The Importance of the National Writing Project
Kelly Murphy

Last summer I had the good fortune to be part of the Chippewa River Writing Project. Hands down, these four weeks were the best professional development that I have ever experienced.

The writing project reminded me of so many of the aspects of teaching writing that I had forgotten while in the trenches of teaching nine different high school level English courses in seven years. It also taught me much more about writing best practice and gave me a reason to read current research on writing. Resources published and endorsed by the National Writing Project are current, relevant, and invaluable to teachers of all content areas today. Perhaps the most valuable part of the writing project was its reflective nature. I was able to not only teach a lesson in from of my fellows and receive their feedback, but also watch my fellows teach theirs and provide constructive feedback to them. From this experience, I was able to grow as a teacher of writing in ways that would have been impossible in typical professional development opportunities (conferences, department meetings, etc.) or being stuck in my own classroom.

Writing matters. By cutting funding for the National Writing Project, teachers from all content areas and all levels are being denied opportunities and resources to become better teachers of writing. This is extremely disappointing. To remain competitive and relevant today, we need to continue to fund the National Writing Project so our students can receive the best writing instruction.