Leading Professional Learning

A Voice That Is Heard: Living the Writing Project Philosophy as Coaches

Author: Sidnie Myrick Summary: Anyone developing a coaching or mentoring program or stepping into a role as a classroom coach/consultant/mentor will find this article by teacher consultant Sidnie Myrick a useful resource. The author relates her own experience transitioning from a workshop facilitator to the role of coach/mentor to explore...

Writing Centers: More Than Remediation

Author: Art Peterson Summary: A resource for educators interested in establishing writing centers or as a guide to professional conversations about the limits and possibilities of writing centers, this article reports on what one teacher learned from her experience of establishing a high school writing center. Jennifer Wells, a teacher-consultant...

Literacy Coaches Explore Their Work Through Vignettes

Author: Carrie Usui Summary: What is the work of a literacy coach? Twelve UCLA Writing Project teacher-consultants serving as literacy coaches in the LA Unified School District spent a weekend retreat exploring that question by writing vignettes as a way to illustrate what it is they do as coaches. Here...

Bridges: From Personal Writing to the Formal Essay

Author: James Moffett Summary: Asserting his belief that “all writing is idea writing,” James Moffett explores the transition from writing personal experience themes to writing formal essays. In the process, he presents a schema that groups different writing types and shows their connections. This essay, and Moffett’s work in general,...

C3WP: Extended Research Arguments

Summary: This resource from NWP’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) includes actual assignments, student work, and interviews with teachers about one student’s process. The “Extended Research Argument” video is a good introduction to the resource, inviting you to explore the ideas behind extended argument and demonstrating how to...

Narrative Knowers, Expository Knowledge: Discourse as Dialectic

Author: Anne DiPardo Summary: DiPardo addresses the divide between narrative and expository writing, noting the problematic tendency in composition teaching and scholarship to privilege “pure” exposition. She argues that instruction which fosters this divide, which contends narrative and expository are separate modes, denies students the opportunity to develop a complex...

On the Verge of Understanding: A District-Wide Look at Student Writing

Author: Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich Summary: This article offers an account of how to look at student writing using a simple but effective protocol, asking what students have accomplished and what they are “on the verge of” accomplishing. Although the article features elementary teachers collaborating, the protocol will be a useful framework...

Knowing When to Make Coffee: Lessons in Leadership and Change for a New Site Leader

Author: Vicki Holmsten Summary: Holmsten recounts a rocky but ultimately successful first few years of a new Writing Project site, distilling six key lessons for building site leadership and capacity that can survive and grow through inevitable periods of change.

Composing Literacy Leadership in Professional Development: New Meanings of Practice and Process

Author: Linda Friedrich, Kyle Shanton, Marilyn McKinney, and Tom Meyer Summary: This paper offers three illustrations of NWP teachers engaged in literacy leadership while navigating complex contextual demands including the fundamental challenges of sharing their expertise and establishing trust. The authors offer a framework that suggests that leadership often involves...

Stages of Team Development: Lessons from the Struggles of Site-Based Management

Author: Nancy Mohr and Alan Dichter Summary: Teams are a powerful way to organize site or school leadership, but building a community capable of transforming teaching and learning can be a bumpy process. Drawing on research findings and their own experiences, Nancy Mohr and Alan Dicther offer advice on navigating common...