Teachers from all grades and all subjects encounter writing in their classroom. Whether it is writing a formal report, research, note taking or a story, writing is present in all classrooms. But which teacher is responsible for teaching writing? Are teachers prepared to teach students how to write?
Dr. Juliet Wahleithner, Co-Director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project and Assistant Professor for the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, is dedicated to preparing educators to teach writing.
Dr. Wahleithner did not have a traditional path to becoming a teacher. She was an English major with a passion for studying literature. Early in her teaching career, she realized that she didn’t know how to teach writing. Nor did she have any formal preparation on how to teach writing instruction.
Student’s need of having proficient writing skills is increasing. As technology becomes more dominant in the workplace, individuals need to be experienced writers. According to Writing: A Ticket to Work or Ticket Out (2004), “Writing is a threshold skill for both employment and promotion. Two-thirds of salaried employees in large American companies have some writing responsibility.”
San Joaquin Valley Writing Project
The San Joaquin Valley Writing Project (SJVWP), hosted at Fresno State, is making significant strides in its effort to educate teachers on the art of teaching writing. The SJVWP offers a variety of programs available to teachers, schools and students in the Central Valley. These programs provide professional development that serve educators at all grade levels, primary through university, and in all subjects.
One of the SJVWP programs is the New Teachers Writing Collaborative (NTWC). The NTWC, an annual two-week (eight day) workshop, is designed for participants to develop a deeper understanding of different genres of writing and how to teach those genres. In this workshop, SJVWP Teacher Leaders and teachers from the Central Valley, explore the idea of writing as research-based inquiry and think about how writing standards can translate to engaging classroom practice.
“The New Teachers Writing Collaborative taught me strategies to get creative with my instruction, empower my students with and through writing, and integrate inquiry and movement into various learning experiences. It reminded me that my students are capable of taking risks, and that I am capable of guiding them.”
– ELA Teacher, 2016 Participant
At the end of the workshop, participants are eager to teach writing in their classrooms. They are equipped with new strategies, rigorous and aligned lessons, and activities to lead their students to embrace the role of writer. Teachers come away with the understanding of the importance of teachers writing with their students and sharing their own writing with their class.
Sign up for the 2018 New Teachers Writing Collaborative here.
Questions? Contact Jackie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.