National Writing Project

Michigan Teacher Teaches by Example

Publication: Petoskey News-Review
Date: October 26, 2009

Summary: Teacher-leader Dan Polleys of the Red Cedar Writing Project credits the writing project for boosting his career and for allowing him to assume a greater leadership role as a teacher.


Excerpt from Article

Being an educator has many challenges, but I love it," the 36-year-old said. "The writing project has been a valuable tool to help me recharge as a teacher. The experience is focused on teachers teaching teachers, research and best practice. It changes you as a teacher and challenges you to advocate for meaningful learning opportunities for students."

As a member of the leadership team, Polleys has been a teacher consultant and technology liaison in the summer institute. He has also helped design professional development opportunities for local teachers that have focused on using technology to enhance learning and writing in the 21st century. He said the experience has been one of the most challenging he's ever had as a student or as a teacher.

"I've never had an opportunity where I was given the chance and support to really develop my own writing. The Red Cedar Writing Project has given me the opportunity to work on my own writing, while also giving me valuable research on what elements make up effective writing instruction. I'm much more confident in showing students my rough drafts and modeling the way writers compose in the real world," he said.

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