Teacher as Writer

Teaching in a Time of Dogs

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...

Designing a Writing Retreat and Building Site Leadership on a Small Budget

Author: Nancy Mellin McCracken & Barbara Smith Summary: This article describes the National Writing Project at Kent State University’s journey into the development of a sustainable Professional Writing Retreat that not only supported teachers’ professional writing but also contributed to the development of new site leadership. The goals and priorities...

Why I Write: Scientist Arvind Gupta Plays with the Words of Science

Author: Arvind Gupta Summary: In this short inspiring piece, Gupta explains critical moments he has been motivated to write, including chances to explain scientific phenomena. He urges readers to appreciate the human mind and the joy of experimentation. This piece could be used as a model “why I write” piece...

The Southern Arizona Writing Project Teacher Research and Inquiry Community (NWP Radio)

Summary: In this NWP Radio program, moderator Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and teachers from the Southern Arizona Writing Project provide an overview of teacher research in general along with various approaches and settings (first 16 minutes), followed by stories of how the projects of three teachers impacted their practice, built connections with...

Writing In the Community: The New Orleans Writing Marathon as Model

Authors: Richard Louth Summary: This article explores the history and foundations of the New Orleans-style writing marathon. Richard Louth describes what it’s like to lead a writing marathon; he provides tips, insights, writing prompts, and writing samples that illustrate how a community can be guided to write together over time...

Lawnmowers, Parties, and Writing Groups: What Teacher-Authors Have to Teach Us about Writing for Publication

Author: Anne Elrod Whitney Summary: When teachers write for others in their profession they are taking on a form of leadership and embracing a means of advocating for the value of classroom inquiry and reflective practice. This article by Anne Whitney, a researcher who has studied the professional practice of...

Teacher-Writers: Then, Now, and Next

Author: Robert Yagelski, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Troy Hicks Summary: Why should teachers write about their work? What is the evolution of this movement? The authors identify the teacher-writer as an activist, advocate, and knowledge creator. When teachers write and take on these various roles, they assert agency...

Extending the Conversation: Writing as Praxis

Author: Robert Yagelski Summary: This essay is a key reading for individuals and study groups looking to understand the “transformation” that teachers say occurs in writing project institutes and other programs when they write, respond as members of writing groups, revise, and publish. Yagelski grounds his exploration in theory as he considers...

Becoming Your Own Expert—Teachers as Writers

Author: Tim Gillespie Summary: In this brief article, the author argues that teachers need to write so that their teaching of writing can be “based on knowledge we have earned ourselves…. We don’t need to give up our curriculum to experts. We can just watch ourselves write.” In recounting what...

“I’m a Writer”: Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write

Author: Richard Louth Summary: This brief piece describes a book that puts writing—both teachers’ and students’—at the center. The first part focuses on writing marathon how-tos and offers guidelines, planning and facilitation resources, and teachers’ anecdotal experiences of writing in community. The second part of the book includes essays by...