About Melissa Forney

I am a teacher. I have been a teacher since I was nine years old. I played school with all my friends in the neighborhood. I always insisted on being the teacher, of course. My classes were creative and fun, but sister, I meant business. Get this: I actually sent out progress reports and scheduled parent-teacher conferences. I kid you not. I still don’t know why I wasn’t run out of town on the rails. We had rails. It could have happened.

After years of being in the classroom for real, in 1994, I started a career as an educational writing consultant. That’s just a fancy name for someone who stays in too many hotels, eats in too many restaurants, and is crazy about working with kids and teachers. Currently, I am back in the classroom full-time as a 7th grade ELA teacher and I LOVE IT!

I was born in the Panama Canal Zone, a tiny little American enclave in the Republic of Panama. It no longer exists. We lived sort of a colonial, privileged lifestyle, so it’s probably better that it doesn’t exist anymore even though it was a kid’s paradise. There were about 10,000 Americans frolicking about and no end of adventure and exploration to keep us entertained. The jungle was our playground. Tropical waterfalls were our swimming pools. We picked tropical fruits from whatever tree was in reach. I wore shoe skates on the sidewalks, rode my bicycle behind the mosquito truck, and beat up boys who were mean to frogs. You’d still better not mess with me about frogs. I busted a boy’s nose once. Busted it. There is probably a more proper word than busted, but I still like using busted and enjoy exercising my freedom to use it.
Now, I live in central Florida with my husband, Rick; our 1-year old dog, Ethel; and our two cats, Razzle and Dazzle. Rick left his job in pacemakers and implantable defibrillators to become my full-time partner, and he travels absolutely everywhere with me. This is good, because he’s supportive and loving, and I need support and loving. Even after 20 years, he still melts my Velveeta.

Writing is in my blood. My grandmother was a writer. My father was a writer. My sister is a writer. I cannot imagine a life without writing.

My specialties are writing books for teachers and kids, creating fun activities for the classroom, and helping teachers understand how kids learn best. Oh, I forgot: I’m also good at eating hummus, chicken tortilla soup, and little sandwiches with the crust cut off.

About Teacher Spectacular

I have traveled for 20 years from coast to coast, from north to south, training teachers in how to teach writing. I’ve been able to share ideas with teachers, and I’ve picked up fabulous ideas from teachers. Now I want to provide a staging area where I can share those ideas. I don’t know how it will go. It’s like swinging out over a swimming hole on a rope: I’m hanging on for dear life, my eyes are shut, and I hope I land in a wild rush. My mother has promised to read my blogs. Some of my teachers have vowed to check it out. I’d love for you to drop by. Read a few entries and leave your comments. We could hang out. That would be grand.

What's New?


The student paperback edition of The Astonishing Journey of Teddy Bodain is now available in our web bookstore. Follow Teddy on her adventures as she travels into Florida on a covered wagon in 1892.  New friends, new sights, new animals, new family...these are all part of her astonishing journey. Come be a part of this award winning story.

New Material!

Melissa is now offering educational materials on TeachersPayTeachers.com at her new store, Melissa Forney's Teacher Spectacular.

Materials include stimulus texts with writing examples, reader's theaters, reading texts, Paraphrase Pickles, Convention Carrots, Citing Celeries, Powerpoint Presentations, manipulatives, foldables, and FREE materials as well.





Dr. Melissa Forney is a nationally known educational and motivational speaker for teachers, administrators, and students. Her seminars, characterized by cutting-edge information and humorous stories, consistently receive the highest evaluations.

Now Available

Listen to "The 12 Steps Cowboy Style" song from her 2011 Summer Conference Series!

New Workshops Available!

Melissa has two new workshops -- find out more!