About Mark Weakland
A teacher, reading specialist, writer, and musician, Mark enjoys exploring the intersections of education, literacy, science, and the arts. As a national and regional consultant and coach, Mark works with students, teachers, and administrators to create effective literacy programs, as well as authentic and extended reading and writing experiences. As an artist, Mark strives to write books, play music, and craft workshops that engage and inspire.
Mark holds a master’s of education degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He was the recipient of an Owens Fellowship and studied in Japan under the auspices of the Japanese Fulbright Memorial Fund. His teaching certifications include reading specialist, special education, elementary education, and general science. For many years, Mark was a teacher, first in a learning support classroom (grades 4 and 5) and and then as a Title I reading specialist (grades K to 6). In between his teaching assignments, he worked as an educational consultant, providing professional development in the areas of reading and instructional practices. In 2014 he left public education and formed his own company, Mark Weakland Literacy. It's been an adventure ever since.
From California and Texas to New York and West Virginia, and from one-hour keynotes to multi-month residencies, Mark strives to bring encouraging, practical, and achievable solutions to the literacy challenges that teachers and administrators face. His workshops, presentations, and job-embedded model lessons always aim to strengthen the components of elementary literacy programs, including process-based writing, core-reading, spelling instruction, effective teaching techniques for the general classroom, best literacy practices that support struggling students (including those with dyslexia), and student-used metacognition strategies.
Currently, Mark has more than five-dozen children's books to his name. More are on the way! Published by Capstone Press, Picture Window Books, Black Rabbit Books, and Hameray Publishing, his books for kids have won awards such as a Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, a Eureka Nonfiction Children’s Book Award (Silver), a Parents’ Choice Audio Book award, and a Child Magazine’s Creative Child Award (nonfiction). Stenhouse, Kagan, and the International Literacy Association publish his teacher resource books, including his most recent, Super Speller Starter Sets ( Stenhouse), which will be out in 2019.
A musician at heart, Mark still performs occasionally as a singer, drummer, and guitarist, playing everything from show tunes and bee-bop, to Brazilian sambas and New Orleans funk. His original songs have finished as finalists in the John Lennon and USA Songwriting contests, and his collections of kids’ songs have won numerous Parents’ Choice awards.
Mark lives at Springwater Farm in the hills of western Pennsylvania with his wife, Beth Good.