Donna Hale, Mariposa ElementaryRe: ALL Writing Workshop.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for providing the coaches for the year 1 WW schools. Having a skilled and extremely knowledgeable coach to do demo lessons and to guide us through the process has been so beneficial. The coaching and the comprehensive A.L.L. lesson guides pushed me to be a better teacher and helped me to really get to know the program. Having said that, I am begging you to consider allowing us to work with Coaches for one more year. I am sure I am not alone in feeling like I stumbled through this first year of Writing Workshop. Thank goodness we had the coaching and guidance from Sue! But my concern is there are more units for which we need that coaching and training! (So far, we have only received three.)
If coaching is not available, would there be a way for you to negotiate with the A.L.L. group to provide us with their unit plans which are far better than the other units of study that are on the market in delivering instruction and guiding us through each unit. I am afraid that without assistance from A.L.L. (their plans and their coaching) many teachers will be left to try to develop their own lessons which could result in a much less-cohesive Writing Program district-wide. I know there are many more schools to roll out the WW program to next year, but please don't forget that we, year 1 cohorts, could still greatly benefit from the continued support and guidance in our classrooms with many of the program components, especially the remaining units.
As I said, I am very grateful for the coaching model this year and it has truly made a tremendous difference in how I teach Writing Workshop! I think this program has the potential to make a gigantic difference for our students throughout the district.
Sincerely, Donna Hale 2nd Grade Teacher Mariposa Elementary
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our superintendent. I'm copying the Chief Academic Officer, and the Program Manager of Professional Development, San Juan Unified School District so they can read, first hand, what this model of professional development has meant to our school. There is a plan for of support for next year that is being discussed so that our work continues to be strengthened. I will also add that the work with Judi Aronson, A.L.L. Mentor Principal consultant, has provided coaching to administrators in a manner we have not experienced in the past. All in all, this has been a most positive experience! I will add my 'thank you'!