Margaret Fiore shares her #blog4nwp post with the Coöp.
I use everything I’ve learned from participating in the New York City Writing Project and the listserv and collaborating with NYCWP colleagues in my own teaching of college writing courses at The New School, facilitating Parsons MFA Design/Technology and Parsons faculty writing workshops, PD/collaborating with writing-across-curricula teams at two high schools for the CUNY-SSO, and conference presentations (New England Faculty Development Conference at Holy Cross College in Worcester MA in Nov. 2010 and at AWP in Washington DC in Feb.). I’m both humbled and energized by the wisdom, creative exploration, sharing, and commitment to writing-as-a-tool-for-learning I gain from WP colleagues. I can’t imagine teaching without this lifeline. Well, I did teach without it between my summer institute with the Bay Area Writing Project in ’84 and getting re-involved in 2000–it was lonelier work.
The reverberations from being involved with the NYCWP are continuous—today I was at a writing-in-the-content-areas workshop for teachers, coaches, and APs sponsored by our CUNY-SSO, and in introducing myself to the Hunter College Education Dept. professor who was facilitating, we went through the list of our overlapping bona fides (I taught in Hunter’s English Dept. for 16 years, I’m currently a Field Supervisor for three Hunter student teachers, etc.), she asked me, “are you involved with the Writing Project?” I was proud to answer enthusiastically “yes, I was a Teacher Consultant for three years,” and it was as if I’d sealed the deal establishing my legitimacy. This happens continuously.
But it’s hard to express how professionally reassuring it is to be a NYCWP and NWP member. If I need the teacher resource handout on the Gallery Walk strategy to share with a teacher I coach, or advice about the possibility of teaching public speaking, or resources for supplementary reading materials to differentiate a 10th grade Humanities unit on the Renaissance, my WP colleagues respond. I know from our listserv conversations we are deeply committed to lifelong learning and social justice, avid readers, and generous collaborators. In my eleven years of professional development work in the New York City public schools, simultaneously with teaching my college writing classes, I’ve encountered no other learning community with anything like this amount of wisdom and commitment to help us all, collaboratively, become better teachers.