Penny Kittle is an English teacher and literacy coach at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire. Her career in teaching began in a third grade classroom in Hesperia, California, and has taken her to Oregon, Washington, Ohio, Michigan, and now to New Hampshire. She has taught grades 3-graduate school. In the summer Penny teaches in Durham at the University of New Hampshire Literacy Institutes.
Penny believes in supporting new teachers and directed her district’s K-12 teacher mentoring program for 12 years. This passion came from her work from 1992-1997 at Eastern Michigan University where Penny supervised student teachers from Detroit to Walled Lake and taught methods courses for the College of Education.
Penny is the author of Public Teaching: one kid at a time, The Greatest Catch: a life in teaching, Inside Writing: how to teach the details of craft (co-authored with her mentor and friend, Donald H. Graves),Write Beside Them: risk, voice, and clarity in high school writing, and Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers. She was a columnist for Voices from the Middle, an NCTE publication, for six years. She recently co-edited (with Tom Newkirk) a collection of Don Graves’ work, Children Want to Write: Don Graves and the Revolution in Children's Writing published by Heinemann in May of 2013.
In 2008, Penny received the Literacy Leader award for the state of New Hampshire, given by the New England Reading Association. In 2009, Penny received the James N. Britton award from the National Council of Teachers of English for Write Beside Them.
Penny travels across the U.S. and Canada (and once in awhile even farther) speaking to teachers about empowering students through independence in literacy. She believes in curiosity, engagement, and deep thinking in schools for both students and their teachers.
Penny lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. When she isn’t teaching or reading, you’ll find her curled up by the window with her writing notebook, waiting for words.