The Beginning: When I became a Teacher Who Writes
On a hot August day, 2009, I stepped in front of the first group of students who I could call “my students.”
Prior to this moment, I had some teaching experience: camp, Sunday School, Student Teaching. Those experiences were short, usually guided by someone else who crafted a role that I simply stepped into.
This was my first real teaching assignment.
Two weeks prior, I arrived on campus, and an administrator led me outside, across the parking lot, and up a carpeted ramp to my “satellite” classroom. It was large and had two full windows; I wasn’t complaining. I was so excited to get a “head start” on planning and classroom prep, since teacher in-service wouldn’t start for another full week.
(Now, I try to laugh at the naivety of my past self, thinking I had ample time to plan for the year. Another part of me wants to cue the chorus, alerting an audience that I was about to be hit by a freight train, and one week of planning would not get me off the track or stop this train.)
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Place Based Education, a podcast series
As part of a partnership between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service, the Nebraska Writing Project (NeWP) presents its Place-Conscious Education NWP Radio Podcast Series. In this seven-part audio series, NeWP director Robert Brooke and several Nebraska teacher-leaders introduce their place-conscious approach and discuss several projects and partnerships that have expanded and deepened the approach over the years. The full audio series is available at write.learn.lead, and will be rebroadcast as part of the Plainstate podcast, a production of the Department of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Episode 1: Basics of Place Conscious Education: The Nebraska Experience. In this first episode, Nebraska Writing Project director Robert Brooke introduces the basic concepts of place-conscious education and frames the series of examples that are featured in the remaining episodes.
Check out the rest of the episodes on our Podcast page.
Call for Submissions
The Nebraska Writing Project is interested in your story. If you are urban or rural; new teacher, veteran or retired; experiencing struggles or successes; or if you just have something to write, we want to hear it and share it. Please visit our “Call for Submissions” page to get some inspiration, or the current editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Director