McClure Writer Coaching Pilot Program 2016-2017

McClure Writer Coaching Pilot Program 2016-2017
Posted on 09/13/2016
Two training dates for volunteer Coaches:
Wednesday, October 5, or Wednesday, October 12
6:00pm - 9:00pm in the McClure Library

First semester coaching dates are Thursdays, 10/13, 10/27, 11/10, 12/8, 1/12, and 1/26.
Coaches will work with two students per class session during 5th and/or 6th Periods (1:19 - 3:15 pm).

McClure Middle School
Ms. Pattison's classroom no. 222

We need around 30 coaches for this pilot to be a success.  Coaches must turn in required SPS volunteer paperwork to the main office by October 5 in order to participate.  If you have questions or want to RSVP to a training session, please contact  Kim Gonzales at kimgonzales@hotmail.com or 206-617-0641.  Thank you!

Volunteer right now with Sign-up Genius:
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a4dafae2c7-volunteers

What is writer coaching?
Writer coaching places adult volunteers in 8th grade Language Arts classrooms to provide one-on-one support to every student in the class.  Every other week, coaches and writers meet for 20 minute sessions to work on a current writing assignment. Coaches respond to a studentʼs writing and thinking as interested and curious readers, not as tutors or editors.  The coach follows the young writer's lead, asking clarifying questions, and offering feedback without making changes or directing the writing for the student. 

What is the goal of writer coaching?
The goal of writer coaching session is twofold: 1) to connect every student in a class with a caring adult, and 2) to support every student as he/she works through the various stages of the writing process (brainstorming ideas for an essay, rethinking organizational structure, going through the final edits, etc.).  Additionally, writer coaching can provide a way for community volunteers to feel that they are connecting with and supporting students and McClure in a truly meaningful way. 

Who will be running the program?
Kim Gonzales is a parent of a 7th grader at McClure, and a certificated secondary school English teacher with experience in both public and private schools.  While living in the Bay Area, she coached middle and high school students, trained coaches, and worked as a site coordinator for Writer Coach Connection, an organization supporting student writers in area public schools.  Prior to working with Writer Coach Connection, she co-founded and facilitated a writing center at The Bush School in Seattle, training 11th and 12th graders to act as writer coaches.   

Who can volunteer?
Any adult member of the community who is proficient in speaking and writing in English may train to become a volunteer coach – no teaching or professional editing/writing experience is required.  Parents, college students, and working or retired adults all make excellent coaches.  Volunteers will be formally trained to coach student writers with confidence, and the site coordinator will be present at every session to prepare coaches, answer questions, and offer support when needed.  Volunteers must also complete all the forms and requirements for volunteering in Seattle Public Schools, SPS Volunteer checklist and forms.

When and where are the coaching sessions?
Starting October 13th, sessions will take place in Ms. Pattison's room (222) on select Thursday afternoons during 5th (1:19 pm - 2:15 pm) and 6th period (2:19 - 3:15 pm), with coaches arriving about 10 minutes early to prepare.  Coaches may choose to support students in one or both classes throughout the year, with a commitment of one to two hours of time per session.  First semester coaching dates are Thursdays, 10/13, 10/27, 11/10, 12/8, 1/12, and 1/26.

How can I get involved?
There will be two training sessions for volunteers: Wednesday, October 5 and Wednesday, October 12.  Both will take place from 6-9 pm in the McClure Library.  You may attend one or both sessions.  Please RSVP to the training session(s) so we know how many people to expect.

Writer coaching is:
 • Regular one-on-one conferencing with a young writer for 20-30 minutes at a time, typically twice a month
 • Provided for every student, from emerging to proficient (and everything in between)
 • A way to connect each student with a caring adult from our community
 • Focused on the existing curriculum in a given class
 • Inquiry-based (coaches ask “I wonder why…” or “I wish…” when they are confused or want to know more about a studentʼs written work)
 • A means to promote reflective and purposeful use of the writing process 

Writer coaching is NOT:
 • Sporadic and random, with volunteers meeting different students every time
 • Only for struggling students or kids who want extra “tutoring”
 • A way for adults to show off their superior writing and editing skills to young writers
 • An external program or curriculum layered on top of what a teacher is doing in class
 • Didactic (coaches mark up the studentʼs paper or tell them what to fix or change)
 • A means to ensure a student will write a perfect paper or receive an “A” grade

How is writer coaching different from other kinds of school volunteer opportunities?
 • Delivers specific, individualized feedback on writing to every student in a class through regular one-on-one sessions with trained adults    
 • Removes the stigma attached to getting “help” on oneʼs writing 
 • Promotes the value of the writing process, as well as the importance of considering oneʼs audience when writing 
 • Connects students with caring adults in our community and allows them to build a trusting, productive relationship over time 
 • Makes adult volunteers feel truly integrated into the educational world of the school 
 • Encourages students to be less fearful about sharing their work or making “mistakes” in their writing, and less reticent about critically reviewing their work and making changes 
 • Helps students evaluate their own writing effectively and approach peer editing thoughtfully 
 • Supports differentiation in the classroom, both through individual coaching sessions and by allowing teachers the opportunity to work with small groups or individuals on coaching days 
 • Motivates students to produce more writing for coaching sessions without creating more work for teachers or volunteers 
 • Provides a unique opportunity for volunteers to support student writers without needing to “know everything” or be writers, editors, or teachers themselves 

We need around 30 coaches for this pilot to be a success.  Coaches must turn in required SPS volunteer paperwork to the main office by October 5 in order to participate.  If you have questions or want to RSVP to a training session, please contact  Kim Gonzales at kimgonzales@hotmail.com or 206-617-0641.  Thank you!

Volunteer right now with Sign-up Genius:
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a4dafae2c7-volunteers


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