I joined the National Writing Project as a Teacher Consultant after my second year of teaching, when I went through the Oklahoma State University Summer Institute.
Today I am the webmaster for the OSU Writing Project and one of the teachers involved in the College Ready Writers Program, as well as a Co-Director of Youth Programming.
There have been many times over the years that I have needed an idea, a resource, or feedback, and the Writing Project is my best source. I recently recommended some children's books and activities to a friend who works at a high school alternative school, and when I went back to find my student examples, I discovered that the activities I recommended came to me from an OSU Writing Project workshop in 1998.
This past summer, I attended a Shakespeare workshop at OU, and one of my Writing Project teacher friends is getting ready to teach Shakespeare with the material I collected at the conference. How lucky I am to both gain from the resources and get to be the resource at times!
If if you need professional development related to literacy, try the Writing Project in your state. It is career-changing and life-enhancing!
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Ally Sharp is a teacher, writer and editor, and technology trainer.