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Professional Development

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This week, it was my privilege to process the whole of this strange and chaotic year in the company of other teachers who–despite that reality–deepened their professional learning relative to making and writing and all things multimodal composition. I wanted to create an experience that was as much about them as it would be about the writers they serve. I wanted to offer questions and invitations that would resonate and center everyone while offering an…

Here’s a quick last call  before the doors close on a few of my professional learning opportunities in June. Click on the links below to learn more about each one. I’ll let everyone know when things open for July and August, too! Important details about pricing: Individual, self-paying teachers who choose the asynchronous option when they register and pay in full for my Multimodal Composition course below  (which is $100), will receive a free upgrade…

Jody Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole has been good company this month. If you’re in the process of reexamining your understanding of what it means to write or teach writing well, you will appreciate her wisdom. It runs deep. I couldn’t help but reflect on this reality as I was reading, too: So often, our efforts to get beyond print in our writing classrooms and workshops are complicated by misguided understandings and applications of…

I’m an instructional designer and an independent education consultant, as most of you know. In that latter role, I am typically hired to facilitate opportunity chasing and problem solving. I usually work with K-16 writing teachers who tend to be a highly creative bunch, and it’s rare that I don’t find myself learning more than I teach inside of any situation that finds me in rooms with these people. I get to have a lot…

“I just ordered my first box of those weird under eye gel patch thingies that everyone from Rachel Hollis to Oprah to Brene Brown seems to be sporting on social lately,” I laughed, leaning away from the screen. “I mean, if Brene uses them, they have to be good, right?” “Do they sell them in extra-strength Covid-size?” my friend asked. “There is no eye gel patch thingy made for this moment,” I admitted. “But buying…

An important note, ahead of today’s post: There are different kinds of writing workshop teachers, in my experience: Those who are wanting a clearer path, those who are walking one (often in very good company), and those whose rich and varied experiences have called them to wander a bit, even as they carve a careful course for their students. And in an ideal world, with their students.  Those are the workshop teachers whose wisdom inspires…

I’ve spent this entire week traveling all over Alberta, Canada. I’ve worked with primary and intermediate level teachers, and I’ve worked with middle and high school teachers. I’ve worked with English and Science and Social Studies teachers. I’ve worked with French teachers. I’ve worked with Math teachers. And I’ve also worked with ELL teachers. They support the Hutterites who live in their communities. Those children were born and raised in Canada. German is their first…

This photo was taken last fall, as I led a week-long lesson study on argument writing at the middle level. It’s interesting: Many teachers tell me that narrative is difficult to teach, but personally, argument writing has inspired a great deal of my own growth over the last 25 years. Doesn’t that sound sweet and super positive? Yes. Argument writing has been an inspiring teacher. But y’all, you KNOW how that growth happens. It…

Two weeks ago, I invited writing teachers far and wide to share their biggest workshop dilemmas with me! Okay, if I’m being honest, I asked a bunch of people who recently read Make Writing to share their biggest workshop dilemmas with me. BUT! They did not disappoint! I also think that their responses will leave some of you nodding your weary heads. “My mini-lessons go too long,” many told me. “My feedback is mess,”…

This year found me recommitting to the work of daily documentation as a writer, a writing teacher, and a professional learning facilitator. This was a challenging and even overwhelming endeavor at times, but so very much worth the effort that I made. In fact, this project was so rewarding that I’ve already created new intentions for my documentation practice in 2019. These were my greatest moments of professional learning, and I wonder: If you were…