Basic Skills and Transfer-Level English Courses
Reading, Composition, Critical Thinking, and Literature
San Diego City College, San Diego Community College District
Southwestern College, Southwestern Community College District
Local Writing Project:
San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP)
Awards & Recognition
- SDAWP Teacher Consultant
Oh, let me count the ways! I have a more generous lens when it comes to assessing student work and a greater appreciation for the messy nature of writing. I make sure my students have time to experiment and play with quality mentor texts. Perhaps most importantly, I have a more definitive practice of meeting students wherever they are as writers.
Before SDAWP, I would have never called myself a writer. I assumed you had to be paid on a regular basis to qualify as a writer or at least be a recognizable name in the blogosphere. In this view, my journal did not count as writing. My poetry did not count as writing. Even the readings I published in two textbooks did not qualify me as a writer. SDAWP helped me to see that we are all writers with different levels of fluency and experience.
I joined a community of innovative educators spanning Kindergarten to college with the shared goal of developing equitable teaching practices in the classroom and quality education for all learners at every level. As a result of my relationship with the project, my sense of self as a teacher leader deepened, my philosophy expanded and matured, and my vision for the future of education and my role in shaping it took deeper root.
In college writing, we need time to discuss and examine topics from multiple angles before writing long essays. When using mentor texts in the classroom, comprehension comes first, then identification, and then imitation. I believe words are power and the very nature of our reality. Writing is a learnable, essential skill, necessary for making our world a safer, more fair and just place to live in for all peoples; hence, writing plays (and has always played) a critical role in the movements for social, economic, and environmental justice.
Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners by Ritchhart, Morrison, and Church: This book is a stellar resource for any teacher at any level who desires to promote thinking in their classrooms and to make that thinking more visible for students. The Explanation and Tug-of-War games in particular have been very useful for students entering into argumentative writing and the thinking and moves that go into the development of claims with reasons and evidence.