San Joaquin Valley Writing Project provides teacher training in digital space

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A valuable resource for our Valley educators is going virtual and helping teachers find ways to transition into this new reality.

Learning to write doesn't happen overnight, and the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project is dedicated to giving instructors the tools they need to teach this important topic.

"Reading research about the teaching of writing, sharing best practices from their own classrooms about how they teach writing, and most importantly, writing themselves," explained Dr. Juliet Wahleithner Director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project.

Every year, they host a summer program where teachers from across the Valley learn valuable writing practices they can pass on to their students. When COVID-19 forced classrooms to go online, they did the same.

"I said, 'It's going to look really different this year," said Wahleithner. "I can't promise it's going to be perfect. In fact, I know it's going to be messy."

The annual program took place virtually over four weeks and of course covered some added topics.

"We still have these things we have to talk to about in writing instruction, here's how we can go about it in a virtual environment," added Wahleithner.

It all provided valuable tools for the 12 teachers enrolled.

"The technology you use in the classroom is not the same in virtual learning," said Visual Arts Teacher Adriana Donato. "You use the same strategies, but how you apply it is completely different, so it really made me think about being very purposeful in what I want to do and how I do it."

"It was a tryout to see how things would look for us and honestly it gave us a little more comfort, just because we know it works," said 2nd grade teacher Guadalupe Arriaga.

Now they're supporting teachers as they transition back, providing workshops about building a community virtually.

"We want to be here to support teachers with their teaching of writing, with their thinking about how do I provide instruction for my students in this virtual space," said Wahleithner.

If you're a teacher interested in joining one of these workshops visit their website.
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