M. Colleen Cruz

Writer, Educator, Consultant

Embracing Trouble

November 18, 2015

Tags: responsive teaching, facing fears, writing workshop, NCTE

Full disclosure: I have two major fears. They are fear of flying and fear of public speaking. Which, makes my career choice a little odd. Because, as a literacy consultant I travel all over the world to teach in front of people, give speeches and conduct workshops. So I face my deepest fears on (more…)

Bend Your Knees and Brace Yourself

November 8, 2015

Tags: unexpected life events, teaching is tough, pessimism is positive

Those of you who follow my Twitter feed or read this blog might have noticed Iíve been mostly missing for the last 6 months.

Itís because Life came at me like a hurricane to a drought-savaged land. Storming with much welcomed water, while also destroying a lot of what lay in itís (more…)

Happy Birthday Book!

May 14, 2015

Tags: book birthday, pub date, weird, nervous, the wait

It's official. My latest book - the Unstoppable Writing Teacher - is published.

This is the 8th time I have seen by name next to a copyright and an ISBN number. (Look Ma- I'm in the Library of Congress!)

And each time it happens - the day the long awaited publication date arrives - (more…)

Day Five - Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 8, 2015

Tags: thank you, other side of the desk, other people's children, trust, love

Today is my final Teacher Appreciation Week post. I have had a lot of fun doing this - reflecting on what makes me grateful for the teachers in my life. And I am really appreciative for your responses and sharing and retweets.

I wanted to take today's blog post as an opportunity to honor (more…)

Day Four- Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 7, 2015

Tags: Promised, love, our kids

Thank you for your positive responses to the blog this week! I especially loved your lists of things purchased in the name of kids! Today's post is a little bit of a departure...

When I was a young teacher, I was told a story about a teacher in my building that affected me profoundly.


Day Three - Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 6, 2015

Tags: items, stories, money, need

Todayís teacher appreciation post is not one story in particular, but rather a story told through things. Each item on the list below are things purchased by teachers I know for their students and their classrooms. Things purchased with their own money.

When you look at each item you can imagine the story (more…)

Day Two - Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 5, 2015

Tags: Ted Kopacki, high school, English, grateful

A few years ago I got word that it was time for my 20th high school class reunion. I was on the fence about attending. I wanted to see my old friends and revisit my old high school, of course. But it was hard to justify going. I lived 3,000 miles away. I had a (more…)

Day One- Teacher Appreciation Stories

May 4, 2015

Tags: Reading Castle, Team Book, Substitute, Mrs. Haiduck, Third Grade

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Iím going to take a break from problem tackling and venture into the world of gratitude. I wanted to share some memories and stories of favorite, unflappable, inspirational, and of course, unstoppable teachers.

The first teacher that comes to mind was my own third grade teacher, Mrs. (more…)

Making Units Short(er)

February 10, 2015

Tags: units of study, writing workshop, time

Iím back, with a vengeance Ė or at least a plan to blog twice a month.

For those of you who are new to this blog, my latest book, UNSTOPPABLE WRITING TEACHER, is in its final production stages (May 15th!) This blog is meant to support and add on to the work began in (more…)

Time for Balancing Small Groups and Conferences

November 11, 2014

Tags: time, trouble, small groups, conferences, writing

I'm back in the blogging saddle again.

I had to take a little (by little, I mean 6 week) break to finish writing my new book - and it is at last finished (at least from my end). Phew and yay. But in the meantime, I have collected many fantastic questions/issues/ideas that I (more…)

Selected Works

A book that addresses some of the most common and challenging struggles a teacher of writing might face - and offers solutions
Professional Literature
A practical resource for 3rd grade teachers looking to teach writing workshop
A practical resource for 4th grade teachers looking to teach writing workshop.
A practical book and quick read from Heinemann's Help Desk Imprint
Co-written with Lucy Calkins, this book is a part of the Units of Study First Hand Series from Heinemann.
Designed for teachers, this book discusses the ins and outs of teaching students to cultivate independent writing lives.
Young Adult Novel
A finalist for the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, this book follows the story of Cesi as she embarks on a journey to Mexico in order to learn more about her family, and herself.