Margaret Langer, Writing Coach
Having served for many years in private and public schools as both an elementary teacher and as administrator, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about the education process. I acquired significant learning regarding language development as a Teacher of the Deaf, which I have been for the past ten years. During this period in my professional life I focused on deepening my understanding of writing; the skills students need and learning how to teach others to love writing as I do. I began this journey by participating in the Maryland Writing Project in the summer of 2009 and by taking an online course, Writers' Workshop, through Towson University in 2010. I have also saturated myself in the writings of Lucy Calkins through her Units of Study and learning from other professionals. At school I have served on a Writing Committee and I have guided other teachers on my team in lesson planning and the development of writing skills.
What caused me to take this unexpected route of professional development? Well, each day that I presented lessons to my struggling students and I was faced with stares of fright, I knew something was wrong, something was not clear. My students constantly caused me to return to my planning and break tasks into pieces that were more manageable. Through reading and experimentation, I have come to learn the importance of planning clear lessons and presenting them enthuisiastically so that young writers can enter into the process of writing with success and remain steadfast in its development throughout their elementary years. Today my young students love to write; they write independently and rejoice in their own success. They are no longer afraid of tasks but enthusiastically enter into projects and are surprised by just what they can accomplish. As for me, I love every minute of their growth! I enjoy sharing my experiences and the secrets I learned with other teachers so that they too can enjoy the teaching of writing in the classroom!