Teacher as Writer

The National Writing Project’s Unchanging Principles and Practices for Change

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Author: Sheridan Blau

Summary: It is highly likely that you are here exploring this site and its resources because you, like tens of thousands of other teachers, found your experience with your local National Writing Project site to be transformative, and you want to bring similar experiences to other educators. If that is the case, then you may find Sheridan Blau’s speech to the NWP Annual Meeting will serve as a powerful introductory reading and discussion piece at the outset of your work with educators new to the work of the NWP. Blau lays the groundwork for a rich discussion of how the NWP is different from other professional development experiences and how, through all the shifts in educational fads over the decades, the NWP model has stayed true to the core tenets of “teachers teaching teachers” and writing as a powerful tool for learning. In addition to serving as a shared reading for teachers new to NWP work, Blau’s speech also serves as a discussion piece for teacher leaders during the planning and development stages for new programming. As he reminds us—”the writing project is a powerful agent for deep and transforming change in persons, in professional development, and in the nature of schooling in part because we have so scrupulously resisted any change in our fundamental principles and practices.”