CTA & You

Lit From Within: Works by Our Members

Often educators’ creativity spills over into a book, blog, app or other work. We’re happy to showcase members’ talents.

Making a Scene

Mike Kimmel spent 11 years working on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. The actor and ESL and drama teacher, a member of Burbank Teachers Association, has long felt the need for practical, effective training tools for child and teen actors. So, he’s written several instructional books to meet the need, including Monologues for Teens (2018), named Performing Arts Book of the Year by the Independent Author Network, and Monologues for Kids and Tweens (2019). The family-friendly books contain positive imagery and subtle life lessons. Available at Amazon and mikekimmelauthor.com.

Adventures in Teacher Leadership

Ever wondered about the first steps to becoming a teacher leader, what kinds of approaches work best, and how to overcome inevitable challenges in leading colleagues on a journey toward professional improvement?

Burbank Teachers Association’s Rebecca Mieliwocki (California and National Teacher of the Year, 2012) and co-author Joseph Fatheree (Illinois Teacher of the Year, 2007) answer these questions and more in Adventures in Teacher Leadership (2019). This is a guide organized around five key tools — communication, collaboration, professional development, data and advocacy. The authors and many other state Teachers of the Year describe pathways to leadership, strategies for success, and pitfalls to avoid. The book invites you to expand your professional reach, empower the profession, and make a big difference in the lives of students everywhere. Available at Amazon and ascd.org.

Period. The End.

After Jennifer Tammar, Natomas Teachers Association, saw her first graders “writing punctuation marks the size of bowling balls,” she thought of a children’s book to help students learn how to properly form periods at the end of sentences. What’s the Punctuation, Iguana? (2019) finds Alligator, Bunny and Crabby enjoying a day at the beach when their friend Iguana causes some chaos because of his difficulty writing periods. Available on Amazon.

Helping Future Generations

Glendale Teachers Association member Arpine Ovsepyan has worked from preschool to the graduate school level, so she knows the challenges and excitement teachers face daily. She shares her experiences in Fifteen Years & Going: Reflections From an International Award-Winning California Educator (2019), with the goal of inspiring educators to do what it takes to help future generations reach their personal best. Ovsepyan offers research-based teaching and learning tools to ignite student interest, with interactive journal exercises for each chapter to help educators reflect and stay on the path of continual innovation.


Got something for these pages? Send details to editor@cta.org with “Lit From Within” in the subject line. We lean toward new(ish) work that can be used in the classroom.

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