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Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg is an experienced educational consultant and staff developer with twenty years of classroom teaching experience who has never stopped learning. She is as much a teacher of English, grammar, reading, and writing as she is a teacher of grit, perseverance, and character education. She has spent her career rethinking approaches to learning and developing curricula that motivate and inspire students to want to grow and learn. She believes in integrating authentic learning experiences into every classroom to help kids find meaning in their learning.
During her two decades of teaching, Vicki has helped hundreds of students achieve their dreams of becoming novelists and published authors.
“Maybe writing novels or publishing short stories and poems wasn’t actually their dream at first, but in English class that’s about as authentic as you can get. I can tell you that for a middle schooler, there is nothing more rewarding than accomplishing an enormous, seemingly impossible task like writing a novel in thirty days or establishing long-term step-by-step goals that lead to real world publication.”
As a gifted support teacher for a number of her early teaching years, Vicki often wondered why kids in the regular classrooms weren’t given the same opportunities to challenge themselves and experience what it meant to accomplish a real goal within a community of learners. So she returned to the regular classroom as an English and language arts teacher, vowing to make sure that every child she teaches knows what it’s like to “feel smart.”
“I believe that all kids have the ability to accomplish extraordinary things; and as teachers, it is our responsibility to create opportunities for our students to become extraordinary. The fact is that all of our students want to know what it feels like to be smart and successful. We need to provide these experiences for all kids at every ability level without ‘dumbing it down.’ Adolescents thrive in an environment that is both challenging and relevant to their lives. They need to learn that their voices do matter in the classroom and out in the world, and we need to give them the platform to be heard.”
Vicki earned her undergraduate degree in speech communications and secondary English education, and she earned her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She loved being a public middle school teacher and staff developer in Maryland and Pennsylvania before relocating to North Carolina. She is a Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project fellow and spent years as a site coordinator for their Young Writers/Young Readers Summer Program. She is currently involved in a writer’s critique group where she is working on writing a YA novel. She is also consulting with local classroom teachers, and looking into doctoral programs so she can continue to impact education.