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After 21 years of classroom teaching, one of the most interesting and rewarding leadership duties I enjoy is mentoring new teachers. Mentoring provides me the opportunity to work with fresh, talented, young men and women who love kids and the idea of education. Mentoring also encourages me to stay in tune with the newest research in my field, to keep my practice updated, and to every day know and understand the WHY that underlies my teaching practices and classroom structures, so that I can communicate them to the teachers with whom I work in this capacity.
The single most valuable experience in my years of continuing ed has been National Writing Project! I am so excited to discover a new workshop or idea to enhance my teaching and personal writing. It is amazing and impressive to hear the quality of writing my colleagues are producing when attending an event where we are afforded the opportunity to write and share. Nothing has been more fulfilling and enriching than this fellowship of writers!
Williamson High School
Am thinking deep, contemplative thoughts as a method of trying to verbalize what exactly the National Writing Project means to me. I’ve been affiliated with NWP for about fifteen years now. My first experience was when some local Teacher Consultants presented their demos in those “one and done” type of professional development sessions conducted at the beginning of the school year for other teachers. I was hooked because they shared ideas that could be used not only in their language classes, but in everything from art to music and across all grade levels.
As a teacher consultant with Coalfield Writers, a satellite site of the Marshall University Writing Project, I am devastated to learn that federal funding for the National Writing Project is in jeopardy. I am writing in hopes that you will pledge your support for the National Writing Project and asking that you do everything within your power to ensure federal funding continues.
I'm a third grade teacher at East Chapmanville Elementary School. I've only been teaching for three years. After my second year of teaching had been completed, I began thinking of ways that I could get my renewal hours for my teaching certificate. That's when I stumbled upon NWP and Coalfield Writers. I could get all 6 hours of renewal credit in one pop! What a deal, right? So, I signed up, was accepted, and thank the Lord I did. Not only has my third year of teaching (second year in the 3rd grade), gone so much smoother, but I also feel more confident in my teaching abilities.
I wish that I could fully explain the difference that NWP has made in my teaching. I know that I am a better teacher post-SI than I was before. Not only am I better, but I also have a large community of professionals willing to jump in and help me with suggestions, comments, and experiences that I definatly did not have before. The support is amazing. I have some of the very best educators in the country now available to help me.
Here’s an observation about life in general, and education in particular: attendance matters.
I support the National Writing Project. Unequivocally, irrevocably, without reservation, I offer the project my fullest, best support. The professional development offered by the local, state and national networks of NWP is the best I have ever experienced. There is no better long-term teacher development program, and without the NWP I would be a much different kind of teacher (provided I had survived this long, without the network). Because of the writing project I know that I am an expert in my field. I’m not perfect; I make mistakes.