A Guide to Creating Student-Staffed Writing Centers, Grades 6–12, Revised Edition is a how-to and, ultimately, a why-to book for middle school and high school educators as well as for English/language arts teacher candidates and their methods instructors. This revised and updated International Writing Centers Association 2006 Book of the Year shows writing centers as places where writers work with each other in an effort to develop ideas, discover a thesis, overcome procrastination, create an outline, or revise a draft. Ultimately, writing centers help students become more effective writers. Visit any college or university in the United States and chances are there is a writing center available to students, staff, and community members. Writing centers support students and busy teachers while emphasizing and supporting writing across the curriculum.
In the early days of our high school writing center work, we remember the countless hours of planning, networking, and convincing that was necessary to create a shared vision of developing meaningful tutor-led writing centers in our schools. This work was at times exhausting, at times frustrating, and more than enough times, rewarding. Today, 8 and 12 years into our respective careers as high school English teachers turned writing center directors, we think of where you may be today.
Wherever you are on your own path to navigating your school’s political and social landscape, books like this one—as well as articles, websites, partnerships, and mentors—will help you imagine the potential of your writing center. We know the challenges you’ll face, and yet we are sustained by the joy of the work: witnessing peer-driven learning transform school culture, engaging teachers in reflection about and revision of their own writing instruction, and fostering relationships with our own tutors as they become academic leaders and engaged learners. In this foreword, we offer a glimpse into our experiences in the hope that our words will inspire your work.
You are a part of a growing network of secondary school writing center directors who are ready to share ideas, trade strategies, and offer support. At the October 2015 International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) conference in Pittsburgh, a group of more than twenty veteran and prospective ← ix | x → writing center directors attended a Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting...