Teacher as Writer

More Than Skin Deep: Professional Development that Transforms Teachers

Author: Deborah Dean, Melissa Heaton, Sarah Orme, Gary Woodward Summary: Four teacher-consultants explore how their involvement in the Writing Project fundamentally shifted how they approached writing, both their own and their students’. They each detail how it demystified the apparent magic that produces good writing, drawing them wholeheartedly into the...

Lessons from Tony: Betrayal and Trust in Teacher Research

Author: Sharon Miller Summary: In a compelling narrative laced with details of a teacher’s relationship as a co-researcher with Tony, a student in her class of seniors with special needs, and her own ethical struggles as a teacher-researcher, Sharon Miller provides insights into issues such as ownership of data, and...

“A More Complicated Human Being”: Inventing Teacher-Writers

Author: Christine Dawson Summary: How might teachers pursue and support personally and professionally worthwhile writing practices in the midst of the many demands associated with teaching? How might writing groups sustain their work together – in person or online? This final chapter from The Teacher-Writer: Creating Writing Groups for Personal...

Why a Writing Retreat? Nurturing Confidence, Creativity, and Camaraderie Among Teacher Writers

Author: Kristy Lauricella Dawson Summary: This article includes several ideas on recruitment, resource gathering, and scheduling that can lead to successful writing retreats, as well as a discussion of the value of bringing together colleagues over time to work on their writing. Through this example, retreat planners can see how...

Radical Revision Strategies: My Road from Fairy Tale to Catharsis

Author: Juanita Willingham Summary: A teacher-writer shares her experience using “radical revision,” a strategy for taking one’s writing apart and reassembling it. In the process of illustrating the impact of trying out various revisions of a poignant poem she wrote and shared with a writing group, she includes five clear and...

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...

Helping Teacher-Writers Begin to Write

Author: Troy Hicks, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Leah Zuidema Summary: How can we best support our own and our colleagues as teacher-writers? In this chapter from Coaching Teacher-Writers: Practical Steps to Nurture Professional Writing, planners and leaders will find constructive strategies to motivate teacher-writers to begin, sustain, and...

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...

Expressive Writing in the Science Classroom

Author: John Dorroh Summary: In this account of expressive writing in the science classroom, teacher John Dorroh introduces writing to build students’ curiosity, inviting them to wonder, to ask questions, and to imagine. In the process Dorroh wrestles with the issue of assessment and also demonstrates the importance of teacher-as-writer...

Nonfiction Writing in the Science Classroom

Author: Nancy Lilly Summary: A fourth-grade science teacher, Nancy Lilly, describes how she helps her students recognize that the skills that elevate fiction are the very skills that can be useful in writing strong nonfiction, including science writing. Lilly shares her student writing conferences and details her process when working with...