advocacy

Site Outreach and Visibility

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Summary: How do you represent the breadth and depth of the work at your site to public and professional audiences? What do you highlight when approaching potential community and school district partners? How can you quantify and communicate your contributions to the university?

This collection of resources demonstrates how different National Writing Project sites describe, showcase, and market their rich and complex work. Whether created with an external or internal audience in mind, these resources provide insight into the value, reach, and impact of the sites’ work.

In addition to the resources included here, it would also be useful for sites to revisit the NWP Annual Reports, linked here, to see how the network describes the reach and relevance of its work and consider how that information might be usefully included in local site materials.
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Connected Learning with Youth Voices

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Summary: Youth Voices is a connected-learning site that hosts digital learning curriculum openly available for teachers, based in sound theory about the teaching of writing. You will find incredible student work related to current events and issues, playlists that students and teachers can use, podcasts, and more. You can explore the student writing through the highlighted “Daily 25 Featured Discussions” on the homepage or visit the categories along the top of the page to find student writing on specific topics. No matter how you explore the site you are sure to be drawn to youth taking a stand and writing about some of the most pressing issues of the day.
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We Are All Teachers of English Learners (NWP Radio)

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Summary: Many NWP sites have retooled their recruitment efforts, inservice offerings and institutes in light of the significant demographic changes that have placed English learners in almost every classroom. On this NWP Radio show, teacher consultants from four sites offer a look at their work with multilingual students as a foundation for the development of site inservice and continuity offerings. This resource may be of use to teacher leaders looking for specific ideas and plans to support teachers of English learners in their schools and service areas.
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Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLs: A TESOL Issue Brief

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Summary: This issue brief, from the TESOL International Association, is an overview of the Common Core State Standards that also outlines some of the initiatives in place to address the needs of English learners (ELs) in relation to the Standards. Excerpts from this resource may be useful in study groups and professional development sessions focused on the needs of English learners, particularly within the contexts of assessment practices and content-area text complexity.
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Teaching in a Time of Dogs

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Author: Tom Goodson

Summary: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  As most teachers will tell you, there may be no truer statement about teaching. In this essay, the writer reflects on an incident that occurred years ago in his middle school classroom that has continued to serve as a guiding metaphor for “the uncertainty that is the beauty and the challenge of teaching.” In seeking to place students, not standards, as our starting point, this article could serve as an inspiration for teachers–in any inquiry group, institute or professional development program–to reflect on the lives of their students and the dynamic of teaching and learning in their classrooms. 
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Sonia Nieto Explores What Sustains Teachers

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Author: Sonia Nieto

Summary: Sonia Nieto, a leading authority in bilingual and multicultural education, delivered this moving address, at an NWP Spring Meeting, about the “What Keeps Teachers Going” Project and teaching in the current socio-political context in general. Exploring the question of what sustains teachers in challenging situations and discussing the implications for professional development, Nieto encourages us to move beyond the “how and what” in professional development in order to explore the our relationships with students and the  larger and more lasting question of “why.” Listen. An inspirational speech that reminds teachers what brought them to the National Writing Project in the first place and what has kept them engaged since.
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Teaching in a Movement for Justice

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Author: Paul Allison

Summary: This collection of blogs, podcasts, articles, videos, and other media provides a variety of textual experiences you could use to give students a layered reading and writing experience related to Ferguson and Black Lives Matter. The collection creator, Paul Allison, poses two qustions: “How can we help students to connect around important issues of race and justice in our time?” and “How do we build curriculum, rituals, tools, and skills in modular, open, inspiring ways that will give students the permission to follow their passions, yet also invite them to go deep into important issues as committed and informed citizens?” While the collection focuses specifically on the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and its aftermath, it underscores the value of creating multimodal resource collections to encourage teachers and students to explore issues of social justice locally and more broadly.
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A Fourth Grade Service Learning Project Engages English Learners

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Author: Robert Rivera-Amezola

Summary: In this video, a teacher of fourth-grade English learners describes how he integrated service learning and digital literacy in a civic engagement project. They used “My Voice,” a service-learning framework, as a guide to choose a project about water conservation and pollution. The teacher made information accessible to his students via videos and images as well as language by using the website Discovery Education. The students wrote blogposts, and completed webquests, podcasts, and digital presentations.  The resources that supported this work along with the student outcomes are made available on the video as models for teacher study groups.
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Honoring the Word: Classroom Instructors Find That Students Respond Best to Oral Tradition

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Author: Michael Thompson

Summary: In this award winning essay, Native American teacher and NWP site director Michael Thompson, reflects on his own practice and shares findings from research interviews he conducted with instructors in tribal college and university classrooms to learn how they approach literature and writing. In particular, he wondered if assigned texts represented “the value that Native people have historically given to traditional stories, teachings, speeches, tribal journeys, and accomplishments.” Instructors reported that Native communities typically value the spoken word over the art of writing and described language practices such as collecting personal narratives of elders in documentary films and digitized recordings. Classroom teachers, study groups and professional development leaders interested in exploring resources and practices that support efforts to “reclaim and honor oral traditions” of native peoples may find this article of interest.
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Why We Are Sticking To Our Stories

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Author: Tina Deschenie

Summary: In recounting the power of the oral tradition of storytelling, Tina Deschenie describes the mesmerizing experience of listening to her father tell elaborated stories in the Diné language about Coyote as well as numerous other literacy practices grounded in “the power and beauty of oral tradition and face-to-face storytelling.” This piece could be used within professional development or study groups advocating for culturally relevant practices, bi-literacy, family and community traditions, and exploring innovative ways to bring native stories, that might range from capturing oral histories to digital animation, into classrooms.
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