Awards & Recognition
- SJAWP Teacher Consultant since 1991
- Co-Director of the Intensive Summer Leadership Institute
- California Association for Teachers of English Classroom Excellence Award, 2009
I have been a participant in the San Jose Area Writing Project since my second year of teaching. To be honest, I don’t know how I made it through those first years without the Super Saturdays, the Summer Open Programs, and the Invitational Leadership Institute. The Writing Project has shaped my teaching and has supported me philosophically, professionally, and developmentally though 28 years of teaching. It has provided me with countless energizing professional development opportunities, leadership opportunities and a community of teachers to whom I am profoundly grateful.
The practice of summer writing groups in the Leadership Institute has helped me immeasurably to put into words the life events that rock all of our worlds on a regular basis. Having a supportive writing group that pushes and pulls, asks and reflects, is a staple of this writer’s practice.
The San Jose Area Writing Project is a haven of positive energy in an era of serial testing that has worn down the most energetic among us. The Writing Project has given me the forum to share and refine my craft of teaching as a Teacher Consultant. As I lead the Invitational Leadership Institute, I continue learning right alongside the cadre of teachers who come together to make up the SJAWP.
I continually support student choice in writing. Through writing about culture, community, and family, students grow when they are invited to explore what interests them. They amaze me daily with the exciting directions they take in their writing, far beyond where I would have taken them.
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird is my forever choice in writing instruction. Her humor, honesty, and simple approach make real the process of writing that is daunting for so many. In my classroom, we need only remind each other, “Bird by bird, son. Bird by bird.”