What I learned from Writers Workshop this summer

In my day job, I support secondary English teachers (among other things). Because of my previous work as a ‘technology person,’ the current moment and need to move instruction to remote contexts has provided me lots of sandbox space to explore my favorite things: writing and instructional design.

This summer we ran a series that we named “Writing on Wednesdays” (a callback to the days of Red Cedar Writing Project when we ran a series named the same thing). The idea was this: for one hour every Wednesday in July, we would invite teachers to join our online workshop class. The teachers would be positioned as students in our course and we would experience slices of workshop every week. We moved from generating to publishing in one month. In this way, teachers could embody the student experience as online learners while we did the heavy lifting of risk-taking through the instructional design.

My visual understanding of the writing process

I understand writing to be a recursive, living process. While the diagram above shows a circular trajectory, the truth is sometimes I am pinging among these categories. The big AHA! moment for most teachers I work with is the idea that not every piece of writing needs to be published. That in order for us to grow as writers, we need to have lots of low-stakes opportunities to write.

I ‘ll add more descriptions of our slices of workshop and what we are learning as we write together online.

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