Awards & Recognition
- Monterey Rotary Outstanding Teacher Award, 1999
- Allen Griffin Award, Excellence in Teaching, 2000
- CATE Achievement in Teaching Award, May 2005
- CCWP Teacher Consultant
The Central California Writing Project invigorates my teaching. Our summer institutes and leadership institutes show me new ways to tackle old problems of engaging students and giving them specific, practical tools to improve their reading and writing skills
During the summer of 1984, my first contact with the CCWP afforded me the leisure for personal writing—telling stories I didn’t know I wanted to tell. Although I haven’t always kept that strand of my writing life active, I gained the confidence to write a couple of journal articles—and to come full circle last semester by writing a sample multigenre autobiography for the community college class I currently teach.
Helping with CCWP professional development has given me confidence to lead workshops for teachers and counselors—and has shown me how much fun this kind of collegiality can be.
I believe everyone has important stories to tell: tapping into those stories is the entry point for developing the skills of influential writers and thinkers. Donald Murray convinced me that asking students to tell these stories in different genres is vitally important when he wrote, “When beginning writers discover the power of genre to give meaning to material, they will begin to understand that genre is a lens they can use to examine life…. There is something necessary and wonderful about this…. We should use genres, the entire range of genres, to help us explore our subject.”
At the moment my personal favorite is Tom Romano’s Blending Genre, Altering Style, a blueprint for multigenre research. I discovered it more than ten years ago, dipped into it briefly in the last year of my high school career, and have returned to it with my community college students because it challenges writers to experiment with different genres. Multigenre writing requires writers to experiment with syntax and diction, with style and tone, and the papers are much more fun to read than the usual research papers: in my class multigenre research is an important stepping-stone to traditional academic writing.