Writing is Thinking has been featured online by the Literacy Design Collaborative, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Teach Plus, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Last week at the SREB Conference in Atlanta, Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) Lead & Learn Fellows Lisa Hollenbach (@lisa_hollenbach) and Sheila Banks (@ehretbanks) hooked me into their break-out session when they did a quick Google News search of the word “Teacher” and a whole slew of negative images and headlines appeared on the screen.
My entire body ached as I read them. I questioned, How did we get to this point? In lieu of placing blame, Lisa and Sheila provided us with an antidote to combat the media contagion affecting teachers: use tools such as blogs and social media to start controlling the conversation.
I began thinking about another communication medium we should begin to control: in-person conversations.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Teachers’ Top Three from ESE — July 2, 2015
Spotlight on Teacher Leadership: Boston teachers participate in Learning Lab with USED and National Board
In February, a group of middle school educators from Boston Public Schools participated in the U.S. Department of Education’s Teach to Lead Summit, where they worked with other teachers and education leaders from across the country to turn their teacher leadership idea into a reality. After the summit, they built a teacher-run blog that showcases strategies for how teachers can use writing to improve understanding, especially for English language learners and students with disabilities.
Their idea was one of a handful chosen to receive extra support and attention from both USED and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards by hosting a local “leadership lab” where Massachusetts teacher leaders and policymakers pledged to support their work. David Buchanan, assistant director of the Office of Humanities and Literacy at ESE’s Center for Curriculum and Instruction, was in attendance to offer support and advice. He said, “The presentation of what the teachers have achieved was absolutely inspiring. It was a testament to the power of both fostering student voice through writing and empowering teachers to address the challenges they and their students face every day.”
Jenn Dines of the Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston was one of the project leaders. She said, “One of our goals with this project is to show that teachers are intellectuals. We can be leaders of our own learning, which benefits our students, our colleagues, and ourselves.”
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A group of BPS middle school teachers are working together to help teachers increase their capacity to better serve ELL’s and SWD’s by implementing Writing Across the Curriculum. Their project was part of the Teach to Lead initiative. You can learn more at teachtolead.org.
RESOURCES FOR EL AND SPECIAL ED
Writing is Thinking
A group of teachers in Boston, Mass. have created a great website to help middle school teachers empower their English learners and students with disabilities to write across the curriculum.
The site has some really great resources for teaching scientific writing and build writingstamina.