March 6, 2019 - Michael Salinger

Escola Americana de Campinas – Campinas, Brazil

Nobody told us the wheels were going to fall off of the plane in Amsterdam.


The campus is green and full of stairs.

Hopping a plane from Istanbul to Brazil is not the most direct way to get Campinas – but, it’s the route we accepted. Here’s where being a frequent flier comes in handy – we were able to rebook our flights while standing in the immigration line leading to the baggage claim to be reunited with our suitcases being offloaded from our lame plane.  We even ended up getting into Sao Paulo a few hours earlier than originally scheduled.  So that sinking feeling we got when the pilot powered down the aircraft just before we were to leave the runway didn’t have to last more than a couple hours.


Fourth graders working on writing from another’s perspective.

This was our second visit to Campinas, Brazil and it just makes us yearn for a third.

Air travel drama behind us we were so excited to be back at EAC and working with Tom the head of school and his wife Heather, the upper school art teacher. We’ve worked with this duo both here and in Zambia, so we knew this would be a great visit.


heather helps a student craft an artist’s statement (a new Framework we came up with on this trip) 

This was a K-12 experience for us – one of our favorite types of school interactions – we love working with the carpet dwellers and the elder scholars.

Our first two days were spent with the elementary kids where we worked on supporting our premises with sensory comparisons and using refrain as a means of persuasion. We did a little PD session in the library after our first two days and the Principal Shannon was so attuned to our Framework method of teaching writing that we developed in our Scholastic book From Striving to Thriving Writers that she asked us back to speak to her whole staff the next day. When we strike that harmonious curricular chord with teachers and administrators it just wells up our spirits.


Participating in that serious business of writing.

The next three days we worked in the upper school and just out of sheer how the chips fell Sara and I ended up imbedded with the same English teacher where we got to know the classes and the instructor a little bit closer than we would if we were doing one and gone lessons. My only regret for the whole week was that on the day I was scheduled to work with the seniors just happened to coincide with the “Senior Skip” day.  Such is life.


Sara leads some of the teachers through sharing their PD produced poetry.

After our week in the schools Tom, Heather, Sara and I spent a relaxing weekend up in the mountains of Monte Verde where we hiked, drank coffee, ate pizza and generally just treated ourselves to a little self-care.


First book giveaway of Dreaming BIG and Small  went to this young lady for remembering that we call all our pieces Version 1 when we first lay pencil to paper, revision is expected.

So – from inauspicious beginning of malfunctioning landing gear to the uplifting of summiting Pico do Selado I would rate this visit to Campinas as excelente!


Here Tom is on top of the world in Monte Verde.

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“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
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