The Mission

Transcending Pedagogy

is a space devoted to helping educators grow as inspiring, creative, and reflective teachers,

and as open-minded and evolving learners.

Here, you’ll find:

      • How we support ourselves for expansion, sustainability, and joy in our profession; 
      • How we support and develop our readers, writers, and thinkers to cultivate and engage in inclusive communities;
        • How we are thinking, engaging, reflecting, inquiring, rethinking, and expanding our capacity and efficacy as educators;
        • How we can teach and lead for the world we deserve to live in and pass on.   

    We need safe spaces where we can explore ideas, try new things, push back against inequitable narratives, challenge the status quo, and talk through the seemingly-ceaseless times things just don’t go as planned.

    About Me

    michelle g. bulla

    Professional Roles:

    High School English teacher

    9-12 English Department Chair

    New York State English Council (NYSEC) Executive Board  

    NYS Education Department English & Language Arts Content Advisory Panel

    Hudson Valley Writing Project Teacher Consultant

    I’ve been teaching for over twenty five years, working with students, colleagues, and professional organizations to deepen our thinking, increase our ability and willingness to make connections to ourselves, our world, and our growth, and to read / write toward a more equitable and just way forward.

    I live and work in the gorgeous Hudson Valley of New York with my husband, who’s also a teacher. Yes…we met at work! When we’re not in the classroom or in meetings, we can generally be found in one of four places:  eating with friends / family, reading on a beach, prepping for adventure on a plane, or searching for treasure at an estate sale. And now since the pandemic, we’re walking. I thought that wouldn’t come until after retirement, but hey … here we are. Maybe you are, too?

    behind the scenes

    What is Pedagogy?

    Very simply, “pedagogy” is a term that captures the art and approach to teaching. 

    A teacher’s – and sometimes an institution’s – philosophy is based on core beliefs about the purpose of schools, the role of a teacher, and how we view students and learning; these beliefs help us determine how we design learning journeys and experiences. 

    To unpack some of this, think about how we “view students.”

    Are they vessels to be filled with knowledge?

    This leads to teacher-centered practices / pedagogy.

    Are they whole humans, fluent in language, technology, and culture, and who can be pointed toward ways to expand / enhance / contradict / “complexify” that knowledge?

    This leads to increased value of student choice and inquiry-based models for learning journey design, and thus student-centered practices and pedagogy. 

    Essentially, it is our WHAT and HOW, as determined by our WHY.

    More comprehensively then, “pedagogy” is the label for the type of approach a teacher employs in the design of lessons, units, projects, student interaction, etc., and it is an outgrowth of a teacher’s philosophy regarding what is important in that work, itself grounded in the goals of schools and education as local and national institutions for human development, as well as societal unity, growth, and progress. 

    A teacher’s pedagogy is often multi-layered, flexible, fluid, and responsive, reflecting an awareness of life and learning. 

    And, as society and the profession evolves, so too do teachers and pedagogy.

    Learning requires literacy.

    Literacy is a gift of and for life.

     When we teach, we give learners the literacy they need for life… we transcend pedagogy.

    Read on the Blog

    Transcending Pedagogy

    Blog about teaching, learning, thinking, education, leading, and caring for teacher-as-human.

    I write about actual classroom teaching experiences, planning for diverse learners, the joys and frustrations that are inherent in teaching, specific plans and ideas to stimulate reading, writing, and thinking, the constant revisioning and rethinking that is the hallmark of great teaching and leading, and the real-time changes, adaptations, successes and failures that happen daily in the work.

    Professional… Development?

    Today I submitted a proposal for a convention workshop. The proposal is based on a paradigm of...

    Re-Imagining (Volunteer) Learning Organizations

    This weekend I attended an online workshop put on by some wonderfully thoughtful folks with whom I...

    Irony Rising

    My husband - a teacher - read me an article today that I found so disturbing, and yet, if I think...

    Perception is Everything

    Working with a dear colleague, I am thinking through what it means to share ideas in a...

    To Read – To Rest

    I'm about a third of the way into reading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doer, and there's a passage...

    Reflections & Insights

    It's been a minute. So much has happened, and yet it sometimes feels like so little. Maybe you can...

    The Ones doing the Talking…

    When I started my teaching career, I was focused on embodying expertise and operating from a...

    Shift Happens

    Mid-week, mid-unit. Lately, I'm feeling like I'm always in the middle of things. I think it's in...

    They Can Turn On The Light

    My AP students are studying sonnets, and learning about how to read them to discover their riches....

    The Ones doing the Talking…

    When I started my teaching career, I was focused on embodying expertise and operating from a...

    Shift Happens

    Mid-week, mid-unit. Lately, I'm feeling like I'm always in the middle of things. I think it's in...

    Poetry for Days – Part I of II

    My poetry class - new course for me - is off to an amazing start. So, I'm sharing it all: what I...

    Services

    Work with Me

    Educators want and deserve to feel creative, confident, and connected; some can find that on their own; for most of us, we derive it from a simple and yet often elusive source:  feeling and being supported in our work.

    We want to know we have people who eagerly serve as sounding boards, who ask thought-provoking questions, and who offer guidance to help us be our best selves with our students and our colleagues. 

    Services

    These services are intended to nurture teachers & leaders who are committed to personal growth and expanding opportunites for student voice & choice.

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    Teacher Talk-Throughs

    1-1 or small group gatherings where we look at an idea, problem, concept, text, endeavor, and talk it through together to meet the educator’s or team’s goal. Check out 'Curricular Support' for ideas.

    60 minute single sessions; packages / group sessions available.

    Curricular Support

    Together we can create a new curriculum / course, workshop teaching practices, design a program. 

    Collaboration and workshop topics include but are not limited to:

    • increasing student engagement to generate student ownership of learning; 

    • facilitating inquiry-based learning;

    • choosing contemporary texts for whole class and book club reading journeys;

    • shifting from whole-class to student-chosen texts;

    • building writers through authentic writing;

    • designing projects, units, and courses;

    • using schools of literary criticism / critical literary theory to facilitate complex thinking and intuitive development of students’ writing voices;

    • integrating arts, history, science, and literary / cultural studies;

    • using contemporary poetry to create and inspire readers and writers of poetry;

    • developing reflection practices to support personal and organizational goals.

    for a deeper dive…

    Publications

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    'Exploring Teaching as a Profession' Course
    National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

    Get in Touch