Teaching Writing

Eudora Watson Consulting provides districts with customized professional development in writing instruction. Through mentoring of individuals and small groups, I offer training that is responsive to district needs and builds teachers’ capacity to deliver effective writing instruction.

Core Belief

Sustainable, Effective Writing Instruction engages students, improves their skill in writing, and does not rely on heroic effort by teachers.

—Objectives

  • Provide districts with a nimble, effective approach to improving writing instruction in their classrooms.
  • —Provide teachers with targeted mentoring to improve their instruction. —
  • Provide district students with instruction in writing that builds their skills in writing, helps them communicate clearly, and builds their independence in self-assessment of their writing.

Why I do this work

I received my NYS teaching credentials in 1990, and was one of thousands to be trained in the pedagogy of writing process. Over the next ten years it became apparent to me – first in my work in the public schools and later in my work with college students – that the wave of writing process reform that I had taken part in had not taken hold. I wrote my Masters Thesis on this topic, and have drawn from that text for this introduction to my work.

There is a new wave of interest in using the writing workshop approach to teaching writing, but so far, the writing workshop hasn’t proved sustainable. Unless we work to consider what went wrong before, we’ll find that once again the approach falls out of favor. And no matter what takes its place, it will face a key hurdle that all writing instruction faces: it is extremely time consuming. We need to do better, and we can do better.

Select Credentials

Writing Specialist (2013-current)
State University at Potsdam, School of Education & Professional Studies
I supervise a peer-tutoring program affiliated with the campus writing center and work with faculty on developing assignments and assessments that clearly communicate expectations and result in better quality written products

Classroom Teacher

8th Grade Language Arts Teacher – six years

Alternative High School Teacher – four years

College Instructor – chiefly COMP 101 and First Year courses

Education

State University at Potsdam, Potsdam, New York

Master of Arts, English, 2004
Thesis: “The Writer’s Myth and the Teacher’s Reality of Working in Isolation and Its Influence on Writing Instruction Reform.”

Master of Science in Teaching, Secondary English, 1990

Certifications

K-6, English 7-12 NYS Permanent Certification