A. Evan Nichols
Grades previously taught:
Currently teaching Basic Skills and Developmental Reading and Writing courses, community college
Laney College, Peralta Community College District and Diablo Valley College, Contra Costa Community College District
Local Writing Project:
Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP)
Awards & Recognition
- BAWP Teacher Consultant
My local Writing Project has transformed the way I teach by allowing me to reflect on my practice and collaborate in a professional network.
BAWP, through retreats, seminars and other wonderful writing events, has consistently helped me grow as a writer, both professionally (such as co-authoring a Monograph with then-director, Carol Tateishi) and creatively. Also I have been inspired by my work publishing all the wonderful poets, writers and artists as editor of our online literary magazine, Digital Paper (https://digitalpaper.wordpress.com/).
As a Teacher Consultant I have benefited every time I paused my own teaching to reflect, prepare, and present for others. BAWP's dynamic blend of professionalism and down-home creative nourishment has helped me grow into leadership roles, whether it's with the iBAWP technology leadership group, working with the amazing core leaders of the Teachers as Writers group, or serving most recently on the BAWP Leadership Team.
My practice is informed by the belief that students can learn to use writing as a way to think and as a way to change the world. I believe that the key ingredients of the successful teaching of writing are one part inspiration, one part feedback, and one part purpose.
The book that got it all started for me was Lucy Calkin's The Art of Teaching Writing. One of my biggest takeaways from the book was that sometimes a writer just needs to be heard, for their work to be thoughtfully received. I try to organize my writing workshops so that writing isn't just about meeting assignments or even being good at school but primarily about writing for an audience, moving people, changing minds, opening hearts and making them laugh. Writing is too powerful and wonderful to just be a stack of papers waiting for a grade.