Naila Claudia Schulte, Ed.DWhen it comes to language,

Naila Claudia Schulte, Ed.D is a driven innovator. Never a fan of the beaten path, she's always been drawn to new ways of doing things -- whether it involves finding the precise structure to fit an intended meaning, exploring new ways to give expression to body and soul, or detecting patterns in data. Above all, Naila loves using her unique takes on things to help others find and refine their own voices.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, she studied Philosophy, Religion, and English as an undergraduate and received a masters degree in Integrative Education from Marywood College. She earned an Ed.D. degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she first moved in 1973 to study with Sufi teacher M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. Naila taught English and ESOL in the Philadelphia public schools, mostly in high school, with some years in the elementary grades. She has also taught ESL to adults, presented at professional conferences, and given staff development workshops.

During her last twenty years in the classroom, Naila developed unique ways of using poetry to motivate students while also helping them improve their first- and second-language skills, thinking skills, fluency, self-confidence, creative imagination, and love of words. At John Bartram H.S. she pioneered the first elective course in Poetry and Songwriting. She compiled a number of acclaimed student anthologies, and was invited to exhibit student work and hold a reading at School District of Philadelphia headquarters.

While Naila has taught at all levels, she found it especially gratifying when barely-literate learners were able to produce highly original work that sparkled with detailed imagery and fresh perspectives. This shouldn't be surprising, she maintains, since almost everyone is eager to express their feelings and tell their stories. Even a few simple activities can allow them to do so with beauty and power.


Since retiring, Naila has continued to work as an editor and poetry educator for all ages. As a teaching artist with Art-Reach in Philadelphia, she leads workshops for diverse groups. Her poems have been published in Mad Poets Review, Fuze Anthology, Apiary, Poetry Ink, and Philadelphia Poets. Eight are featured in the September 2015 issue of The Quiet American Online Magazine. She was the featured reader for the Tyme Gallery poetry series in March 2012, and one of two featured readers in the Philadelphia Meditation Center series in March 2014. For her poem "Snapshot Harmonics" in Philadelphia Poets 2014, Naila received the Amy Trisch Needle Readers' Choice award.

Also a singer/songwriter, Naila enjoys sharing original works at area open mics, and has hosted interfaith music gatherings. She was a Folk Factory People's Choice winner in 2009. Other interests include research in natural healing and world affairs, promoting political and spiritual understanding, and volunteering. The Spring/Summer 2014 anthology, My Poetic Voice, from workshops at Mighty Writers in Philadelphia, has been published in its entirely in the Philadelphia Stories Jr. online edition.