Teacher as Writer Teacher Inquiry

Lawnmowers, Parties, and Writing Groups: What Teacher-Authors Have to Teach Us about Writing for Publication


When teachers write for others in their profession they are taking on a form of leadership and embracing a means of advocating for the value of classroom inquiry and reflective practice. This article by Anne Whitney, a researcher who has studied the professional practice of NWP teachers, invites teacher-writers to get beyond the hurdles of doubt as they approach publication of their professional writing. An inspirational article for teacher writing groups, it could resonate with teachers who are ready or getting ready to share their work more publicly.


In light of what I’ve learned from these teacher-authors, I now think back to my first try at professional writing and find that two critical differences stand out between this writing and the other writing I had done in the past. The first difference was how good it felt to write about what I was doing in my classes at all. Usually, my classroom life felt rushed, ideas and half-considered problems speeding by at an exhausting pace, coupled with a feeling of never really doing anything quite thoroughly enough. But when I worked on the article, somehow time would stop, and I had a sensation of ample time to think about and understand the short classroom episode I was trying to describe. How different it felt to reflect in this way, compared to the rushed pace of everything else in school! Given the pace of teaching English in a public school, I found it extremely difficult to find the time to work on my article at all, but when I did find it, working on the article created a luxuriously contemplative space in my head to think about teaching. And my job didn’t have many such spaces.