June 5, 2017
Over the course of the Write for Texas initiative, more than 320 instructional coaches and teacher consultants gained knowledge and experience with professional development to improve academic writing instruction. Participants were asked to share reflections in their own words about project elements that made a positive impact on their work, and principles they will carry forward in their future practice. A sample of these insights are shared in the broad categories below as a testament to the Write for Texas resources and approach. For a pdf of the reflections, click here.
Relationships come first. Those students and teachers with whom I have built a relationship are willing to hear what I have to say even if it doesn't jibe with their own beliefs.
One-on-one writing conferences with teachers and students allow us as coaches to see first-hand what students and teachers are doing every day.
Teachers always need to be a part of planning their own practices in classrooms. The best way to support teachers is through coaching in order to ensure follow up and impact on students.
I have found success empowering teachers through peer conversations, praise, and observations of what they are doing well.
Collaborating with administrators and district leaders to provide opportunities for teachers to become leaders on their campuses has been an essential part of successful implementation.
It is important to invite teachers into a conversation about writing and professional practice and allow them to have a voice in the conversation. Respecting their own experience and context has been powerful.
Teacher reflection, lesson-planning, data digs, and vertical alignment are all practices that we will continue.
The support of writing to learn across disciplines is something I will continue to implement.
The experience was certainly a positive one. I do believe that literacy is the spine that holds the other disciplines together. The opportunity to work beside the teachers as an instructional coach led to outstanding work. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Write for Texas grant.
The authentic coaching model fell into place perfectly. Most importantly, it allowed us to capitalize on relationships with campus administrators and teachers.
Coaching, as it was intended by this initiative, is so useful because it was a routine practice. This grant allowed for relevant and timely coaching to occur, which in turn provided relevant and on-going professional development.
I have loved my experience as a Write for Texas coach because it has allowed me to be connected with students and teachers even more than if I were fulfilling my duties as an ELA consultant. Thank you for the opportunity!
Every time I collaborated with other Write for Texas consultants, it was a great learning experience. I enjoyed learning from each of them and how the grant was unfolding in their districts.
I want to continue using the good coaching practices that I learned and strengthening the relationships I've built with other coaches to help me grow in my field.
I wish the program would continue as it has been a worthwhile program. Our site will continue with many of the best practices inspirited by Write for Texas.
The Write for Texas online resources are great and can be beneficial in many different settings. In particular, using mentor texts, teaching grammar conventions in context, and the Building Blocks to Teach Adolescents with Reading Difficulties resources are especially useful.
I am encouraged that TEA sees how important quality instruction and professional development in how to teach writing is needed in our state. I am glad that they reached out to the National Writing Project sites to collaborate on this effort. In the future, I hope TEA, region service centers, and NWP sites can continue this work.
I wish that we could continue one more year. I think that next year is when we would really see a difference in what teachers were able to do with the students.