I am a white, able-bodied, cishetero woman. I have always spoken a dialect of English that most listeners would identify as close to "General American," although heavily influenced by the extremely rural area where I grew up. My parents are professionals and my background is middle-class. Although many members of my family (ancestral and by marriage) have had the experience of being identified as "conditionally white" in the recent past, I have not had the lived experience of systemic discrimination that some of my students and colleagues have.
Much of my work has been built on the labor of scholars and educators from historically marginalized communities: Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Queer, immigrant, disabled. I am grateful for their work and their legacies. I want to especially cite the women of color whose work has been impactful on me, among them Anne H. Charity Hudley, April Baker-Bell, Jessi Grieser, Geneva Smitherman, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldua, and Gholdy Muhammad.
I teach in a small, blue-collar town with a significant (but not majority) population of heritage speakers of Portuguese. We are adjacent to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, which affords us opportunities that other educators may not have (certainly more opportunities than I could have dreamed of had I stayed in my very rural community).
I work for a district that has historically been intentional and committed to academic freedom, anti-bias / antiracist teaching, and social justice. This affords me a freedom that a growing number of teachers are losing due to the increased constraints on curriculum by right-wing school boards and state governments. My commitment to this work is how I actively push back against those forces.
Hi, I'm Amy Plackowski
I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on the beach, which is still my happy place. I studied English, vocal music, and secondary education at Alma College, and I earned my graduate degree in English at Georgetown University. I've lived and taught in Massachusetts since 2005.
I have been teaching English at Hudson High School for 18 years, mostly juniors and seniors. Most of the time, I teach Linguistics & Media Studies, AP English Language and Composition, and Dystopian Literature, although in recent years I've taught 8th grade Academic Literacy, 9th grade general English, and Coming-of-Age Literature.
People are often surprised to learn that I don't have a degree in Linguistics. My degrees are in English literature and composition, but I was able to take some linguistics courses as part of my undergraduate degree. Since then, most of what I know about linguistics has been self-taught. I want to show teachers not only that linguistics can enrich their curriculum and that it's necessary for socially transformative teaching, but also that they don't need a degree in linguistics to do it.
Outside of school, I'm the chair of the Linguistics in the School Curriculum Committee of the Linguistic Society of America. I'm a curriculum development nerd. I'm branching out into leading PD for teachers who are interested in integrating linguistics into their practice.
I'm married to another English teacher, and I have two twins, one dog, twelve fish, and two snails. I like to travel, sing, hike, garden, knit, and, of course, read.
Photo credit: Nicola Crawley-Seaholm