by thoughtful and passionate professionals who have shaped her belief in developing a “thinking teacher” where the most powerful habits of mind are reflection and continuous growth.
Suzanne strives to keep meaning at the heart of learning experiences for teachers as well as students. She collaborated with Kathleen Fay and Chrisie Moritz to write Powerful Book Introductions: Leading with Meaning to Promote Thinking to help teachers analyze texts and plan lessons so that meaning-making is at the forefront of students’ learning opportunities with books.
Suzanne co-authored her first book, Becoming One Community: Reading and Writing with English Language Learners (Stenhouse 2004), with Kathleen Fay to support general education teachers who work in diverse communities and value every student as a full member of the community.
Suzanne lives in Clifton, Virginia, with her husband, Ben, and their daughter, Rachel.