National Writing Project

The Teacher-Writer: Creating Writing Groups for Personal and Professional Growth

Christine M. Dawson

List Price $31.95
NWP's Price $23.96

The Teacher-Writer shows how teachers can pursue and sustain personally and professionally worthwhile writing practices, even amidst the many demands associated with teaching. It meets teachers wherever they are—as novice teachers just beginning to pursue writing, as teachers emerging from a professional development experience, or as accomplished writers seeking to further their craft. Chapter by chapter, the book provides strategies to help teachers get started on projects, build energy for writing, overcome obstacles of limited time, create support systems using online technologies, and develop coherence across their writing lives. The text includes useful writing group routines, questions for framing collaborative inquiry, methods for adapting writing communities to online settings, and rich examples of conversations and texts shared in actual teacher writing group meetings.

Book Features:

  • Focuses on teacher-writers and their actual experiences working together in a writing group, including benefits and challenges.
  • Includes vignettes taken from writing group meetings that demonstrate the variety of ways teachers may participate and engage in writing.
  • Offers practical suggestions for teachers seeking to form writing groups, including plans for online groups.
  • Shares strategies to help teacher-writers expand their concepts of writing to include everything from exploratory texts to professional and academic writing.

Testimonial

"Dawson's work shines a desperately needed light on the potential importance of writing in the professional and personal lives of teachers—most importantly, those who teach the nation's children to write. In that respect alone, Dawson has made a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussions about literacy instruction, teacher education, and school improvement."
—From the Foreword by Robert P. Yagelski, professor, University at Albany, SUNY

"An extremely important read for every teacher of writing, this book focuses on the development of ideas and the exploration of language and structure instead of formulaic routines. Here we see how teachers can locate (or reawaken) themselves as writers bringing fresh language, literacy excitement, and expertise into their classrooms."
—Judith A. Langer, distinguished research professor, University at Albany

"Readers of Christine Dawson's new book might be surprised to find themselves in a novelistic world where the literary characters are women who, through talk and writing, act in and on their complex lives. They are teachers, yes, but they are also thoughtful mothers and daughters, wives and friends, and ready companions. This is a newly liberated notion of a writing group—of women who teach—and a practical guide to those readers inspired to start their own group."
—Anne Haas Dyson, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

About the Author: Christine M. Dawson is a visiting assistant professor at Skidmore College and is on the leadership team for the Capital District Writing Project.

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