The Writing Teacher's Notebook
Here at The Writing Teacher’s Notebook we provide writing teachers, literacy coaches, and teacher educators with a space to walk alongside one another (in mentorship, kinship, encouragement, kindness, joy, and love) as we embrace the teacher writer and writing teacher within.
As our name suggests, at The Writing Teacher’s Notebook we happily and whole-heartedly subscribe to the notion of the writer’s notebook as a toolbox for writing teachers. And a powerful one at that. Within our notebook’s pages you will find a collection of:
- Effective teaching strategies for how to teach kids to write (even those who seem reluctant to do so)
- Suggestions for launching and maintaining a writer’s notebook and a writer’s workshop
- Strategies for building a classroom community of writers
- Tips for finding time for writing (in an already packed school day)
- Conferencing strategies, progress monitoring suggestions, and writing assessment tools
- Tips for helping students read like writers and write with readers in mind
- Mentor text suggestions
- Genre studies
- Teacher stories from the field
- AND SO MUCH MORE!!!
In addition, we also offer teachers a supportive online community to share ideas and ask questions in our private facebook group. You can request to join this group by clicking on the Facebook icon below. Hope to see you there!
The Writing Teacher's Notebook: About Us
Hi! My name is Dr. Lisa K. Hawkins and writing is my passion. I am a writer, a poet, a National Writing Project (NWP) teacher consultant, and the founder of The Writing Teacher’s Notebook. Additionally, I am also a teacher educator and a former K-6 school teacher.
In my role as a professor at Ball State University, I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring teachers in Indiana, Michigan, and across the United States. I especially love collaborating with teachers to build supportive writing classrooms. Classrooms that nurture a sense of playfulness with language, structure, and craft.
When I first began my teaching career, I felt so unprepared to teach kids to write. I’d assign writing prompts and teach writing mechanics through worksheets and board work. Consequently, I remember the constant groans and questions of “How long does it have to be?” Writing assignments were not authentic or valued. As a result, my students wanted them done quickly and with as little fuss as possible.
I loved writing. But my current methods weren’t working. I was assigning writing, not teaching it. Unfortunately, my prior experiences with writing in schools, along with my undergraduate teaching program, had not prepared me for this.
So I sought out everything I could on writing and teaching kids to write. I read books, studied under strong mentors, underwent the National Writing Project’s summer institute, and undertook a Masters degree (and eventually a Ph.D.) in literacy. From these experiences I grew as a writer and as a teacher of writing, and my young students flourished.
My students were writers. They had always been, but now I could see it. Recognize it. Bring it forth. We became a community of writers working together (under the influence of mentor text) to make our writing better.
For the first time my students wrote with intention and purpose. Furthermore, they wrote with their audience in mind, and didn’t shy away from the revision process. I was finally teaching writing, writer-to-writer, not just assigning it.
Working with teachers
Years later I left the classroom to work directly with teachers. I became known as the writing person in many of the buildings that I worked in. As such, teachers often came to me to discuss issues they were experiencing with writing in their classrooms.
In these brief exchanges teachers often expressed similar struggles to those I had faced as a writing teacher in my own classroom. For instance, they felt unprepared by their teacher training programs, unsure of the best ways to work with young writers, and overwhelmed by the lack of time and support their districts offered. They wanted more.
My teachers wanted a place to find resources and learn about writing and writing instruction. A space to share their stories, ask their questions, and connect with other teachers. When I moved to a university setting, I was able to address some of these needs, for some teachers, some of the time. But the single, semester-long, graduate-level writing methods course that I orchestrated and taught each semester was not enough.
I wanted to craft something that was long-lasting and had greater reach. A place where my teachers could continue the conversation beyond university walls. That is why I created The Writing Teacher’s Notebook and its accompanying private facebook group. To offer such a space.
The Writing Teacher's Notebook: Our Mission
Writing teachers, this space is for you. We look forward to the insights you bring, and will continue to grow alongside you in order to meet your needs as best we can. Let’s educate parents, principals, and fellow teachers to see writing as more than correctly diagramming
Together let’s make writing a focus in our classrooms and in our schools.
sentences or filling in writing prompts. More so, let’s push our teacher training programs to better prepare new teachers to teach writing in our schools. Together let’s change the world!
Too much? Maybe. But together we can change the culture of writing in our own buildings. In fact, we look forward to the challenge. So this is our call to you, dear writing teachers, please join us!
Join the Writing Teacher's Notebook on Facebook
Want to connect with fellow teachers, literacy coaches, and teacher educators? Looking for a space to share your stories, writing tips, and writing strategies or ask questions? Looking for new writing resources for your classroom?
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the journey, we offer a supportive online space for teachers to share, discuss, and learn more about writing and teaching writing to children. JOIN THE WRITING TEACHER’S NOTEBOOK COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK TODAY! We can’t wait to see you there.