Category Archives: Seeking Understanding

Empty Hands

Who remembers this?   I do. I remember it as well as I remember that first walk down the “magic path”, the turkeys that blessed our writing session in the woods, and the way the light skipped across the top of each writer’s head as we bent down over our notebooks in that tiny little [...]

The Inquiring Writing Teacher

  Wellsville Middle and High School English teachers began inquiry work within collegial learning circles three years ago. What they accomplished for writers that year and what they’ve continued to accomplish as a result of their collegiality is nothing short of inspiring. These inquiry groups grew out of the staff’s desire to learn with and [...]

Become a Better Writing Coach by Practicing Active Listening

Over time, I’ve discovered that new Studio writers tend to gravitate toward those who listen. Listeners help uncertain writers feel safe. They take the time to consider their needs deeply before leaping into action. They plan how they intend to respond before speaking during peer review. Active listeners serve as some of the best models [...]

Reflecting on What We’ve Learned and How Our Learning Can Serve Others

High school writer Tish Albro began drafting a novel about the Seven Deadly Sins at play inside a contemporary high school. Early in the process, she shared some uncertainties with me. Tish knew that she was taking a big risk, writing about something she knew so little about, but she was compelled by the characters [...]

It’s Not About Grades: Using Rubrics to Empower Writers

When Sarah joined the WNY Young Writers’ Studio, she had one objective: to finish a writing piece. Like many new writers, she struggled to persevere beyond the honeymoon phase of the process, and as distractions and her own lack of confidence began to trouble her, she found herself procrastinating and often, abandoning her work. Joining [...]