About Jen Vincent

Hello there! Thanks for stopping by. I'm excited you are here and ready to explore the power of story with me.
When I say the power of story, I mean it. Stories help us find ourselves, connect to others, and make the world a better place. I should know, stories made me who I am today.
See, I grew up in a northern suburb of Chicago. A super wealthy northern suburb of Chicago. It’s beautiful and fancy and the people are beautiful and fancy and all the things there are beautiful and fancy. But I didn’t always feel beautiful and fancy. My parents rented a small little apartment and drove used cars and didn’t shop at all the high-end stores in town.
Maybe I didn’t have a mansion or a Mercedes but my parents loved me. My mom took me to the library where I could check out any books I wanted. And as many as I wanted. My dad took me to bookstores where I could wander the stacks and choose a book that he would buy just for me. And it was all my own.
But most importantly, the books I read from the library and the bookstore were the exact same books my friends were reading. When so much about me and my life didn’t feel like enough because of the town I grew up in, there were always books and stories. Books and stories made me feel whole, helped me fit in, gave me an escape but also propelled me forward. I loved them, they loved me, and they helped me love myself.
I write because the power of story helped me love myself.
In March of 2015, I blogged every single day, using words to unravel the shame and guilt I felt over being the not-so-rich girl in a super wealthy, beautiful and fancy, northern suburb of Chicago. By the end, I realized more than ever how books and their stories are a big part of who I am today and that I have stories to tell. They’re mine and they’re special and they’re unique and they have to be told. In The One Where I Have To Share My Stories, I finally truly and deeply understood this. Click on the link above to access all the posts I wrote and learn more about me.
I have a story to tell.
And you have a story to tell.
This blog is about unlocking the power of story that is inside each of us. Read about books I’m loving. Watch inspirational videos. Write with me and try writing with mentor texts. Join me in celebration. I’m so glad you are here to explore writing with me. It's my favorite.

Kellee Moye blogged at Teach Mentor Texts for about two years until she started her blog Unleashing Readers with Ricki Ginsberg in July of 2013. If you want to learn more about Kellee or enjoy her reviews and other posts here, please visit her at Unleashing Readers!

A little more about me: I am an instructional coach and former teacher of students who are deaf and hard of hearing with my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University and National Board certification in Early/Middle Childhood Literacy. I started blogging at Teach Mentor Texts in 2010 where I share ways to use authentic texts as mentor texts to inform writing. In 2015, I founded Story Exploratory to extend my love of writing others beyond the world of education. Then in 2018, I merged Teach Mentor Texts and Story Exploratory together so all the writing love would be in one place.

Since 2012, I have co-hosted and participated in Teachers Write, a virtual summer writing camp for teachers, with authors Kate Messner, Gae Polisner, and Jo Knowles.

Last but definitely not least, I'm a mama to two amazing boys, a snuggly puppy named Perdi, and a bearded dragon named Zeke. My husband and I keep each other and our family busy. We're grateful for everything we have and make the most of this wonderful life we've found ourselves living together.

Wanna say hi? Please email me at jen@teachmentortexts.com.

Writing With A Fire In My Hands

One of the challenges of writing a story is to be able to zone in on a small moment. And then from there to choose not just a small moment b...