Thomas M. McCann, Larry R. Johannessen, Elizabeth Kahn, Peter Smagorinsky, and Michael W. Smith were all graduate students of George Hillocks, Jr. at the University of Chicago. They have explored ways to engage critical readers, writers, and speakers in more than 30 books, in over 300 articles, and in hundreds of presentations all over the world. Together, they have over eighty years experience as secondary English teachers, and as university faculty they have taught hundreds of preservice and practicing teachers. They've been friends and collaborators for years.
Thomas M. McCann is an associate professor of English at Northern Illinois University, where he contributes to the teacher certification program. He taught high school for 25 years, including seven years working in an alternative high school. He has been a high school English department chair, an assistant principal, and an assistant superintendent. His published work has appeared in Educational Leadership, Research in the Teaching of English, the English Journal, and the Illinois English Bulletin. His co-authored books include Explorations: Introductory Activities for Literature and Composition, 7-12 (National Council of Teachers of English, 1987), In Case You Teach English: An Interactive Casebook for Preservice and Prospective Teachers (Merrill/Prentice Hall, 2002), Supporting Beginning English Teachers (NCTE, 2005), and Talking in Class (NCTE, 2006). He edited and contributed a chapter to Reflective Teaching, Reflective Learning (Heinemann, 2005). He is the co-author of The Dynamics of Writing Instruction (Heinemann, 2010). The National Council of Teachers of English awarded him the Richard A. Meade Award for research about the concerns of beginning teachers. He also received the Paul and Kate Farmer Award from NCTE for his writing for the English Journal.