Staff tanya

Tanya Baker

Director, National Programs

Tanya is a teacher, a writer, and a nonprofit leader with 25 years of experience working in education in and outside of schools. She worked for more than a decade as an in-school educator, first as a high school English teacher and later as a literacy coach, in schools in Maine. There she learned to teach through practice, study, and, luckily, involvement in the University of Maine Writing Project where she became a teacher-consultant by attending the inaugural summer institute of that Writing Project site.

As the director of national programs at NWP, Tanya has worked with many funders and partners, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, The Carnegie Corporation, The National Science Foundation, The Association of Science and Technology Centers, The National Park Service, and West Ed. Through these relationships and in collaboration with excellent teacher-leaders around the country, she has built and managed national programs that connect educators to work together on areas of interest and problems of practice that trouble and intrigue them.

Tanya has a particular interest in what might be considered the liminal spaces of teaching writing, including writing in the disciplines—especially writing as an integral part of doing science and history; instruction that crosses boundaries, taking writing out of school and then back in again; and writing with very young writers, those who don’t even know the alphabet yet.

For the past twenty years Tanya has been committed to and shaped by the National Writing Project’s mission (The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners) and vision (The NWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world) and holds a deep commitment to practices that respect teachers and students. She strives throughout her work to design learning experiences that begin with a presumption of competence, are relentlessly collaborative, and deeply joyful.