The Augusta University Writing Project, led by Dr. Rebecca G. Harper, conducted more than a dozen training webinars for the Georgia Department of Education in September. Teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators from all over the state, as well as Georgia Department of Education staff, have attended the educational sessions.
“The Georgia Writing Project site coordinator called us because they needed assistance with this professional development,” Harper said. “We are one of two institutions helping them with the online writing professional development.”
The teacher consultants are all certified teachers in Augusta’s River Region who have completed the AUWP Summer Institute. The institute is an intensive course on teaching writing, and alumni of the course help to maintain a continuous resource bank of applied principles, from workshops to resource materials. When a partner school calls for help, the consortium of experts can match a summer institute alum with a school’s need. So, when the state of Georgia called for help, the AUWP teacher consultants were prepared.
“I am beyond proud of the AU Writing Project’s teacher consultants. They did a fantastic job. This is exactly what National Writing Project is about: building teacher leaders who are committed to improving the teaching of writing,” Harper said.
Leading the 90-minute sessions along with Harper were: Marlynda Atwood, Darby Finley, Ashley Holland, Carissa Keels, Alysha Mooney, and Kirsten Pitock.
“Our sessions received rave reviews, and we have more to conduct in the coming months,” Harper said.
In all, the members provided 14 separate writing webinars for three different grade bands: kindergarten to second grade, third to sixth, and seventh to twelfth. And they covered various topics, such as Teacher as Writer, Creating Welcoming Writing Spaces, Writer as Teacher, Conferencing and Formative Assessment, and Powerful Writing Mini Lessons.
- MarLynda Atwood, Academy of Richmond County
- Darby Finley (Ed.S., 2021), Blue Ridge Elementary
- Ashley Holland (Ed.S., 2019)
- Carissa Keels (B.S.Ed., 2011; M.Ed., 2016; Ed.S., 2020), Diamond Lakes Elementary School
- Alysha Mooney (B.S.Ed., 2011; M.Ed., 2013; Ed.S., 2021), Lake Forest Hills Elementary
- Kirsten Pitock (B.S.Ed., 2016; M.Ed., 2018; Ed.S., 2020) Blue Ridge Elementary