National Writing Project

Teachers Teaching Other Teachers

By: Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher
Publication: California English
Date: May 18, 2012

Summary: As a new teacher struggling to find a way to teach students learning English, Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher found the answer in the Los Angeles Writing Project. There, she learned from other teachers, from tips and techniques to actual classroom practices, and used their guidance to improve her own teaching and engage her students.

 

Excerpt from Article

A former Los Angeles Writing Project Fellow gave an introduction to Writers' Workshop that provided me with tools to establish my own system for Writers' Workshop to better instruct my English Learners whose needs were not fully being met by the district-mandated ESL curriculum. I knew that the program had its shortcomings in preparing my students for core English classes because they struggled once they exited the ESL program. They were challenged by the grade-level texts and the on-demand district writing assessments, especially if they were required to read independently and prompted to write a literary analysis. In her demonstration lesson, the former Fellow included examples of different writing lessons to teach in a writing workshop such as Procedures (good writing behaviors, how to be good listeners, good audience responses, etc.), Writing Process (how to prewrite/draft/self-conference, how to participate in a peer conference group, how to participate in a teacher conference, etc.), and Authors Craft (different writing genres, engaging beginnings, sensory details, etc.).

After implementing Writers' Workshop in my classroom, each student became a member of a community that supported all writers to succeed, which resulted in active engagement in writing and conversations about writing. Students experienced how listening and speaking promoted their reading and writing skills. I was able to adapt the district-mandated curriculum for English Learners by incorporating grade-level texts outside the required ESL program to use as models of good writing and weave in Writers' Workshop in the program's suggested pacing plan.

Copyright © 2012 California Association of Teachers of English. Reprinted with permission.
Marquez-Prueher, Lovelyn. 2012. "Teachers Teaching Other Teachers." California English 17 (3): 8–9.

Read more California English articles from this issue.

About the Author Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher, a teacher-leader with the Los Angeles Writing Project, taught middle school in the Los Angeles Unified District for seven years. Marquez-Prueher is currently an adjunct instructor at California State University Los Angeles and Mount St. Mary's College.

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