After nine years as a high school English teacher, Matt Copeland is a writing consultant with the Kansas State Department of Education. A 2003 Kansas Master Teacher, 2002 Judith C. Gilbert Outstanding Writing Teacher, and president of the Kansas Association of Teachers of English, Copeland is a frequent presenter at local, regional and national conferences and has published several books, essays and poems on the teaching of English. As teacher and department dean at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, Copeland created "Socratic Circles" to foster critical and creative thinking in students. Students are arranged in inner and outer circles, with the inner circle discussing the subject at hand followed by the outer circle discussing the effectiveness of the inner circle's discussion. Interest in this technique among fellow educators was so great that Copeland published a practical guidebook for his peers.