Fifth Grade Teacher Shares Lessons from NWP Workshops with Students

Phyllis Blau, a fifth grade teacher in West Milford, NJ, is in her second year of attending workshops given by the National Writing Project (NWP). The workshops, which are held four times a year at Rutgers University, allow teachers to focus on their writing skills and learn new ways to make writing more exciting for students. Margaret Valentine, the West Milford District English supervisor for Grades 7-12, explained that teachers find writing to be one of the more difficult subjects to teach. In order to overcome this challenge, the NWP offers workshops that are taught by other teachers. The idea is that the best trainers of teachers are other teachers. Teacher Phyllis Blau maintains that the techniques she learns at NWP workshops have made a noticeable impact on her students’ feelings on writing. Students seem to be more enthusiastic about learning new techniques that some novelists take years to master.

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