Deanna Scelzo
Teacher Confessions: Winter in My "Hood" by Deanna Scelzo

Ms. Scelzo, a 6th grade teacher, will do anything to connect with
her students, especially when she is trying to get them to
understand the lesson for the day.   She knows her students
sometimes believe that their teachers have no existence
outside of the classroom and she’s found there’s no better way
to get them engaged than to tell stories about her life and even
some childhood shenanigans.   Ms. Scelzo says to the class,  
“There was this one time…….”   and describes to her students
what happened on a cold winter day when her and her brother
were told by their mother,  “Find something to do!  Go outside
and play! You guys are driving me crazy!” One student even asks
her, “Ms. Scelzo, did that really happen?”
Deanna Scelzo was a middle school teacher in a inner city
school for ten years in South Bend, IN.  Teaching students
from a multicultural diverse background to make
connections with their lessons and helping them find topics
they were passionate to write about was challenging.  
Telling stories drawn from her life and childhood became a
tool she used daily in the classroom and swore to her
students she would one day publish them, encouraging
them to do the same.  The opportunity arose for her to start
writing while on sabbatical. Teacher Confessions “Winter In
My Hood” is the first of her books which she plans to make
into a series.  Deanna is a Michigan native who shares her
home with her mother, husband and two sons and is
currently working on publishing her next book.
Teacher Confessions: "Chillin" in the Barn by Deanna Scelzo

“Ms. Scelzo, why you always tell us to write about this stuff?  It’s
so hard.  I don’t have no special place.” Tyriq scowled. Ms.
Scelzo, feeling like a failure once again, is frustrated when her
students struggle to write about the topic she assigns.  Why can’
t these kids use their imaginations?  Must be all those video
games and too much T.V., she thinks to herself.  In an attempt
to help her students with their writing assignment, she tells
them of a place where she spent so much time as a child.  The
big, old barn was her special place to get away and just “chill”.
She describes a much simpler time when life was more
carefree, and time seemed to pass much slower.  Ms. Scelzo
realizes how lucky she was to have had this childhood and the
reason her students struggle with some of the topics she
assigns is not from lack of imagination, but because of a much
different existence.  
A Child's Life in Trees by Deanna Scelzo

A girl grows up in a rural setting in Michigan where
she is surrounded by trees.  They block her view
from the world she longs to see and feels she is
missing out on all that is going on beyond them.  
She retreats to her little world that is close and
unforbidden.  Escaping to a place near, but still
amidst those trees she resents and unbeknownst
to her, finds a different kind of elusiveness.  It
lends itself to her adolescence in a way that is so
silent and unpretentious that it almost goes
unnoticed season after season.  One day, long
after her childhood is gone, she realizes what
those trees gave her.