Science, Technology, and Language Arts
Natomas Charter School/Natomas Unified School District
Local writing project:
Area 3 Writing Project (A3WP)
Awards & Recognition
- A3WP Teacher Leader
- Natomas Charter School Innovative Educator of the Year 2013
- Google Certified Teacher 2012
- CUE Rockstar Teacher 2013
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Project-Based Science Teacher Institute 2014
My local Writing Project, A3WP, connected me to a group of like-minded educators as well as a new community of connected educators. They helped me see the value in the writing I had been doing with my science students. Through the teachers at A3WP, I found validation for all of the digital writing that my students had been doing such as scripts, filmmaking, and presentations. I am proud to be a science teacher who likes to weave writing into science in creative ways.
As a writer, A3WP gave me permission to “just write” again. I always loved writing but had not attempted any of my own creative writing since college. The Leadership Institute helped me re-discover the joys of writing, revising, and connecting to my own creativity. I love sharing writing with my colleagues and my students. Writing is my tool for understanding and reflection. I love writing alongside my students in class!
A3WP has given me opportunities to be the teacher of teachers and to spread the idea that everyone can write. I have been able to mentor other teachers and help them see that writing isn’t always a formal essay. I love teaching other teachers to help inspire them to try something new and creative and to navigate the technological. Being a Teacher Consultant has opened so many doors to me including the Google Teacher Academy in 2012 where I found another “tribe” of incredible like-minded professionals. Twitter has also been an invaluable resource for me as another professional learning community. Without A3WP, many of these things would not have happened.
Writing helps us know ourselves and everyone can write. I believe every student has the ability to write and wants to write; we just have to create the environment for it to happen. Writing can be in many forms so if you let students tap into their creativity, they will write/create amazing things! Besides, it’s more fun for the teacher, too.
It’s difficult to recommend one! For getting started with writing in the classroom, I recommend A Writer's Notebook: Unlocking the Writer Within You by Ralph Fletcher. Any of his books are a wonderful addition to any teacher’s bookshelf! For teachers considering how to incorporate writing in new creative ways, I would recommend Crafting Digital Writing: Composing Texts Across Media and Genres by Troy Hicks. Troy is a generous author who also Skyped into a workshop that another Teacher Consultant, Jennifer Kloczko, and I did. Both of these books helped me to redefine writing in my classroom.