Currently grades 9, 11, 12
English across all grades and levels
Susan Miller Dorsey High School Math Science and Technology Magnet/Los Angeles USD
Local Writing Project:
UCLA Writing Project (UCLAWP)
CWP/CDE web resources:
Upstanders, Not Bystanders: Lesson Planning Template Analytical Essay (Inform, Argue, and Analyze)
Awards & Recognition
- Carlston Family Foundation Outstanding Teachers of America, 2010
- National Board Certified Teacher
- Dorsey High School Hall of Fame
- Fellow, Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL)
- UCLAWP Teacher Consultant
The UCLAWP is my professional home, a place I come to update my skills and knowledge about teaching. This is where I learned to be a teacher of writing rather than just a teacher who assigns writing. Through our Teacher Research group, I learned to use inquiry to answer questions I have about my own teaching and the learning of my students rather than blaming students when they don’t achieve.
First and foremost, the UCLA Writing Project helped me to rediscover a love for writing that got lost somewhere in college. I also gained the confidence to share my writing outside of a small group of friends. I have published several professional articles, and I see myself as a lifelong writer.
The UCLAWP helped me gain the confidence to share my lessons with other teachers and to take a leadership role in my local writing project and beyond. I have lead the Matters of Race study group and the Improving Students’ Academic Writing Institutes. My connection to the UCLAWP opened doors for me to participate in the Writing Project on the state and national levels too.
I believe that all students have the right to effective writing instruction. Because competent writing is required for success in college and many professions, I believe that teaching students to write well is a civil right. But I want students to know that writing is not just for passing tests. Writing, as an act of self-expression, can be enjoyable and liberating.
Active Voice by James Moffett is a classic. His approach progresses from, as he writes, “vocal speech…to private writing, to public writing.” This makes writing accessible to all students. I also recommend They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. I like the message that our academic writing is often built on or in response to the ideas of others. Students like the templates that help them learn to use academic language more effectively.