About Heather Cianci, the Face Behind It’s Lit Teaching
Hey Teacher Heroes!
(That’s one thing you should know about me right away–I believe all teachers are heroes. You are of course a hero when you pull off a smooth lesson and your students adore you. But to me, you’re also a hero on those days when you’re crying in your car after work. #BeenThere)
My name is Heather Cianci, and this is my teaching brand, It’s Lit Teaching!
Growing up, I was always the straight-A student, kicking butt in my honors and AP courses, and always going home with glowing reviews from my teachers.
Naturally, I imagined teaching students just like myself when I grew up! Oh, the deep conversations about classical literature we would have!
But when I did indeed “grow up”, I found myself hired at the local at-risk alternative school.
Guys, I was in way deeper than I was ready for!
I struggled hard throughout my first year. My students hated me, and I had no idea what I was doing.
The next year was a little bit better. And the year after that, too, got a little better.
There was no magical professional development or how-to book for me.
I didn’t have a mentor teacher or administrator come save me and my career. Everything I know about teaching has been trial and error and learned the good, old-fashioned hard way.
But you guys, I have learned SO MUCH, and I am so much better now than when I started.
I spent those first few years learning from my students. They told me exactly what they needed, although not always in the kindest of ways.
I had to examine my own privilege, limiting beliefs, and assumptions.
And now, I wouldn’t trade my at-risk youth for AP students any day.
I very, very rarely work outside of class time. I’ve usually planned out weeks ahead of time. My relationships with my students are great.
Now, I want to help other teachers who may be starting out their careers and feeling totally lost.
More and more, our students are coming to use disengaged and unprepared.
But that doesn’t mean we should lose hope!
Instead, it means that we need to innovate and try new things. It means we need to find what works for our students, but also what works for us.
It’s Lit Teaching was born from knowing that if I need it, other teachers probably do too.
So that’s why I’m here–I want to help you serve your students without the overwhelm or burnout. I promise teaching can be, as my students say, “Lit”!